After an afternoon, yesterday, in which the Yanks had neither pitching (with the 4 inning, 5 run outing by Clemens) nor hitting (with a 6 hit, 1 run attack by the Yankee offense) the Yanks bounce back with a 7.1 inning, 1 run outing by Wang and a 12 run offensive onslaught tonight. Wang took the role of stopper today after the loss yesterday afternoon and the loss that ended the series with Tampa. Wang pitched outstanding, allowing only 5 hits and 3 walks, earning himself his 4th win in a row. As most are accustomed to seeing when Wang is on his game, Wang got almost all ground outs and really used the double play to his advantage. With 84 pitches to start the 8th, Wang made an attempt to go another inning, however never got to, as Torre took him out after throwing 2 pitches, for what seemed to be like a possible injury, though Posada assured that nothing was wrong (except that Wang wasn’t throwing like himself and felt a little back stiffness, possibly the result of a long half inning of rest). With the sidelining of Clemens for what is, for now, most likely going to cost one start and the still struggling Mussina, I can’t imagine what would happen without Wang, who has been an absolute force all year. After the removal of Wang in the 8th, Vizcaino comes in to get in some work and allows two runs, not showing the sharpness we’ve come to expect of him again but Torre takes him out for Britton, who doesn’t allow a run and finishes off the win.
The once invisible Yankee offense returned tonight, racking up 12 runs on 20 hits in a well rounded effort in which the entire starting lineup had a hit (with the exception of Matsui, who went 0-2) in what became a blowout game. Though the offense didn’t really show up until the bottom of the 6th and even more in the bottom of the 7th, the Yanks scored a lot more runs than they’ve been able to manage as of late. Although there was a lot of triumphant offensive support tonight, special mention goes out to the Silent Assassin, who wasn’t too silent tonight with 4 hits and a homerun from each side of the plate, Abreu & Cano, who also each had a 4 hit night and lastly, A-Rod, who sets off another bomb, knocking one at least 7 rows into the upper deck in left. 12 runs from a semi-absent offense of late… not bad.
With this win the Yanks go back up 2 games on Seattle and prevent any chance of a sweep. Hughes on the mound tomorrow night facing Jarrod Washburn, who tends to give the Yanks a lot of trouble. It’s really important that the Yanks win this series not only to give them some more breathing room in the Wild Card standings but also to go on to their upcoming 9 game road trip on a good note.
Last notes: The Squirrel is back! He had so much fun watching the Boston lose to the Yanks he decided to make his return… and the Yanks score 12 runs for him. He was again atop the right field foul pole, while Wang again racked up “Squirrels” instead of “K”s or “Ground Out”s and even got the crowd chanting “Let’s Go Squir-rel!” The Squirrel has officially taken the stadium by storm. Endorsement deals are on their way. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with a little Yankee jersey next time we see him or people selling squirrel t-shirts LoL. (Wow, remember the “Who’s my daddy?” t-shirts?… Good times.)