It wasn’t much of a rally but it was enough. Andy Pettitte was throwing well again and even though he hit Jose Molina in the foot to start the fifth and gave up a single after that, there was every reason to believe the Rays wouldn’t score. This despite Brennan Boesch’s error on the base hit that put runners on second and third. Pettitte struck out the next two batters and boy was it was a pleasure to watch. The veteran craftsman plying his trade.
But he fell behind Ben Zobrist 2-0 and then Zobrist slapped the ball into center field to drive home both runners. Sean Rodriguez led off the next inning with a solo home run and those three runs were more than enough for Alex Cobb who mastered the Yankees for 8.1 innings. His best pitch is a change up but he spotted his fastball and a nifty curve ball for strikes, too. Worked quickly and the game zipped along. The Yanks had three hits against Cobb and never really posed any kind of threat.
Until the ninth that is. With one out, Brett Gardner singled off Cobb ending the young starter’s evening. Fernando Rodney, he of the cap cocked side-a-ways, replaced Cobb and served up a single to Ichiro! That brought up Robinson Cano as the tying run. Cano got ahead 2-1, looked at a change up down-and-in. It missed, but boy was it ever close to Robbie’s Happy Place. Cano fouled off an outside fastball to make it 3-2. The cowbells clanged away at the Trop and suddenly it was a game.
But not for long. Cano rolled over an outside fastball and hit it softly to second base. It was too slow to turn a double play but good enough to get the out at first. So…runners on second and third and two out for Travis Hafner, who couldn’t check his swing at Rodney’s first pitch–a change up–for strike one. He waved at another change and looked bad doing it. Didn’t jump at the next one, which sailed away for a ball, and fouled off the one after that. Four pitches, all change ups.
More cowbells and people standing and whistling and yelling.
Then 98 mph in on the hands, a cheap pop fly, and Rodney shoots his invisible bow.
Final Score: Rays 3, Yanks 0.