Yankees travel back to 2005 in 12-9 slugfest

Feels like it’s been a while since we’ve seen a good old-fashioned 2004-2007 Yankees-style 12-9 slugfest, eh?

This may have been one of the craziest games of the year. Not only did the Yankees jump out to 6-1 and 10-5 leads and in both instances neither lead ended up feeling all that safe, but both teams’ aces gave up five (CC Sabathia) and eight (John Danks) earned runs, respectively. The White Sox even brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Mark Teahen before Mariano Rivera mercifully closed the door.

Still, the Yankee bullpen did its damnedest to let Chicago right back in the game, with both Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson getting cuffed for two earned runs apiece, and yielding a home run, triple and double among the five combined hits they surrendered. That certainly ain’t good for the ol’ FIP. Robertson gave up three straight hits without recording an out in the bottom of the ninth, forcing Girardi to go to Mo.

All told, this game featured 30(!) combined hits, seven of which were home runs. For the Yankees, Marcus Thames went deep twice; Nick Swisher popped a two-run jack to get the scoring going early; and Eduardo Nunez hit his first career bomb, a two-run blast of his own. Nunez had four RBI in this one, and has basically given Joe Girardi no reason to ever play Ramiro Pena ever again.

I figured Sabathia with a two-run lead before throwing a single pitch would’ve been money in the bank, and he ended up giving one of his worst performances in months. Not faulting the big guy at all, as these things happen, and I’m just glad it came in a game in which the offense was able to toss up double-digit runs. And even on an off night, Sabathia still gave the Yankees seven innings. According to Yankees.com, Sabathia had turned in 16 consecutive quality starts prior to this outing. That’s ridiculous.

On the White Sox’s side, Andruw Jones, Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez each hit home runs and had three-hit games. On almost another night, bombs from those three along with John Danks on the mound is almost certainly enough for a Chicago win; thankfully tonight it wasn’t to be.

Mark Teixeira left the game after the second inning with a bruised right thumb, and all of Yankeeland will be holding their breath hoping that it’s not serious enough to sideline him for any significant amount of time. Tampa Bay beat Boston in extras, and so the Yankees remain tied for first while Boston is back to being 5.5 games out.