Yanks Win Classic in 15th, 2-0

In what was easily the greatest regular-season pitching duel I’ve ever seen, the Yanks beat Boston on Alex Rodriguez’s walk-off shot to left center 2-0 to end a game that lasted just over 5 1/2 hours.  The pitching for both sides was nothing short of tremendous, with Burnett allowing just one hit through 7 2/3 innings–though he did walk six.  Beckett matched him, allowing just four hits and two walks through seven sterling innings.  After that, each bullpen locked things down.  Hughes only threw five pitches to retire Pedroia in the eighth, and Girardi went with Mariano right away for the ninth.  Personally, I would have used Hughes for the ninth, but Mariano would have had to enter in this marathon regardless.  Mo only threw 16 pitches, fanning two in the ninth.  Aceves and Bruney were outstanding, allowing just a hit and walk apiece in three and two innings, respectively.  Bruney surely must have regained some much-needed confidence after that stint.  Coke finished it off, setting down Boston 1-2-3 for his third win.

Chances did not abound last night, but what did arise were tamped down.  Burnett reminded me of Joba the night before, getting continually behind in counts and walking far too many.  But he worked around Youkilis to pitch effectively to Big PopUp (Mike’s hilarious term), who grounded into a DP as did Martinez.  The Yanks had first and second, no outs in the third when Cano doubled and Swish worked a great ten-pitch walk, but Melky grounded into a DP and Jeter’s 3-1 stranded Cano.  Matsui and Posada led off the fifth with singles, but Beckett prevented any runs, getting Cano on a liner, striking out Swish, walking Melky, and getting Jeter on a tapper to third.

In the seventh, Matsui had his own 10-pitch at-bat that culminated in a single, but was out on Cano’s K running to second.  In the bottom of the ninth, A-Rod singled and stole second with two outs, Matsui walked, but Bard fanned Posada to send it to extras.  In the tenth, Hinske pinch-hitting for Hairston walked and went to second on Ramirez’s wild pitch, went to third on Melky’s productive ground out, but was stranded when Papelbon entered and fanned Jeter.  Posada and Hinske walked in the 12th but were stranded.  In the 14th, Posada and Cano singled, and Hinske hit one sharply into the right-field corner, but Drew’s excellent running and leaping catch to his left saved the game, temporarily. Melky nearly won the game with a hot shot that went just foul before striking out.

A-Rod, who had not homered since July 19–72 at-bats–stepped up in the 15th with two outs and Jeter on first after his bloop single started the inning.  Tazawa hung a 2-1 curve and A-Rod mashed it to left center to win an absolute classic 2-0, getting mobbed at home and embracing Teixeira in a bear hug.  I didn’t see if he later got a pie from Burnett, who must have made one with extra gusto considering the length of the game and his own pitching heroics going rewarded, but if anyone deserved a walk-off pie, it’s A-Rod.  If any knucklehead ever tries to pass off that unvarnished nonsense that A-Rod doesn’t hit home runs when it counts, among many other examples one should readily recall to refute that, August 7 (8 by this time in the East), 2009 in the 15th inning should be at the top of any Yankee fan’s list.  Great moment and game; nothing short of great. In a post-game chinwag, Mike rightly called it the defining moment of the new stadium.  I couldn’t agree more.

A-Rod’s blast was his 20th of the year and 573rd of his career, tying Harmon Killebrew on the all-time list.  He had two hits (.261), as did Matsui (.264), Posada (.281), and Cano (.310), while Jeter (.314) got off the schneid last night and finally got a hit in the 15th.  Burnett was outstanding, and I had expressed the desire to see him match Beckett.  He did.  The bullpen was no less impressive, allowing a mere 3 hits and 2 walks in 7 1/3, fanning 8.  That’s incredible yeoman’s work from the unit, with special kudos to Aceves for his great three, and Bruney for his crucial two.  Hopefully he’ll have more confidence after a well-earned day off.

This has to be deflating to Boston, who hung tough but is now 4 1/2 back, losing twice in a row in devastating fashion in The Bronx–first the blowout Thursday night, then the marathon loss last night.  Yet honestly, even when they got runners on base in extra innings, at no point did I feel the Yanks would lose that game.  It was just a matter of time–lots of it as it turns out.  Part of that, I admit, is my glass-half-full approach.  But a good deal of it is the simple fact that the Yanks had the best and most chances last night, and just needed to cash in on one.  A-Rod did that and how.  Heck, Boston had one runner reach third base all game–Ellsbury in the first.

Now C.C. just needs to throw 7+ strong innings, and all will be fine. 🙂

I’m off to spend a good deal of the afternoon in a pool and the sun with the family, but will tune in later.  Be sure to head over to Mike’s in-game chinwag this afternoon.  I will when I get in.  The Yanks have now won five straight, have lots of momentum, and for the fourth straight series have beaten or won the game in which the opponent’s ace took the bump.  Last night’s was the biggest win over Boston in some time, a classic win.  Savor it, Yankees fans.

Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 10:24 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m still exhausted from last night (or should I say this morning). What a game. Let’s hope we keep up the winning today with a great outing by CC. Have fun swimming!

  2. Yes, he got the pie. I didn’t see it, but in a postgame interview, he had the stuff still on the back of his neck.

  3. Last night was draining but ultimately satisfying, Jane. You and I got our wish with C.c., who was outstanding.

    Good, Mike. I saw Burnett saunter off the field after greeting A-Rod at home, and figured a pie was in the works. But in my eagerness to chinwag with Mike after the game, I missed the post-game festivities.

    Another great win today, and the Yanks are rolling.

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