It Wasn’t A Mirage

Yanks Take Finale to Win Series in the Desert

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre things on the baseball diamond before, but I think last night is worthy of the title of one of the most bizarre baseball games ever. I think the players weren’t all their last night – on both sides. Last night’s game was not played well, and was incredibly sloppy. I was beginning to think I was seeing things, but then I remembered that I wasn’t the one in the desert. Nope, it wasn’t a mirage. It wasn’t a gorgeous win, but I’ll take it. The Yankees won 6-5, and won the series.

Pitching Analysis: After watching and pitying Dontrelle Willis, who just could not throw a stike, it was Javy Vazquez’s turn. I panicked, because he walked the leadoff man Kelly Johnson. I was beginning to worry, “Oh no! It’s contagious! Javy has the virus! He can’t throw strikes!” It was a pretty messy inning, but Javier did catch a break when the defense threw out a runner trying to score. Later on, with the bases loaded, he surrendered a 2-run single to Adam Laroche. That pest. He had 5 RBI last night.

Javier really struggled last night. He went just 5 innings, and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits. He really didn’t have good stuff on the mound. But to his credit, he kept the Yankees in the game, and didn’t unravel to the point of no return. He prevented the opposition from having the Big inning. And for that, Javy deserves a pat on the back. 

                                   New York Yankees starting pitcher Javier Vazquez throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of their MLB interleague baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Look at you…so cute ;)

The bullpen did a lot of work last night, and most of it was done well. Damaso Marte allowed a run in te 6th, but it’s not like they hit him. He kind of screwed himself up. Chris Young walked, moved to second on a balk, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. That gave the D-Backs a 5-4 lead.

The rest of the ‘pen was fabulous: Joba, Robertson, and Mo. Oh, Mo! Mo, Mo, Mo…what else can we say about Mo? He’s amazing.

Mariano knew what he was in for last night: 2 innings to pitch, and 1 shot at the plate. He tossed a 1-2-3 9th, and in the 10th, he got a chance to hit. That was pretty funny. He put a good swing on the ball, but grounded out. The best part was that the whole team was at leaning on the dugout railing, laughing and just having fun with it. I don’t know how Mo focused at the plate with the whole team joking about him like that.

                                  June 23, 2010 - Phoenix, AZ, United States - epa02219261 New York Yankees Mariano Rivera of Panama, watches his grounder roll to the Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman before being thrown out, as he bats during the ninth inning of their Major League Baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona USA, 23 June, 2010. The Yankees won 6-5 in 10 innings.

 LOL!

More importantly, I don’t know how Mo focused in the 10th! It was a miracle…Stephen Drew led off with a single. Then Justin Upton doubled, and Miguel Montero was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out. NONE out. Yikes. But Mo stayed cool – he got Chris Young to pop out to Cervelli, and got the dangerous Adam Laroche to pop out to A-Rod. That left it up to Mark Reynolds: the guy that either strikes out, or goes deep. Like in the rest of the inning, I bravely watched through the tiny opening between my fingers as I covered the rest of my face. Reynolds tried, but there was no way he was going to hit The Great Mariano. With a valiant effort, Reynolds swung at that back door cutter, but came up empty. Strike three! Crisis averted! YANKEES WIN!

       New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Oh, thank you Mariano!

Offensive Analysis: Despite being given 13 walks by D-back pitchers, the offense struggled. They could not take advantage of the Diamondback mistakes. Instead, they made mistakes of their own. The basepaths were not friendly to the Yankees last night. There were three baserunning blunders that I would rather not summarize. It was ugly.

As for the runs, the Yankees got one in the first on a Nick Swisher RBI single. A-Rod drew an RBI walk in the 2nd. But the Yankees failed to really put a rally together. Until the 6th.

In the 6th, my darling Francisco Cervelli led off with a double, and eventually scored on a Brett Gardner RBI groundout. Cutie Colin Curtis came off the bench to pinch hit for Javy Vazquez. Once again, Curtis hit the ball hard, almost knocking over Adam Laroche, for an game tying RBI single! That made it 4-4. The Yanks re-tied the game in the 9th, thanks to an sac fly by A-Rod.

In the 10th, I was beginning to get restless. I began to think about the longball as a quick way to score a run. Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. While he was up, I was looking through my notebook to see if the Yanks had a homer that game. It was such a long, stressful game, that I forgot. I didn’t see any “HR!” in my notebook. Right when I realized this, I heard the crack of Grandy’s bat. I looked up, and there it went! HOME RUN, CURTIS GRANDERSON! Why didn’t I think this before? Whatever. The Yankees had a 6-5 lead, thanks to my sweet little Curtis. And that was the final score.

       New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson hits a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the tenth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Thank you, Curtis!

A lot of things happened last night that I didn’t believe. One of these was that the Yankees won! They didn’t play particularly well, but hey: they played well enough. A win is a win is a win. I’ll take it – especially since the Yankees gained a game on every team in the AL East! The heroes for this bizarre victory are Curtis Granderson for his clutch HR, and Mariano Rivera, for his miracle on the mound. He truly is amazing.  

          New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (R) is congratulated by catcher Franciso Cervelli after their win against the Arizona Diamondbacks during their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

6 Comments

Bizarre is the perfect adjective to describe that game. Whew, so glad we were able to come out on top! Mo’s cool under pressure is something I wish I had!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Virginia,
I like seeing that #42 on Mariano. To me is like an on going tribute to Jackie Robinson. It is hard to believe that he was already wearing it when the number was retired in all of baseball. Mo is ageless!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Hi, Virginia! I am glad to see you are continue to carry a torch for your Yankees. I think Mo is the MVP of the Yankees and has been for a long time. And you’re right – Pap is no Mo.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

I saw firsthand just how competitive the D-backs are. I saw them destroy you guys the other night. I was happy. Then they no-hit us tonight. I was sad. I have learned a lesson. Never root for the team you play in the next series no matter what. Sheesh.

http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

As of today…I’d say you had a very good road trip. Sunday night’s game was a bookmarker huh?
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

Hey Virginia! Do you remember me? Melissa, from Let’s Go Red Sox? I just got back to blogging, and I’m glad to be back. (and out of school!!)
How’s things been going with you?

It’s a close race right now the for the AL crown, but we still have a good three months.

–Melissa
http://redsox46.mlblogs.com/

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