The Yanks jumped all over David Price last night. Slapped him silly. Mark Teixeira hit two dingers, including a grand slam and the Bombers led 7-0 and were cruising. You could practically hear a pin drop at the Trop. The Rays had nothing, they were done, even though the Yankees trotted out thirty-six pitchers. Then in the eighth, the Rays scored six runs, capped by a three-run shot by Evan Longoria. A final, noble gasp, right?
Cory Wade retired the first two men in the ninth, had pinch-hitter Dan Johnson down to his last strike, and then the sombitch hit a line drive home run to tie it. And that’s the truth.
Enter Scott Proctor. Now, it’s not what you think. Proctor got the final out in the ninth and made it through the tenth and eleventh. The Yanks had runners on first and third with one out in the top of the twelfth and couldn’t score. Then, at 11:59 p.m., after he’d struck out the first two men in the ninth and given up a double, Jonathan Paplebon, one strike away from a win, gave up a game-tying double. That was followed two minutes later by another hit from the man whose name will be burned into Red Sox Nation’s collective memories forever–Robert Andino. Little fly ball to left, Carl Crawford charged, had it, and then it popped out of his glove. And the winning run scored.
The crowd at the Trop went nuts when they heard the news. Proctor had to step off the mound. No matter what happened, there was something noble about the way Proctor performed. He was the last guy out there. Maybe if the Yanks got the lead, someone else would come in but so long as the game remained tied, it was Proctor’s game, Proctor–there to lose it. And he toughed it out. It was his best performance since rejoining the team.
He got the first out and had two strikes on Longoria before the best player on the Rays hit a low line drive down the left field line. Was it fair? It was. And just over the wall. The times was 12:06 a.m.
My goodness. The art of fiction, dead, for sure.
What a finish.
The Tigers won and so did the Rangers so the Yanks will play the ALDS against the Tigers. Tough match-up. Should be fun.
[Photo Credit: Fur Affinity]