Holy Swish!

That started fun, became painful, then became fun again.

Swish belted a long homer to deep left field off David Price, into the second deck, to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead in the second. Behind Gaudin’s remarkably good start, the Yanks stayed ahead and added on in the sixth with a two-out rally, with A-Rod delivering another two-out RBI single, 2-0 Yanks. But solo homers by Longoria to lead off the seventh, and Bartlett to start the eighth, tied the game at two. But after Hughes got a DP ball to end the eighth, and Mariano worked a confident 1-2-3 ninth, Swish tattooed a 1-0 fastball belt-high and over the plate for the walk-off homer, 3-2 Yanks. With all due humility, I called that, texting Mike and Frank the Sage just beforehand, “End it, Swish.” Ask, and ye shall receive.

Gaudin was terrific, doing a lot during what Mike Sommer rightly called Gaudin’s post-season audition. After Crawford technically tripled off JD’s glove in left in the first, A-Rod’s wise sagacious fielding nabbed him in a rundown to erase the threat. Burrell stood like a statue for strike 3 as Posada easily pegged Zobrist to end the fourth. After Richard’s lead-off single in the fifth, Zaun K’d and Gaudin flagged Gross’s liner back through the box, then doubled off Richard to end the fifth. After Crawford’s two-out single, gaudin then remarkably picked him off first, just amazing me. Although Longoria homered, Zobrist singled, and Burrell walked to start the seventh and end his night, that was one hell of a start for Gaudin–6+ IP, 6 hits, 1 run earned, 2 walks, and 6 K’s on 76 pitches/51 strikes. He was outstanding. However, Girardi effectively used the bullpen to escape the seventh–that is, used everyone to escape the seventh. Marte got Kapler on a weak F9; Bruney got Navarro to ground into a 5U force, then Coke walked Aybar before getting Iwamura on a 6-3. I understood why Mike F. texted me concerned that Girardi would over-manage the Yanks into a loss in the post-season, burning several relievers in his tacit desire not to be out-over-managed by the classic over-manager, Maddon.

It nearly cost them in the eighth for, while Hughes and Mariano is the ideal combination to close out a game, using so many relievers for one out in the seventh–in a game that had the Yanks far ahead in the standings, by the way–left them few good options. Hughes gave up a lead-off homer to Bartlett, who got a first-pitch fastball and launched it to left. After Crawford singled, Longoria flew out to right, and Zobrist grounded into a 4-6-3 DP. The Yanks went 1-2-3 in the eighth but, thankfully, so did the Rays in the ninth off Mariano, who looked excellent and threw hard.

When I heard that Dan Wheeler was pitching the ninth, I immediately thought walk-off. It was just a matter of who would hit it. A-Rod didn’t but, as Swish stepped up, I texted Mike and Frank the Sage, “End it, Swish.” He did, crushing a 1-0 fastball belt-high and over the inner half to deep right center. As much as I enjoyed the walk-off homer, just Swish’s 5th homer at home, I loved seeing Teixeira flip out at home, jumping up and down and flailing about as the team celebrated. Swish got the obligatory pie, a real gem from A.J. tonight flush in the mush.

The Yanks now sit a whopping 40 games above .500, and just reduced their magic number to 15 with 22 to play. Boston beat Baltimore, and the Angels are tied 1-1 in the 5th hosting Seattle. Honestly, the Yanks have everyone else playing their game, and advantage Yankees doing it. As The Sage texted me as he left work, “Right now, it’s the Yankees and it’s everyone else.” Agreed.

Mariano not only evened his record at 2-2, but lowered his ERA to 1.72 with the win. Swish ahd the two homers, 26 this year, with 77 RBI, batting .254. A-Rod had his 80th RBI, batting .281. Teixeira and Cano each had a single, and that was about it from the offense, but it was enough.

Thanks much for the chinwag, Nick.

Enjoy it, Yankees fans.

Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. yeah– the man does not lie–he called it! seconds before the homer in came the text

  2. Awesome win, as usual! I’m glad it was Swish’s turn… he needed a pie in the face! And the fact that he finally hit some homers at home is awesome too. Gaudin definitely surprised me – I was expecting the need for a lot of runs… but I’m glad he proved me wrong!

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