Typical Phil Hughes performance. His boys stake him to a 3-0 lead, he holds the Rangers scoreless through 5 innings and then in the 6th…poof. Granted, it was Boone Logan, not Hughes that gave up the big home run, but it was Hughes that couldn’t get the final out of the inning. Either way, the Rangers took a 4-3 lead and that looked to be plenty, particularly in the 9th inning with their closer Joe Nathan on the mound.
“Honey, they’re going to win,” said The Wife.
“They’re losing,” says I.
“What will you give me if they win?” she said?
“What will you give me if they lose?”
“Right,” I said.
Now for the stranger things part. Vernon Welles walked with 1 out, and took second on a wild pitch in the middle of a long, impressive at bat by Eduardo Nunez. That wild pitch was critical because it drew the outfield in which enabled Nunez’s fly ball to center field to get over Craig Gentry’s head, good for a triple. Brent Lillibridge made like the hero next and looped a 1-0 slider into left for the go ahead base hit.
The Rangers went down like lambs against The Great Mariano in the 9th to the tune of a couple of strikeouts and a ground ball to short.
Final Score: Yanks 5, Rangers 4.
The Wife is always right (unless she’s wrong).
It was an unexpected and pleasing win for the Yanks. And despite the lousy outcome, the home crowd was treated to a handful of terrific plays in the filed–diving catches by Nelson Cruz, and Brett Gardner, and two beautiful stops at third base by Jurickson Profar.
My favorite fielding play, however, was when Robinson Cano fielded a ball behind second base and, still moving toward left field, half-turned and side-armed the ball to first. It was as if he flipped it but you can’t flip a ball that far, with that much on it. It was my favorite play because it showed off just how special this Cano is. We watch these guys because they are the best in the world, because they do things we can’t do. That’s what Cano does at second base sometimes–making it look so fluid that it appears easy.
[Photo Credit: Lm Otero/AP]