To add insult to the injury, Pettitte was pitching very well when before the injury. Through four innings, Pettitte had seven strikeous to one walk, and had allowed just three hits. The one run he allowed was of the unearned variety, and came when Shelley Duncan doubled in Carlos Santana after the latter reach on a throwing error by Ale Rodriguez in the second inning. Meanwhile the Yankees new found clutch hitting abilities struck again, as the Yankees were able to make hay in the fourth thanks to a two out, two RBI double off the bat of Eric Chavez gave them the lead, 2-1. Even better? Raul Ibanez had drawn a two out walk in the proceeding at bat. Clutchitude!
That’s when disaster struck, as Casey Kotchman led the fifth inning offf with a line drive that hit Pettitte hard in the right ankle, bring Pettitte to his knees and leaving him incapable of even going after the ball. Pettitte was immediately checked on, but he was obviously unable to put his weight onto the ankle and limped off the mound, at which point Joe Girardi went to the bullpen. Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada came in first, and combined to give the lead back to Cleveland, with a defensive miscue from Jayson Nix sprinkled in for good measure. Freddy Garcia was brought in to get the final out, which he did on the way to getting seven outs without allowing a baserunner. Honestly, Garcia might have been the hero of the game,effectively bridging the gap between the last out of the fifth all the way until David Robertson came on in the eighth.
If not Garcia, the player of the game was definitely Robinson Cano, who delivered a two run home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Yankees back on top 4-3. Cano actually appeared to be slightly out in front of the pitch from Ubaldo Jiminez, but was able to keep his hands back and drive the ball the other way. Far from being a cheapy wall scraper, however, Cano bounced the ball off of the State Farm sign behind the first section of left field seats. It was a really impressive display of power from the Cano who, with 18 home runs on the season and seven in his last 10 games, is putting his early season power outage well into the rear-view mirror. The Yankees got an insurance run in the eighth thanks to another two out RBI from Chavez, to push their lead to 5-3 entering the final frame.
That insurance run would prove to be more important than anyone realized at the time, as Rafael Soriano did not have his good stuff on this afternoon. Soriano allowed the first two men he faced to reach base via a single and a walk before recording the first out of the inning, but then allowed another single to left field that thankfully didn’t result in a run as the lead runner was held up at third base. Johnny Damon was then called on to pinch hit, but Soriano was able to strike him out for the second out, giving himself a chance to keep the Indians from getting any more runs. It wouldn’t be that easy on this day, however, as Michael Brantley worked a walk to force in a run and put the tying run at third with Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera got a good swing on a 1-0 fastball from Soriano and drove it the other way, but didn’t quite get enough of it as Dewayne Wise settled under it to end the game and at least save the Yankees the ignominy of blowing the game in addition to everything else that went wrong today.