Kei Igawa looked like Steve Austin for four innings last night (“we can fix him, we have the technology”), but turned into Steve Blass in the fifth. Igawa held the Giants scoreless on two hits through four while walking just one and striking out five, including Barry Bonds on three pitches in the fourth. Kevin Frandsen then lead off the fifth by hitting a good pitch for a double, and Omar Vizquel hit a chopper to drive him in. Igawa got the next two batters to fly out, but Randy Winn doubled to push Vizquel to third and Igawa lost the strike zone pitching out of the stretch. Given the opportunity to strand Barry Bonds in the on-deck circle, Igawa walked Ray Durham to load the bases, then threw six pitches a good three feet from Jorge Posada’s target (two of which Bonds fouled off) to walk Bonds and force in the second San Francisco run. Bengie Molina followed by cracking a screamer to the wall in left, but Hideki Matsui got on his horse and made a game-saving leaping catch, crashing into the wall with the final out.
The good news is the Yankees had a five-run lead heading into that inning and got one of those two runs back in the sixth. With two outs, Melky Cabrera, batting lefty against reliever Randy Messenger, fouled a pitch off his right shin. For a moment it looked like Cabrera might have broken something as he hopped around the plate then sat down as Gene Monahan checked him out. Melky stayed in the game, however, and cracked the next pitch past Dave Roberts in center for a stand-up triple. Once on third, he bent back over to rub his aching shin only to get a ribbing from Larry Bowa. The YES camera’s caught Melky angrily pushing the wise-cracking Bowa away as Bowa erupted in laughter. A nice moment that was followed by a nicer one as Jeter singled Cabrera home to make it 6-2.
Bonds cracked his 749th career homer off Scot Proctor in the eighth and Alex Rodriguez singled home a Derek Jeter triple in the ninth to put the final score at 7-3 Yanks.
This afternoon Mikey Moose looks to give the Yanks a quick series win against Noah Lowry on FOX.