Yesterday afternoon the A's scored 12 runs off a bunch of Tigers pitchers who are not Justin Verlander. Later that same day, the Yankees put up 10 runs to cap off a sweep of the Blue Jays. Momentum stops with the next day's pitcher, but tonight momentum stopped, locked the brakes and sent everyone into the windshield, making that weird squishy faced face. It happened more than once, too.
Russell Martin played the role of hero with a walk-off homer in the tenth inning; one of only three swings that actually mattered in the game. Tonight belonged to the pitchers, with CC Sabathia returning to form and Jarrod Parker continuing an impressive rookie campaign. Sabathia was dominant, pitching an eight-inning shutout while allowing only three and striking out 11. It was probably the best game he's pitched in a couple months, showing off a fastball that hit 96 a couple times and a wipeout slider that fooled hitters all night . It was the ace-like performance they needed from him with just days left in the season.
Parker was dominant as well, shutting down the Yankee offense save for a lone run on a Curtis Granderson sac fly in the fourth. That run held up well enough until Rafael Soriano threw a poorly placed slider to Brandon Moss in the ninth. He hit it for a home run. Of course he hit it for a home run. A poorly placed slider in that situation wouldn't be important unless it made the one run not hold up anymore. It was a bad pitch to call (inner third at the knees righty on lefty) and it was executed even worse.
All was, or will be, forgiven as the aforementioned Martin hit his second walk-off home run of the year. The Yankees only have three walk-off wins on the year and he's responsible for two of them. Doesn't it just figure that the most maligned player on the team has the flair for the dramatic? While it only goes in the books as one win, Martin's swing kept the Yankees alone in first for another night, gave the team their sixth straight win and knocked their playoff magic number down to seven. Sabathia and Martin coming up big when they have to. Now they just have to avoid hitting the brakes again.
Play of the Game: Guess. (+35%)
Ivan Nova gets the ball tomorrow afternoon against Travis Blackey.
And since I had this song all picked out before Soriano went all Ctrl-A+Delete on my post, here's metal. It's too good not to share.