With the prospect of landing in the verge of a .500 game average and a 45-minute rain delay, Friday Night Baseball commenced in New York. The Yankees, returning to the Bronx after an embarrassing sweep by the Chicago White Sox, faced AL West Division Leaders, the Detroit Tigers, who were looking to add another win to their 12 game win streak.
It was a duel of righties as Ivan Nova played it against Rick Porcello in Yankee Stadium. Nova, fresh of his superb performance against the Padres, was the Bronx Bombers hope of breaking the 4-game losing streak that started after Nova’s win in San Diego.
The offensive output of the game mainly consisted of the first four men in the lineup: Gardner, Suzuki, Cano and Soriano. The Yankees obtained their first run of the night center fielder Brett Gardner, product of an RBI grounder by Alfonso Soriano. The third inning of the game, similar to the first one, gave the Yankees their last two runs of the night when Cano hit a double almost-triple. Cano, who took third on the throw, drew Gardner and Suzuki in and increased the Yankees lead 3-0.
On the mound, after struggling in the first inning and allowing the bases to be loaded, Nova escaped a bleak situation by striking out Victor Martinez and Andy Dirks. Although he allowed six hits, he went a full seven innings only allowing the Tigers a run. Backed by a great defense through the ninth, the Yankees kept the Tigers at bay. On the top of the third, Ichiro Suzuki stole Miguel Cabrera of a double with a great leap catch of off the right field wall. This was immediately followed by a great catch from Cano, toss to Nova, which took out Prince Fielder.
Nova allowed Austin Jackson a lead off double in the top of the seventh and, with a combination of a wild pitch and a single from Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers scored their only run of the night. David Robertson took the mound on the eight for a 1-2-3 inning, and gave the reins of the game to Mariano Rivera.
‘Enter Sandman’ and Mo’s cutter almost signaled the end of the game for the Tigers. However, things did not go as usual. Mo allowed a double by Austin Jackson that came back to haunt him at the end. Having a chance to finish the game, Overbay did not catch a pop up foul by Miguel Cabrera and Mo's save opportunity was blown Cabrera hit it out of the park allowing the Tigers to tie the game.
The offense, leaving 9 on base throughout the complete game, could not finish the game on the top of the ninth, which meant free baseball. They say free thing's are never bad. Lies. I don't like this kind of free. Boone Logan substituted Mariano in the bottom of the tenth, where he allowed two on base with two outs. Not taking risks, Girardi soon replaced him with Shawn Kelley, who proceeded to finish his half of the inning. The bottom of the tenth ended the game with a hit by Brett Gardner that allowed Jayson Nix, who was in third, to score.
This recap cannot be completed without a mention of the return of the ARod. With four batters through in the bottom of the first it was time for Alex Rodriguez’s debut in Yankee Stadium. The third baseman was received with mixed feelings by the fans at Yankees stadium with cheers and boos split fifty/fifty. Rodriguez, playing while appealing his 211-game suspension, struck out on his first appearance. With increasing boos and slowly waning cheers, Alex’s next at bats were as unproductive as the first, two additional strikeouts, and a flyout on the fifth.
Also worth mentioning is the Social Media outrage caused by the Yankees wearing their white-brimmed batting practice caps during the course of the game. Turns out the Yankees were wearing these caps due to a partnership with New Era in order to support the David C. Koch Foundation and the fight against cancer. Pretty good cause to mess with the standard uniform if you ask me.
On a sad note, one could say the dreaded 2013 Yankees bug finally got to Mo as he blew a save. for the second straight time. We'll have to wait and see. However, the Yankees rallied in the bottom of the tenth and broke their losing streak, while breaking the Tiger's 12 game winning streak. This win provides some sort of a fresh breath of air to the Yankees and some sort, weird hope to all their fans. With 48 games left, the Yankees have to give their all and improve their performance in the following games in order to make it to the playoffs. With how horrible the 2013 season has played out, this game has shown us that all is not lost.