Mark my words, people. By this time next week we'll all be talking about how last night was the game that really turned the season around. And then the same time the week after that, we'll all be back to complaining about how mediocre and inconsistent the Yankees are. But last night was still pretty freakin' awesome.
We'll skip ahead to the bottom of the 9th because that's where all the action was. The Yankees trailed 7-3 heading into the inning and they had the lineup set to turn back over against Ranger righty Matt Bush. Rob Refsnyder started things off with a single and Bush walked Jacoby Ellsbury to put 2 on with nobody out. Jeff Bannister didn't mess around and went with his closer Sam Dyson, and Dyson was greeted rudely by a Brett Gardner base hit to bring him Refs and make it a 7-4 game.
A-Rod was next and he made the first out of the inning, albeit a loud out on a well struck lineuout to second base. That brought Brian McCann to the plate, the same Brian McCann who had hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th and appeared to tweak something in his knee rounding the bases. McCann took a fastball for ball 1 and got another one thigh high on the inner half on the next pitch. He was looking for it all the way and smoked it out into the right field seats for a game-tying 3-run homer.
But they weren't done. Starlin Castro of all people drew a 5-pitch walk from the clearly rattled Dyson to keep the rally going, and Didi Gregorius sent everybody home happy with a walk-off 2-run dinger on the first pitch he saw. It was as improbable a win as we'll see this year given how pathetic the offense has been for the majority, but it was exciting and it gave the Yankees a chance to salvage a split of the series.
- Masahiro Tanaka was off his game tonight and took it for 6 earned runs in 6 IP. He did strike out 7 and only walk 1 though, so fix it and be better next time.
- Big night for Big Mac. 2 homers, 2 walks, 4 RBI. He acknowledged after the game that he's been playing with patellar tendonitis in his left knee, so that's not good and might explain his bat cooling down considerably after a really good start.
- He's beyond lost in the shuffle with all the high-profile young shortstop talent in the AL, but Didi keeps on putting together a really nice season. He's up to .290/.320/.425 on the year and he has 11 multi-hit games this month.
- Chase Headley homered earlier in the game, his second in a week after a long stretch without any.
- Shout out to Luis Cessa for coming out in relief of Tanaka and giving the Yanks 3 innings of 1-run ball. I still think he's being misused as a back end big league reliever, but that group is so bad that the Yankees might as well give him a shot. He's been decent in his limited big league sample this season. Maybe he can fake being the flex middle reliever that this team has never found after Bryan Mitchell went down.