“What was my first thought?” Perkins asks. “I guess it was that he’s got 40 home runs. … I mean, I knew exactly what the Yankees wanted to do. They’re down two, so they want to hit three solo home runs to win the game. That’s the way their team plays. I figured everyone would come to the plate looking to hit one out.
“With Granderson, he’s hit 40 home runs, and I’d bet that just about all 40 were pulled. So I’m thinking, he’s not going to get a pitch that he can pull. It’s fastballs away. But then, I’m not sure he will go chasing fastballs. So I think maybe I need to get in on him a little bit. Most of all, I want to get two strikes on him and then try to get him to hit a breaking ball the other way … or get it so he swings and misses.”
Perkins’ first pitch, a 95-mph two-seam fastball away, misses. “I know he’s not going to just take the first pitch,” Perkins says. “I can’t just get ahead with a first-pitch fastball. I threw a pretty good pitch, he laid off.”
Granderson then took a slider for a strike, and fouled off a 96-mph fastball for strike two. Perkins had his set-up. “I wanted to throw him a good slider, hopefully get him to chase.”
Perkins threw the slider and Granderson grounded out to shortstop for the first out. But Perkins was not happy with the pitch. “I got a little more of the plate than I liked with it,” he says. “I thought he got good wood on it. The ball sounded good coming off the bat. Maybe when you have 40 home runs, everything sounds loud off the bat. Anyway, Pedro [Florimon, the shortstop] made the play. I wouldn’t say I got lucky; Pedro didn’t have to make a great play. But I think I caught too much of the plate.”
[Photo Credit: East Lake Tumblr]