Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yankees Win a Weird One

The Yankees continue to survive and move on after the All-Star Break, as they beat Toronto 3-2 in a strange ten-inning affair to move three games over .500.

For the second straight night, the Yankees won a game in which the pitching patchup seemed to favor Toronto. Roy Halladay got through a wild first inning to pitch a seven-inning gem, and Andy Pettitte matched him in results if not performance. Pettitte allowed 10 baserunners in seven innings, but struck out a season-high seven Blue Jays to counteract his high WHIP.

The useless (except to his opponents) Kyle Farnsworth gave Toronto a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, setting the stage for one of the strangest half-innings of the season.

Nice Guy Andy led off with a bloop single to left, and was pinch-run for by Miguel Cairo. Cairo stole second on a hit-and-run that Melky Cabrera swung through. Then, after failing to get down a sac bunt, Melky hit a grounder to the right side. Aaron Hill couldn't come up with it, and it leaked through to right field.

At that point, third base coach Larry Bowa made the asinine decision to send Cairo home, even though there was no one out and Alex Rios has a gun in right. Cairo was out by about ten feet, and made a bizarre slide directly into the catcher's shinguards, even though Greg Zaun was standing wide of home plate. I have absolutely no problems with Larry Bowa as a third base coach, but he blew that call.

Cabrera, who had advanced to second on the throw, stole third off a sleeping Jeremy Accardo. Clearly rattled, Accardo walked the inept Johnny Damon and then balked home the tying run.

So, to sum up, the bottom of the ninth featured a stolen base on a failed hit-and-run, a failed sacrifice bunt, a dribbler through the infield, an awful send by a third base coach, another steal, and a balked-in run.

The Yankees went on to win in the 10th when Robinson Cano knocked in ARod (who reached on a HBP) with a solid single to left. Larry Bowa owes Cano a few drinks.

Also of note, Brian Bruney and Luis Vizcaino pitched two scoreless innings after the arsonist allowed the go-ahead run. And Edwar Ramirez has apparently died, and no one told us, because he's getting about as many innings as Chris Britton on the big league club.

The Yankees should now be thinking sweep, with Halladay out of the way and Clemens and Wang waiting in the queue.