Someone once said, “When a warrior is wounded is when you better watch out.” That was never more true than today. After A-Rod suffers a scare with a potentially disastrous injury last night, he steps back in the batter’s box tonight and mightily shuts down any chance of the injury taking him out of the lineup. He hits one home run to tie the game at two to start the 7th, then comes back up in the same inning to hit another one to put the game out of reach. A-Rod has had an absolute inhuman year. There’s no doubt that the MVP award will be in his hands again. Although some have come close (specifically the Silent Assassin and Pettitte Perfect) there is no doubt that there has been no one more valuable to this team than Rodriguez. He amazes more than 57,000 night after night to the point of insanity. He’s an outstanding ballplayer and an incredibly hard worker that has overcome such immense adversity (stepping under the burning lights of New York) and criticism not only from the media, but from himself. Hopefully New York will be blessed to see him in pinstripes beyond this year.
Although A-Rod’s heroics will cover the sports section tomorrow morning, many Yanks had a part in tonight’s win. Hughes started it off, allowing only 5 hits and 2 runs in his 6 innings of work, performing a lot better than he has of late. However, he doesn’t get the win because the Yankee offense showed up in the latter part of the game again… but better late than never. The man who get the win is Yankee favorite JOBA Chamberlain, who gets his first career win by going yet another inning without allowing a run.
This rookie has been nearly perfect since being called up to help out the Yankee bullpen, which is a much more spectacular feat than I think most people realize. It’s astonishing that for someone so young and inexperienced at the big league level, that he can dominate in New York (a place in which baseball means baseball and everyone is scrutinized) under such pressure, with Yankee expectations in a year in which success is not an option but a demand and do it with tremendous self certitude. I’m still looking forward to seeing what this rookie can do to start a game.
After Joba shuts down Seattle in the 7th, Ramirez and Mariano come in to shut down the Seattle offense for the rest of the game, which I would imagine was a lot easier with a 7 and 8 run lead. Praise also goes to the Yankee offense tonight who again gave the Yankee pitchers some offensive support. They didn’t exactly come out shooting, as the scoreboard might hint, but they worked their walks, took advantage of extra outs and got some timely hitting against the Seattle bullpen, one of which was so highly talked about. The most shocking thing about the 7th inning that I think got lost in the A-Rod highlights was that 5 of the 8 the runs scored in the 7th were scored with 2 outs. Talk about extending the inning. 10 runs scored tonight in another blowout, and yet Molina is the only one aside Rodriguez with a multi-hit night…weird, but I’ll take it.
This win puts the Yanks 3 games ahead of Seattle in the Wild Card as they now go on to Kansas City to face the Royals in the first game of a three game set and a 9 game road trip. The Yanks definitely need to take care of the lesser teams (in Kansas & Toronto) and hopefully the Red Sox as well, to get as close to the division lead as possible (although taking the division is not likely with a 6 game deficit in September but the Yanks (should) never go down without a fight.)
Lastly, no squirrel tonight… but he may become a new road-tripper.