Yankees 2 Orioles 1: Cano’s Late-Inning Heroics; Kennedy Strong

Finally! At long last, the Yankees win a tight late-inning game. With two on and two out in the ninth, Cano delivered a clutch hit, slicing a line drive to left to score Matsui. Impressively, Cano steered an inside pitch to left, keeping his hands back to control the ball and stroke it to left. His single won a tight pitchers’ duel in which Kennedy finally pitched very well and the bullpen held things tight. It wasn’t pretty and at times it was frustrating, but it was effective. The Yanks have won two straight to keep their deficit at 7 1/2 games back. Nothing to do but win games in bunches now, but winning the series was nonetheless big.

Kennedy was excellent despite struggling in the third. With one out, Adam Jones singled and Bynum tripled to left-center, 1-0 Orioles. Kennedy then walked two straight to load the bases, but fanned Markakis despite falling behind 2-0, and bot Huff to fly out to Damon in left to escape allowing only one run. The Yankees tied it in the fourth when Duncan’s sac fly scored Matsui. The game was nip-and-tuck throughout. Molina made a great peg to nab the speedy Bynum at second in the fifth. Kennedy and Burres breezed through most of the night. Though Burres was smoother and didn’t walk anyone, Kennedy worked well out of trouble. He only allowed four hits and four walks through six, fanning four on 97 pitches/57 strikes.

The Yankees managed little off Burres, but chased him in the eighth. Interestingly, the Orioles stayed with hard-throwing righty Jim Johnson in the ninth against two lefties. Matsui singled, A-Rod and Giambi fanned–the latter on a tip that prompted a colossal tantrum from what Sterling described, complete with hat-tossing and kicking. Abreu then pinch-hit for Duncan and walked, and Cano steered his 1-1 pitch to left to win it.

JD went 2-4, raising his average to .268. Matsui was 2-4 with both runs to now hit .302. Cano was 1-4 to raise his average to .207 with his 14th RBI. Credit the bullpen for clamping down on the Orioles, throwing 3 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball with Veras, Nuke, and Mariano each with a strikeout to make Kennedy’s big start count. The Yankees have three more at home against Seattle before embarking on a seven-game road trip.

Before I forget, big-time respect to Jon le3ster for his no-hitter a few days ago. Two years ago,, the guy was battling cancer. Now he’s pitching a no-hitter. Pretty impressive stuff.

Published in: on May 22, 2008 at 10:13 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i would have LOVED to have heard sterling’s description of it. it was a lot of fun to watch though of course at the time, we didn’t know we were going to win this game and that was a huge out. bad umpiring yet again–how embarrassing for the guy behind the plate to be led around by ramon hernandez like a bull with a ring in his nose.

  2. Sterling’s call was classic, Mike–very loud, almost yelling. Matsui was running very well, too. That was really a cheap third strike. It’s possible that it ticked the bat since there was the sound of a double hit. But in that situation, with the late call clearly coming after some cajoling from Hernandez, was poorly done. Girardi sure got his money’s worth on the ejection.

  3. and from the mighty abe: they actually suspended girardi for a game because of last night. utterly ridiculous. when did this game get SO SOFT??!!!

  4. Jeter has been weak since getting nicked dropping the BA to lower man manhattan.

  5. Cha, cha.

  6. Nice to see Melky and Canoe’ and there antics.

  7. Nine strikouts for the ole’ horse I think thats a season high though gave up eight hits. A little bittersweet but sure Andy will take it.

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