As Grady Seasons said in “The Color of Money”: It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it? It just keeps getting worse and worse.
The Yanks lost nine-in-a-row to the Rays in Tampa coming into this afternoon’s game and had to deal with David Price. The Rays’ ace was on his game too, throwing his fastball in the upper 90s and breaking off a nasty slider and change-up to boot.
Now, whadda ya gunna do with that?
Not much. The Yanks didn’t put a runner on base until the fourth (a walk by Curtis Granderson), get their first hit until the fifth (and that runner was erased on an inning-ending double play), or put a run on the board until the seventh (a solo home run by Mark Teixeira). The score was tied, 1-1, on the strength of a good start by David Phelps.
After Teixeira’s homer, Alex Rodriguez doubled and with one out, Nick Swisher walked. Andruw Jones was at the plate when Rodriguez took off for third. The catcher stepped back and his hand knocked into the home plate umpire’s mask and the call came to do it over, a head-scratcher for sure. Jones flew out to right field and Rodriguez stole third with Russell Martin batting but was stranded there when Martin grounded out to short.
And that’s how it’s been for the Yanks in Tampa. Double-down on that, in fact, because Carlos Pena hit a long two-run home run against reliever Boone Logan in the bottom of the seventh. I would have taken more time to appreciate what an impressive shot it was if I hadn’t been so pissed off watching it sail into the seats.
That put the Rays up, 3-1 and well, this Fourth of July party looked to be another dud for the Yankees.
Relief came in the form of an old friend, however, one Kyle Fransworth who walked the bases loaded in the eighth inning. He did strike out Derek Jeter but the bases were juiced for Rodriguez. Now, I’m sure there was some joking going on for Yankee fans watching at home. And those jokes turned to groans when Rodriguez swung through a 2-1 fastball around his shoulders. The count went full and Rodriguez took a slider off the outside corner for ball four and an RBI. It was a close pitch but it was a ball.
That knocked Farnsworth out of the game and narrowed Tampa’s lead to 3-2. Jake McGee, a lefty, replaced him and got ahead of Robinson Cano. Made him looked silly on one swing. But on the 2-2 pitch, a fastball, low and over the plate, Cano delivered a hard-hit ball up the middle, good for a base hit and a couple of RBI and the Yanks were ahead. He was right on the pitch and nailed it.
Never mind that they reloaded the bases two more times (Martin, who is in the depths off a miserable slump, flew out to end the eighth; Cano hit a bullet line drive to deep center to end the top of the ninth), David Robertson worked around a two out walk in the eighth and Rafael Soriano pitched a clean ninth to give the Yanks a satisfying 4-3 win.
Reason to cheer. The Boss would be happy.
[Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images; Mike Carlson/AP]