Going into last night's game, the Yankees were clinging onto hope and a prayer. Now, it looks like they may very well need a hope in a prayer to win this series. With Mark Teixeira ruled out for the rest of the playoffs and Cliff Lee looming, their chances may be slim to none and slim just left the building.
All of the madness that jam-packed last night's game began in the bottom of the second inning when it appeared that the second coming of Jeffrey Maier made an appearance.
Robby Cano sent this Tommy Hunter delivery over the right field wall, but this Arte Lange reject literally took his hand and pushed Nelson Cruz's glove down. Why wasn't this play reviewed?! Isn't this why we have instant replay? Two batters later, Lance Berkman sent a blast about a half an inch to the right of the foul pole that was called a HR. The umps got this one right, however, and the call was reversed. The Yanks were absolutely pounding Tommy Hunter pitches last night. End of 2, 1-0 Yanks.
Not enough madness for you? Good, because were just getting started.
The top of the 3rd inning I cannot blame on A.J Burnett, the only big mistake he made came in the top of the 6th, but we'll get to that one later. The Rangers tied it up after Andrus grounded out to Tex; who saved another run from scoring with a nice play at first. With 2 outs now, Michael Young hits a weak grounder to short that A-Rod couldn't get out of his glove. Instead of getting out of the inning, the Rangers take a 2-1 lead and A-Rod runs to watch a Tom Emansky video. Fortunately for him, this blunder wouldn't cost them the game.
Then the real insanity began...
The Yanks ran Tommy Hunter out of the game and regained the lead going into the top of the 5th. It was at that time that Grim LeRogue thought it was a great idea to personally let A-Rod know that he's not happy about A-Rod doing the deed with Cameron Diaz. Later top 5, we almost had a New York version of Steve Bartman as a fan interfered with was would have been the 3rd out of the inning. Young walks and the fan is seeing his life flash before his eyes Luckily for his life, Hamilton flew out and the inning was over. Did we really just re-live two of baseball's most infamous moments within 5 innings of this game?
Then the beginning of the end occurred.
Then the beginning of the end occurred.
Tex is a true gamer and gives it his all on every play. Trying to beat out a groundball, Tex felt a pop in his hammy and now the Yanks will have to play the rest of the way without him. Fortunately for them, they can bring Berkman off the bench to play 1st. For all you Berkman haters, my apologies that he's only 5th all-time in Home Runs for a switch hitter with 327. Cry me a river.
Then the big blow happened.
A.J Burnett threw one pitch that summed up his entire season. Cervelli was set up on the outside corner and A.J left a fat slider over the plate that Bengie Molina turned on and put over the wall for a 3-run shot. Goodbye baseball and goodbye game 4. The place was silent after that.
The Yanks sent Robertson out there in the 7th, he promptly got 2 outs and then Girardi pulled him for the lefty, Logan who proceded to serve up a bomb special to Josh Hamilton. Good god he's good. Good call, Joe
Time to stretch, Roman Tynan couldn't have helped them at this point.
Bottom 7. Derek Holland comes out and completes a solid 3 2/3 innings pitched. Yankee fans may think he was all over the place, but he only allowed one hit. Sounds like a good outing to me.
Top 9. 7-3 Rangers. At this point, Joe Girardi is devastated after realizing that he won't get the Cubs managing job so he throws out Sergio Mitre for the 9th; essentially waving the white flag.
Cue the Natural.
Hamilton blasts his 2nd HR of the game (4th of the ALCS). Vlady hits a single and then Nelson Cruz hits a 2-run bomb to deep left. 10-3 Rangers. Nolan Ryan is beyond giddy in the front row as Yankee fans couldn't get to the subway fast enough.
In today's afternoon matinee, C.C gets the nod.
C.C is by far the perfect man to get the ball for
today's game and perhaps he can give them a much needed shot in the arm. Although I hardly see the Yankees going down in 5 games, the team that won last night's game was going to win this series.
There will be a new champion this year.
kudos to nydailynews.com for the great photos!