Bernie Williams lead off the game last night with a home run, and the Yankees scored four runs in the first inning. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez–who has now reached base in 52 consecutive games–added homers as the Bombers provided Tanyon Sturtze with all the support he would need. Again, it wasn’t necessarily easy or pretty for Sturtze, but the Yankees will take it. Posada, Sheffield, Matsui and Giambi all contributed offensively, and the Diamondbacks helped them out by kicking the ball around more than somewhat. Rodriguez also contributed with the leather. According to Tyler Kepner in the Times:
The first four Arizona hitters reached base in [the third] inning, pushing across two runs and putting runners at the corners for Tracy. The Yankees’ lead was down to 5-2, and Sturtze fell behind in the count, 2-0. Tracy hit a foul ball toward the third-base stands, and it sank fast. Rodriguez charged after it, snaring it backhanded and hitting the railing hard with his hip.
Rodriguez puffed his cheeks, flipped off his glove and squatted, clearly in pain, but he waved off any help and stayed in the game. It was a breather for Sturtze, and after Cintron singled in a run, Doug DeVore grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Scene of the Crime
We all know what happened the last time the Yankees played in Arizona. The last time the Bombers played in Los Angeles wasn’t too much fun either. Murray Chass has a piece about Boss Steinbrenner’s infamous elevator ride during the 1981 World Serious, which the Yankees lost in six games. I was ten years old that year, my parents were in the process of getting divorced, and I shed many tears after the Yankees blew a 2-0 lead to the Dodgers. Jay Jaffe, an avid L.A. fan in those years, probably remembers it differently, especially after the Dodgers fell to the Yanks in 1977 and ’78 (which must have been especially painful).