The Yankees led 6-2 going into the eighth inning this afternoon, Bartolo Colon having out-performed Gio Gonzalez. Robertson-Rivera and Say Goodnight Gracie, right? Except it didn’t go down like that. At least it wasn’t smoothness as usual.
David Robertson gave up back-to-back doubles to start the inning and then he walked Josh Willingham. Now, it was 6-3. He rallied to strike out David Dejesus and got Connor Jackson to pop out in foul ground and was ahead of Kurt Suzuki but couldn’t put him away as Suzuki doubled to right. One run scored but Willingham was held at third. And that was the end of Robertson’s afternoon. He walked back to the Yankee dugout and kicked bench in frustration.
Enter Sandman, on the early side. Rivera threw two pitches and got a broken bat ground ball to second. Zip, zip.
The Yanks scored a run in the bottom of the inning and led 7-4. Rivera got a got a ground out to start the ninth but then Jemel Weeks singled up the middle. Coco Crisp followed with a ground ball to Robinson Cano’s left. The Yankee second basemen reached down for it but couldn’t grab it–and even if he had, it would have been a close play at first.
Godzilla Matsui was next and he singled to right and the bases were loaded.
Rivera got ahead of Willingham 1-2 but couldn’t put him away and finally left a cutter out over the plate. Willingham hit a line drive to left that dropped in front of Brett Gardner who was playing deep. A run scored and now it was 7-5. Nail-biting time in the Bronx with Dejesus up. On the 1-1 pitch, he hit a line drive down the first base line. It was right at Mark Teixeira, who made the catch, stepped on first, and then Frank Sinatra started to sing. Mo looked up at the sky.
Final Score: Yanks 7, A’s 5.
“It’s incredible how this game is,” Rivera said to Kim Jones moments later. “You think you have control over it and you don’t.”