Yankees wake up, score eight runs in last four innings in 9-6 win over Jays

But then they woke up from their, as Michael Kay put it, “lumber slumber” (was this really the pun? Or did I mishear it? Or have a stroke when he said it that made me stop remembering things, like the guy in Memento?).

The sixth inning wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t one of those innings that you normally look back on and say “Hey, wasn’t this great? That was when things really got better.” But looking back on the game, it seemed like a turning point to me. Robinson Cano (finally playing like Robinson Cano) lead off with a double to center. Ho-hum. The Yankees have been doing that over and over again; no way they score here. Then, Nick Swisher dropped a single to right. Cano gets to third. Good little play there.

Then, Henderson Alvarez tossed a ball to the backstop, plating Cano. Good heads-up base running by both runners on the play, and the Yankees were back on the board.

It was a little thing, a silly inning. But it was interesting–and I’m mentioning it here–because there was a sense that the Yankees thought that they were going to score. Swisher and Cano are the offensive heart of this team right now, and there was a sense here that these two wouldn’t let it slip away from them.

Everything else flowed from that: Derek Lowe shut down the Jays with his sinker (he can really frustrate mediocre teams when he’s on). The Yankees came back up to bat down three. Eduardo Nunez, swinging a great bat right now, singled sharply to center. Jeter followed with a ground rule double. Ichiro lofted a long sacrifice to center. 3-5. A-Rod worked a walk. And up came Cano.

Robbie had a couple of fantastic at-bats in this game–he’s seeing the ball fantastically, so it makes sense–but this was the best of the night. He battled and battled, and finally, with runners on first and third, swatted a double to right, just out of reach of a diving Lind. 4-5.

Aaron Loup came in for the Jays–he’s a new pitcher, not too well known in the league. A-Rod knew just enough to run like mad when one of Loup’s breaking balls shot past J.P. Arencibia; the play looked like it would be close, as the ball caromed right back to the young catcher, but Arencibia slipped, and A-Rod slid. 5-5.

It never really felt like the Yankees would lose after that. It’s funny how momentum works: when, only a day ago, it felt like the Yankees would never score again, suddenly it felt inevitable.

And it was: now in the eighth, a Russell Martin sac bunt and an Eduardo Nunez sac fly allowed Curtis Granderson to score the winning run. A play later Derek Jeter would single home Brett Gardner (running for Ibanez), on a classic inside-out super-late Jeter-y swing. 7-5, and it was pretty much in the bag.

The Yankees tacked on a couple runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach for the Jays, and Rafael Soriano gave up a couple hits and a run to make things a little more exciting, but the Yankees managed to retain their tie for first place in the AL East.

And, in doing so, they restored a little bit of faith to the fans who were feeling like giving up yesterday.

And that, over the next few decisive games, might mean more than anything else.

9 thoughts on “Yankees wake up, score eight runs in last four innings in 9-6 win over Jays

  1. I was very, very happy to see that even when the Jays to a left hander in relief Girardi did NOT PH for Ibanez with Jones. Thank God for small blessings.

  2. I thought that if we tied Baltimore, there would be a tie-breaker game for the Division. But I'm told that our/their records determine who gets the Division. So if we 'tie', we end up with the WC, and have a 1 game playoff in NY. That sucks.

    • No that's not the way it works. The 2 teams are tied in head to head. What happens then is their is a playoff off game to determine the Division winner and who gets the wild card. Where that tie breaker game is played in either Baltimore or NY is determined by who had/has the best record in within the division. since the 1st tie breaker is head to head. Since Baltimore has a better record in the East then the Yankees by 4 games the tie breaker game should both teams be tied at the end of the regular season will be in Baltimore. The winner of that 1 game will be the AL East Division Winner.

      Here is the exact wording from MLB on how it works:
      Two-Club Tie for Division Championship and Wild Card:
      One tiebreak game will be played on Thursday, October 4th (tentatively) to determine the Division Champion. The loser of the game will be declared a Wild Card. Home field advantage will be determined by the rules above for a two-team tiebreaker.

      • Thank goodness. Nothing like a play-in game to determine who does and who does not play in the other play-in game.

  3. One series left. Not for the faint of heart. I think NY will pull it out and I will remember a great stretch run. Baltimore has to play Tampa, and I'm sure the Rays will want to play spoiler as bad as Boston does.NY needs to win out, and I think they will.

  4. Who are the Rays throwing against the Birds? Their pitching certainly can exceed anything the Sox can throw at us.

    • Cobb (10-9 : 4.18 ERA), Shields (15-9 : 3.62 ERA) and finally Hellickson (9-11 : 3.20 ERA)

  5. I got a feeling that whoever takes the division will also get the best record in the AL. Oakland can take the West with a sweep at home so I see them playing hard.

    I also see the Yanks taking the division as TB still has an outside shot at the last WC if Oakland gets swept. It's unlikely, but still a chance.

    Should be a crazy 3 days in the AL.

  6. I'll admit it: I really thought this team was DEAD, done, buried, fat-lady-signing when they were down 5-1. I was getting angry at myself for my continued optimism in the face of a slumping team.

    And then it changed. Cano's bunt… seriously? I've been waiting for someone, anyone, to do that against the lefty shift for year. If for no other reason that it'd be a free hit if executed reasonably.

    The team will be playing in the post-season, regardless of the next three games. I'd like to sweep Boston (hell, I always want to sweep Boston) and not have to sweat an extra game to decide the division winner, but if it happens, it happens. Beats having NOTHING to play for.

    Looking at you, Boston, with your sadsack Bobby V.