After a touching pre-game tribute to George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard (I loved when Mo put flowers on home plate), the Yankees won a thriller, as if it was scripted, in comeback fashion to send everyone home happy.
They were down 3-1 in the sixth but tied it up on back-to-back homers in the bottom of the inning. They trailed again in the eighth and tied it on a Nick Swisher solo shot. Swisher came through again an inning later with an RBI single to cap off a glorious night in Yankee-land.
Overall he went 3-5 with three RBI, bringing his career-year line to .303/.380/.534. You've got to love that he kissed George Steinbrenner's patch (above the N-Y) after his eighth inning game-tying homer. It was only fitting that he would come to the plate (and deliver) with a chance to win the game in the ninth.
CC Sabathia certainly wasn't bad, conceding four runs (three earned) in seven innings. Tampa really didn't hit many balls hard (just one XBH, and that's only because it took a funny bounce off the wall), but a bunch found their way out of the infield and led to a run here and there. A-Rod failing to catch a soft liner because a bat shard was flying toward him will find its way into opponents' blooper reels for a long time.
How huge was B.J. Upton's pick-off in the top of the ninth? It just felt like he'd be on second moments later... but it never happened thanks to Mo.
Just when I was getting down on Granderson, he singled in the ninth to represent the go-ahead run. Then his speed enabled him to score despite a great throw from Gabe Kapler.
Brett Gardner continues to walk despite being a 'Punch and Judy' hitter. It's amazing that a guy with no power can draw so many walks that he leads the New York Yankees in OBP (.398). It goes to show that you don't need power to walk, just patience, discipline and bat control (he's incredible at fouling off tough pitches).
The break didn't help Derek Jeter much. He went 0-5, dropping his average to .270 (.173 in his last 14 games).
Play of the Game: Here's a hint - it upped the Yankees' chances of winning from 62% to 100%.
Comment of the Game: Captain_Mick, for explaining why baseball is better than a night out with friends. Makes sense to me.