Okay, that was a fun one.
Yes, it was frustrating to see the offense shut down for eight innings but Clayton Kershaw is an outstanding pitcher and to be honest, his curveball should be illegal. And it’s not like Hiroki Kuroda is a slouch. He also pitched his rear end off tonight as well. Kuroda pitched seven strong innings, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out eight batters. Kershaw pitched eight strong innings as well, matched Kuroda’s hit total, didn’t walk a batter and struck out five Yankees.
When the ninth inning began, most people were thinking of all the different ways the Yankees would fail to score in the top of the inning and were more than likely also imagining the Dodgers walking off again tonight — or maybe that was just me. Thankfully, the Yankees had other ideas.
Derek Jeter led the inning off with a walk. Now, since he can’t run very well, Eduardo Nunez came in to pinch run for him. Robinson Cano grounded into a force out and Nunez was out at second. Alfonso Soriano then grounded out to third and Cano advanced to second. Ichiro Suzuki came in to pinch hit for Vernon Wells and Ronald Belisario intentionally walked him.
In an at bat that could have ended with a strikeout and probably should have, Overbay belted Rodriguez’s 1-2 offering into center for a single which scored Cano to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Chris Stewart grounded to third for the final out of the inning but in an amusing twist, if Stewart had reached base, the next batter would have been CC Sabathia. He was in the on deck circle as the third out was recorded.
Then, the Sandman entered the game and struck out Hanley Ramirez on a pitch that was at mouth level. Ramirez swung right through it. Next, Andre Either struck out looking and A.J. Ellis grounded out to second to end the game.
Mariano Rivera picked up his 34th save of the season, the Yankees salvaged a season split with the Dodgers and now they get to enjoy another day off before facing the San Diego Padres this weekend.