"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Yanks Jump Start Their Weekend

The Yankees and Orioles kicked off their weekend series this evening with some unfinished business. On June 28th, the Yankees lead the O’s 8-6 with two men out in the eighth inning when the game was suspended due to rain. RBI singles by Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter helped the Yankees rally from two down. It was raining like crazy as the Yanks came back and Baltimore third baseman Melvin Mora got himself thrown out of the game arguing with the umpires after the Yanks took the lead. The game should have been called sooner and you couldn’t blame Mora for being upset.

It was raining this afternoon in Baltimore but cleared up and the game resumed a few minutes after seven. All the statistics will count as June stats. Here’s the play-by-play:

The Yankees 8th
Rob Bell on the mound for Baltimore. He falls behind Hideki Matsui 3-0. This time Godzilla doesn’t swing at the 3-0 pitch, fastball strike. Then he grounds a sharp one-hopper to Kevin Millar at first and the side is retired.

Bottom of the 8th
Mike Myers, who had entered the game in the seventh inning starts the eighth inning against Nick Markakis. The first pitch is a breaking ball low for a ball. Another breaking ball, this one is high and away, ball two. Fastball on the inside corner, called strike one. Fastball, outside, Markakis swings late and fouls a ball to the left side. Breaking ball, Markakis waits, is late again but fouls it back. Another breaking ball, low and away, Markakis grounds a soft ground ball to Jeter. One out.

Slider inside, ball one to Chris Gomez. Fastball, high and away, ball two. Fastball, low and away, 3-0. Again low and away, four pitch walk. Aubrey Huff comes to hit and Torre calls for Mariano.

Mariano vs. Huff. Cutter, up and in, ball one. It didn’t cut so much as it swept. Another cutter. Huff swings late and grounds a chopper to Cano, who flips to Jeter, who throws on to first for an easy 4-6-3 double play. Nice and easy. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about, Mo.

Top of the 9th

Alex. Fastball low, ball one. Fastball, down the pipe, ground ball to short. That was a pitch to hit. You know he’s thinking about the home run. Well, so much for the Back-to-the-Future home run angle.

The first pitch to Jorge Posada is a fastball strike right over the plate. Slider, outside, 1-1. Another breaking ball, high and away, 2-1. Fastball grounded right at Brian Roberts at second. Easy out.

Bobby Abreu takes a questionable strike, low and away. Fastball, tailing away. Same pitch, same call. Same pitch again, low, 1-2. Another sinker, easy ground ball to second, side retired.

Bottom of the 9th

Miguel Tejada, who did not appear in the original June 28th game, leads off. Tonight gives his return from the DL. Mo’s first pitch is a cutter on the outside corner. Tejada swings and misses, strike one. Cutter in the dirt, 1-1. Fastball, low, Tejada takes an enormous cut and misses the ball. Upstairs, the ball cuts, and Tejada swings wildly through the ball. One out.

Corey Patterson fouls the first pitch–a cutter–off of his foot. Another cutter, this one doesn’t get in enough and Patterson lines the ball to right center. Abreu gets a bad jump, the ball gets in the gap and Patterson glides into second base with a double.

Ramon Hernandez is the pinch-hitter. Cutter, low and away, 1-0. Another cutter, low and away. Mo missed his target, 2-0. Posada was set-up inside. High and inside, ball three. Mo hasn’t been close in this at-bat. Pitches are really moving. Fastball strike, 3-1. Cutter, up and over the plate, lined up the middle. RBI single. Oy. Now, it’s 8-7 Yanks.

Jay Payton nubs the first pitch to Jeter who steps on the bag and quickly throws to first. But the throw is wide and Andy Phillips stretches to his right to catch it. His foot comes off the bag and Payton is safe. Jeter rushed his throw.

Brain Roberts takes a cutter for a strike. He was taking all the way. Posada is set-up inside. Mo taking a long time. I’m surprised Roberts hasn’t stepped out. Cutter, inside, 1-1. Another cutter, flat, high and outside. Posada was set-up inside. Mo missed badly again. Cutter “drilled deep to right field,” says Michael Kay. But he’s just too quick and the ball is foul, 2-2. The crowd jumped at that one. Now they are cheering. Fastball away, Roberts lines the ball down the third base line. Payton reaches third, Roberts holds first. Nice hitting by Roberts. The ball was up at little but it was outside; Roberts just stayed back and went with it.

Homina, homina, homina. Brandon Fahey takes a ball, 1-0. The crowd is rowdy. Another cutter low, Fahey fouls it off, 1-1. He did Mo a favor swinging at that pitch. Another cutter–slow chopper hit up the middle. Cano ranges to his right, leans over and backhands the ball. Without breaking stride he steps on second base, beating Roberts for the final out of the game.

And that’s that. Whew. Jeez, that was a bunch of excitement early in the evening. Mo gives up a run but the Yanks win. They now trail the Red Sox by seven games. The regularly scheduled game will begin in about twenty minutes. Y’all come back now, ya hear? In the meanwhile, check out this article I wrote about shortstops for SI.com.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver