It ain’t easy. The Yankees held a 5-3 lead going to the bottom of the ninth tonight. Rafael Soriano was on the mound. Minutes earlier, Nate McClouth pegged a line drive off the right field fence down in Baltimore to give the Orioles a 3-2 win over the Rays. Because, as we all know by now, the Orioles don’t lose one-run games.
Cody Ross, Bobby Valentine and coach Jerry Royster had all been thrown out of the game in the bottom of the eighth when Soriano’s 3-2 slider was called strike three. The pitch was low though it may have crossed the plate in the strike zone. It was enough to make Ross, and Valentine go batshit crazy.
The biggest concern for Yankee fans, however, was that Derek Jeter left the game with an apparent ankle injury after hitting into a double play to end the top of the eighth. Early word has it as a bone bruise in his left ankle with Girardi saying Jeter will try to play tomorrow (he’ll have to be unable to walk to stay out of the game).
So Soriano gives up a solo home run to Jared Saltalamacchia. He gets the next two outs and then botches a ground ball putting the tying run on base. Then Jacoby Ellsbury hits another one right at Soriano. He fielded it this time, underhanded the ball softly to first, and the Yankees had the game, 5-4.
Curtis Granderson hit two long home runs, Robinson Cano had a two-run shot over the Monster, Nick Swisher had a couple of hits, and David Phelps pitched a fine game. Best start of his career. The first part of the game sailed by, the last half was plodding, a typical, Yankee-Red Sox affair.
We exhale for now.
[Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images; Elise Amendola/AP ]