When Rafael Soriano got the final out of today’s ball game he untucked his jersey. This is his signature move but he didn’t do it with any vigor after his 3-1 pitch was grounded to Robinson Cano to end the game. He untucked it as if he’d just dragged his ass home at six in the morning–six in the morning–after a long night out.
It was a long, uneasy inning for him as the Jays loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out. Two ground balls later, it was over and the Yanks completed a much-needed come-from-behind win to keep pace with the Orioles who beat the Red Sox again.
Things didn’t look good a few hours earlier. Phil Hughes and his peach-fuzz mustachio got chased from the game in the fifth, the score Jays 5, Yanks 1. The mood for Yankee fans was as glum as it’s been all year, fury giving way to resignation. Though since it’s football Sunday, prime time for the blood to be angried-up, I’m sure many fans were plenty pissed off too.
How were the run-challenged Yankees going to win this one? Well, they got a run in the sixth and then Eduardo Nunez hit a line drive single to start the seventh. He went to third when Derek Jeter dunked a ground rule double to right and scored on a sac fly by Ichiro. Alex Rodriguez had a good pass at a fastball and then waved at a slider and was in the hole. He worked the count full though and didn’t whiff. He walked.
A pitching change brought in a lefty and Robbie Cano also fell behind. But he wouldn’t go down and finally got a pitch to drive. He hit a liner to right and two runs scored. 5-4. Nick Swisher was next and a passed ball brought home Rodriguez to tie the game. Then Swisher hit one on the screws. Yunel Escobar, playing in, made a diving catch and Cano drifted too far off third and was doubled off to end the inning.
In the eighth, Curtis Granderson walked and Raul Ibanez singled. They were sacrificed over by Russell Martin and Granderson scored on a sac fly by Nunez. Then our man Jeter got busted inside with a fastball but muscled it passed the second baseman to an RBI hit. An inning later, Granderson doubled home a pair, and the four run lead was useful when Soriano looked far from stellar in the bottom of the ninth.
So, to recap. Most of the afternoon was spent being angry. Then hopeful, then happy, then tense again, and finally: relieved.
This was one enormous win. Yanks 9, Jays 6. Good for the boys.
“Good for the Wife!” says The Wife.
A split in Toronto was lousy but all considering it could have been worse. Three games left. It’s all tied up.
Yanks-Sox; O’s-Rays. Made to Order.
[Photo Credit: Libbre]