Mo in the 9th baby !
in the 9th !
We finally snap this awful losing streak today with a really, really nice win over the Boston Red Sox at home at Yankee stadium in the Bronx, New York.
Mariano came into the top of the ninth inning of the game with a 3-1 lead and converted his first save of the season by getting Alex Cora and Julio Lugo to ground out and fly out and then inducing a game ending shallow outfield pop up by Kevin Youkilis after allowing a lead off single to Jason Varitek.
Mo looked pretty good in the inning and the only hit was a fluke blooper that was in the shallow outfield and just out of Cano‘s reach.
He did break Varitek‘s bat though, which is always a good sign — because as Buck and McCarver mentioned in the FOX broadcast that you can sometimes tell how well Mariano is doing by how many bats that he breaks.
The game had began sort of ominously when Jeff Karstens had to exit the game in the first inning after being hit in the knee by a line drive single by Julio Lugo.
Karstens talked Joe Torre into letting him stay in the game but after he allowed Kevin Youkilis to hit a single in the next at bat he was lifted from the game and greeted by the team trainers.
It turns out that he suffered a broken fibula and there is no return date projected yet at this point.
Kei Igawa came in to the game and pitched well and got the win.
He had been recently relegated to the bullpen after his recent poor showing last week against Tampa Bay in a game in which he allowed seven runs in just four and two third innings.
But today he went six full innings in which he struck out six Red Sox hitters and didn’t allow any runs.
He looked sharp and was the first Yankees hitter in several days to pitch at least six innings.
I, Myself, was sort of confused as to why Igawa was relegated to the bullpen in the first place.
Granted he looked shoddy last Monday — but so has every other starting pitcher that we have run out there for the most part not named Pettitte or Wang.
We had invested 46 million dollars in this guy and he had been getting better.
I thought we should just keep running him out there because if the reason for not doing so is that you aren’t comfortable with him starting a big game the question that I ask is how much better do you think Chase Wright or Jeff Karstens will do?
Unless the answer to that question is much better, then I think you are better off letting Igawa go out there and work thru it.
He’ll get better.
He’s got good stuff.
The player of the game ended up being Jorge Posada whose two run home run in the fourth inning off of Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield scored both himself and Hideki Matsui and accounted for 2 of the 3 runs the Yankees scored today.
That two run shot gave the Yankees a lead that they would this time not relinquish.
Another thing that I liked about this game is that the Yankees let Giambi start at first.
With Giambi at the DH position you have Mientkiewicz at the bottom of the order and our line up turns into a National League style line up.
And several times in the last few games I’ve seen us get into situations where the Yankees had runners on first and second or had the bases loaded with Yankees only to watch as Mientkiewicz
would frustratingly strike out or rap into a double play.
I get tired of watching Mientkiewicz carry his .140 batting average into a clutch situations for the Yankees.
I understand that he’s a good defender and a good defensive first baseman but I think he can be an offensive liability.
I don’t mind seeing him come in to pinch run for Giambi or to see him become a defensive replacement for Giambi in the late innings when Giambi won’t likely get another turn at bat anyway or when Giambi is hurt.
But somebody would have to show me that his defensive presence saves more runs in the course of a given season than his bat takes away.
What I mean to say is that first I’d like to know how many runs per year with Mientkiewicz at first versus an average first baseman and then I’d like to know how many fewer runs get scored by having him there.
I would wager we score less runs than we save.
That and the fact that Giambi usually benefits offense by playing at least half of his starts in the field.
Just food for thought.
Although in the 9th inning A-Rod made a brilliant barehanded catch and throw to first to throw out Julio Lugo and if that was a throw Giambi wouldn’t have handled as well as Mientkiewicz you might have been looking at two runners on base with two outs in the 9th for David Ortiz and I’m glad that didn’t happen.
So those situations might bear out having him in the line up regularly.
And you can’t overlook the great inning turned in by Brian Bruney in the 7th when he had two inherited runners and nobody out and got struck out Doug Mirabelli, then got got pinch hitter Eric Hinski to pop out, and Julio Lugo to force out to end the inning without any Red Sox runs crossing the plate.
In any event the game was great and the win was great and what was even better that Mo came back in the 9th and got the save and looked very good.
He’s going to be fine and we’re going to be fine !
Until tomorrow’s game…
LETS GO YANKEES !