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The Yankees make a Grand escape

Jun 24, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

See what I did there with that headline? Clever, eh? You know, because Curtis GRANDerson hit the game-winning homer? Anyone?  OK, maybe not. But when 5,000 blog posts you have written, occasionally hacky too you will become.  Anyway:

The Yankees came close to blowing a great opportunity just like the Red Sox did, except rather than squandering a great outing against a great pitcher, the Yankees almost squandered a poor-even-for-Dontrelle-Willis performance.

Willis walked seven guys in his two and a third innings. It was a performance that will probably get him designated for assignment within the next 24 hours, but somehow the Yankees only scored two runs off him, thanks in part to some poor fundamental baseball: Nick Swisher was caught stealing and then a botched hit and run by Cano got Teixeira nailed in the first. Why Girardi decided to start playing small ball against a human pinball machine like Willis is beyond me, but the Yankees could have scored a gajillion runs against the guy if they just played some take and rake ball.

Because of that, the game remained close. Curtis Granderson’s 10th inning homer proved to be the game-winner, but unlike most situations in which Mariano Rivera is called on to lock it down he didn’t exactly lock it down. Rather, he got himself into a bases loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the tenth. While I would say most pitchers who escape such a situation without any runs scoring got lucky, Rivera has more than earned the benefit of the doubt, so I’m gonna say he bore down or something: two pop-ups and a strikeout, game over.

A high wire act for the Yankees to be sure, but a win all the same. And with the Rays and Sox both losing, they picked up another game in the AL East.

  1. Pisano - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    What else can you say about him ? he got himself into trouble , he stayed calm and worked his way out of a jam . I don’t think we’ll ever see a better , or longer lasting reliever than Rivera . He’s the King of cool .

  2. TomTom - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    Oh no, are you going to bring in Suzyn Waldman to do some color commentary on your HBT extra show? Resist the urge to turn into John Sterling.

  3. YankeesfanLen - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Turning into John Sterling would not bother me nearly as much as changing into Michael Kay. The real solution, which is usually achieved here, is Jerry Seinfeld in the booth.
    The Universe should have been ahead 5-0 by the end of the second. What a ridiculous, sloppy game this was.

  4. aleskel - Jun 24, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    a minor quibble – Teixiera getting gunned down wasn’t on a hit-and-run play. It was a full count to Cano and Girardi sent the runners. Probably not a smart move, but it wasn’t like he was going all Whitey Herzog out there. I mean, why on earth would he call for a hit-and-run with one of his slowest runners on 2nd?

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