Thursday, September 6, 2012


The Yankees’ 10 game lead they had nearly 50 days ago had evaporated following Tuesday’s loss against the Rays. With 27 games left, it is basically a new season for the Yanks as they were tied with the Orioles and 1.5 games up on the Rays. Fortunately, the Yankees got a much needed 6-4 win on Wednesday to avoid the sweep against the Rays while also avoiding waking up on Thursday in second place.

The last time the Yankees scored six runs in a game came on August 27 in a loss to the Blue Jays. That was a long time ago. They scored their six runs in a variety of ways. In the fourth, down 1-0, Alex Rodriguez lined an RBI double down the left field line to drive in the first run against Rays’ starter Matt Moore.

The next batter, Russell Martin, who has batting fifth, ripped a two-run, ground rule double down the right field line to make it 3-1. After the Rays tied it in the fifth on a Ben Zobrist two-run double, Russell Martin hit a long solo homer in the sixth to make it 4-3. Once again, the Yankees could not hold onto the lead as Hiroki Kuroda gave up a solo homer to Luke Scott to knot it at four. Finally, in the seventh, the Yankees averted to small ball…

After Tuesday’s loss, hitting coach Kevin Long said the Yankees would go back to the basics, or small-ball, if you will. Now, personally, I’m not a fan of bunting. You get 27 outs in a game, and those are valuable. You don’t want to give those outs away especially if those outs don’t result in runs. Anyway, in a 4-4 game in the seventh, Jayson Nix dropped down a sac-bunt after the first two batters had reached in the inning. The bunt advanced the runners to second and third, of course, and they ended up scoring on a throwing error by Elliot Johnson that ended up going to the backstop.

Casey called scoring like this a "moment" yesterday in PINIELLA & SINGLETON ARE ONTO SOMETHING.... He wrote: "The last few days I've been talking about "moments"... Something always happens that triggers a team rally and team run. A "moment" breaks a tough losing streak and suddenly, everything changes." Some may call the Rays error was a "moment". We shall see. No doubt Casey will.  On the YES telecast, Lou Piniella called for the contact play with the infield in. I nearly puked because the contact play almost never works. But, sure enough, it worked, though the Yanks got a little lucky on the play. Either way, I’ll take it.
The Yanks were able to hold onto the lead thanks to solid relief job, as usual, by David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. DRob picked up four outs after relieving Boone Logan with two out in the seventh, and Soriano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his 36th save of the season.

Hiroki Kuroda started, and he wasn’t effective as usual. He went 6 innings and allowed four runs. He was handed the lead twice and he failed to hold onto it both times, but at least he gave the Yankees a chance to win. He ended up getting the win, however, which now gives him 13 on the season.

Final score 6-4, Yankees

Talk about a huge win, huh? The Yanks’ now re-claim sole-possession of first place following a Blue Jays win against the Orioles. And speaking of the Orioles, the Yankees head up to Baltimore for a huge four game set. David Phelps (3-4, 3.13 ERA) will look to rebound from his six walk nightmare against the Orioles last time out as he opposes Jason Hammel (8-6, 3.54 ERA) who is fresh off the DL. These are basically playoff games, folks, and it would be really nice if the Yankees got hot right about now.

--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse

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