I can't believe Joe Girardi didn't want to win this game enough to use one of the good relievers twice. In lieu of a traditional recap, I'm going to share my observations from each inning.
1st: Neither AJ nor Dice-K can throw strikes. It's exhilarating when we're batting and infuriating when we're in the field. At the end of 1, we're tied at 1.
2nd: A gritty, gutty groundout plated a run, and journeyman sac fly brought in another. We have a good AJ sighting.
3rd: A lot is made about the Yanks' supposed 'fail' with runners in scoring position. They loaded the bases again this inning and only got a run out of it. But keep putting runners on base and you can get away with normal success rates- only teams that are terrible need to be lucky with runners on.
4th: AJ beat the runner to the bag, but the ump blew the call. And while AJ held the ball and argued, Nava ran home. Unfriggin' believable. Also, Cervelli is Arodesque on pops behind the plate. 4-3.
5th: AJ, getting better. Dice-K, finally finished.
6th: Brett Gardner decided he wanted to see if he could steal a base every time on today. So far, so good.
Aside from one well timed leaping catch, Nunez does not impress me at short. He failed to turn two weak groundballs in the first inning, and then he couldn't handle Cervelli's (bad) throw to catch the base stealer, and then the runner scampered to third. And that run ties the game on a sac fly a couple batters later.
7th: The Frisco kid comes through with the RBI single, and advanced to second on the throw home to try to catch Cano! And then the Puma pounces on a passed ball and scores from third.
Sergio Mitre pitches important inning for the New York Yankees in October- even though it was a clean two-thirds, I want to hurt Joe Girardi.
8th: After finishing the 7th, Royce Ring walks the leadoff man. Al Leiter makes the comment of the night when he says, "Royce Ring, obviously, not trying to do that." Nova comes in, and Nunez kicks a DP ball into CF, allowing the 5th run to score. Then Nova walked in the tying run.
9th: Cervelli doubled. And then Swisher and Gardner RISP failed. I know it's just small sample size and a result of putting many, many players on base, especially via the walk. But it's frustrating.
And then the bottom of the ninth, when Joe Girardi decided he was done managing and left Nova in. BB, fly out, BB, fly out, flyout. Exhale.
10th: The Journeyman leads off with a single and moves to second on Tex's groundout. Arod up and the game feels winnable, but Grandy can only advance to third on an out into the triangle. IBB to MVP Cano. Jorge Posada pinch hits for Golson, but after a long AB, all he has to show for it is a pop up to the shortstop.
In the bottom of the 10th, Bill Hall hit as close to a homer as you can manage and still miss, leading off with a double. Ivan Nova is incredibly still in the game, despite more than 40 pitches and 0 command. Hall to third on a sac bunt. And the grounder up the middle to end it.
One day of rest at the end of a 162 game season had better be worth 3 games at home in the ALDS.
Play of the Game: The walkoff.
Comments of the Game: I promised to give as many COGs as Yankee pitchers. 4 pitchers means 4 COGs.
longtimelistener sets 'em up, and Kevin L knocks 'em down.
tackaberry channels Neil McCarthy.
To Cup Noodles for correctly identifying the third way to strike out (swinging, looking and foul bunt). What the hey, let's give YanksVikes the nod for setting it up.
Monotonousblob has the scouting report on the Red Sox's pitching.
From the original thread, and the 3 overflows, here are some runners-up:
yankeesNZ1 shares the super-sized awesome scale with us. Barndon ranks a 3.
Plus one for everyone who made fun of Melkman. Nothing for Melkman.
WhatwouldJeterdo with a psalm of praise.
Longtimelistener brings us a new adjective- it means has many, many strikeouts.
MattF15, for scaring Nova's pitches straight.