The New York Yankees scratched and clawed their way back from a 4-1 deficit in the eighth and ninth innings tonight and defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by the score of 5-4. What an unbelievable game! With the win, the Yankees are now 26-21, while the Blue Jays fall to 24-24.
CC Sabathia, outside of the fourth inning, pitched a brilliant game. The first hit he surrendered was a bullet single off the left field wall that narrowly missed going over by a couple feet. On the next pitch he induced a 6-4-3 double play from J.P. Arencibia.
Russell Martin showed some (sigh) muscle in the bottom half of the second inning when he launched his ninth home run of the season deep to left field, giving Sabathia a 1-0 lead to work with.
In the third inning, three singles by Rajai Davis, Yunel Escobar and Corey Patterson plated the first Blue Jay run, tying the game at one. Sabathia would proceed to strikeout Jose Bautista to end the inning.
Follow past the jump for the rest of the recap!
In the top of the fourth, the flood gates budged a bit. CC allowed a leadoff double to Juan Rivera, an RBI single to J.P. Arencibia, a Rajai Davis RBI single after Edwin Encarnacion's single advanced Arencibia, and an error by Robinson Cano on a sacrifice bunt allowed Encarnacion to score. The bases would be loaded for Jose Bautista, and Sabathia got him to ground into a force-out at second to end the inning.
Sabathia didn't allow another baserunner all game, retiring the next fifteen batters and completing nine innings for the first time all season. He retired Bautista all five times he faced him (one strikeout and four groundouts).
Ricky Romero pitched an excellent game as well and worked his way out of trouble every time he got into it. In the sixth, Cano's two-out double was wasted. In the seventh, Gardner and Nunez reached base via a walk and base-hit, and Derek Jeter grounded into a 5-3 double play to end the inning. His final line was 7.0 innings, seven hits, one run, three walks and four strikeouts.
The Yankees finally struck gold in the eighth. The Bombers plated two runs with big two-out hits by Cano and Martin: An RBI double and RBI single, respectively.
At 4-3, Frank Francisco was called upon to close out the game for Toronto. Brett Gardner started with a groundout to first. Joe Girardi went to Jorge Posada to pinch-hit for Eduardo Nunez, and Posada delivered a double to right-center field. Chris Dickerson pinch-ran and stole third as Jeter grounded out to shortstop. Curtis Granderson came to the plate with two outs and a runner on third, and boy did he deliver. A massive RBI single by Granderson tied the game and sent fans back to their seats to watch until the end.
Granderson proceeded to steal second base when nobody covered, and Mark Teixeira won the game on a hot shot to first base that couldn't be handled. Granderson came around to score, and the Yankees escaped the jaws of death.
"We didn't need the home run to win this game tonight." - Mark Teixeira
I must admit, the pie that A.J. Burnett threw at Teixeira was rather terrible. But I'd rather have Burnett throwing strikes with a baseball than strikes with a pie!
And guess who was rewarded with a win for pitching so well? CC Sabathia. Great performance.
Oh yeah, Curtis Granderson had four hits tonight (three off lefties). Take that, A-Jax!
Play of the Game:: Strangely enough, Granderson's RBI single increased the Yankees' odds of winning by 39.3% and Mark Teixeira's game-winning hit only increased their odds of winning by 38.4%.
Comment(s) of the Game: I'm feeling generous tonight and giving out plenty of COGs in spirit of the pie!! yankeesNZ1 for his insights, greatscott723's suggestion, WhatwouldJeterdo's love of Granderson, bluecheese999's updated pie chart and I'mGivingYouARaise for a great night of play-calling!