How else to describe what the Yankees did tonight, coming back from four runs down in the ninth against one of the best closers in the game, then win it on a two-run run homer by Robinson Cano off a pitcher who had previously owned him, thus capping the wildest Yankee win of the season?
"That was quite a miracle," Alex Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez started the rally against Jonathan Broxton, who came in with 16 saves and a 0.83 ERA, with a one-out single that seemed harmless at the time. It wasn't.
A-Rod would score on Cano’s double to make it 6-3. After Jorge Posada singled and Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases, Chad Huffman’s single to right made it 6-5 and put runners at first and third.
Battling Broxton through a 10-pitch at-bat, Colin Curtis grounded a 3-and-2 pitch to James Loney, who stepped on first for the second out. He then fired home, but his throw was wide toward the first-base side, and by the time Russell Martin whirled to apply the tag on Granderson, it was too late.
"Just get the run home, however," Curtis said of his thoughts in the big moment.
Cano won it in the 10th with a two-run shot to left-center off George Sherrill, against whom he had been 0-for-11.
“I didn’t know until after I got back to the dugout,” Cano said of his record against Sherrill. “I was looking for a ball to drive.”
"He's got so much power to the opposite field," Mark Teixeira said. "He's really fun to watch."
A major topic afterward, of course, was once again when it comes to closer there seems to be Mariano Rivera and everyone else. Torre, not that he needed another example, got one nonetheless on how different ninth innings can feel without Mo.
"You can't compare Mo to anybody else, Mo's the best," said Andy Pettitte, who had his own adventures this night. "Mo's the greatest there is. You just can't even say enough about Mariano. Mariano is a league of his own. No one compares to him, mentally, and the command he goes out there with almost every single night."
Rivera pitched scoreless ninth and 10th innings to get the win."
Pettitte's line looked like one of his worst outings of the year, though he wasn't hit that hard. No, Pettitte's night came down to two throwing errors he made in the third inning that still had him fuming a bit afterward. Though not nearly as much as if the Yankees had lost.
“I gave them three runs in that inning and that was hard to swallow for sure,” Pettitte said. “I felt good, scuffled a little bit out of the windup with my mechanics a little bit. But other than that I felt good. What can you say? What a great win for us. Great comeback. To be able to do what we did in that ninth inning against their closer, it was fun to watch. It was a big win for us.”
*** Brett Gardner didn't come out to the field in the bottom of the fourth, a result of him being hit on the right forearm by Clayton Kershaw in the third. The Yankees said he has a bruised forearm and Gardner after the game said there was some swelling, though he didn't seem concerned. X-rays were not deemed necessary and Girardi said Gardner would see Yankees doctors Monday.
“If they order X-rays then we’ll get them,” Girardi said.
*** A perfect start to the evening of theater was Alex Rodriguez jogging up to Joe Torre behind the batting cage before the game. The two put up fists in a mock fighter's pose. They chatted for about 45 seconds, an obviously staged event as an ESPN camera happened to be behind the cage at the time, but A-Rod said his intention was to approach Torre regardless.
"I thought it was important for me to go over there," Rodriguez said. "I thought it was the mature thing to do. I felt from my heart it was important to not let things linger and to build on what I've tried to build here the last two years, taking some steps forward and go from there."
And with that, off to the airport soon for the flight home. I'm off a few days next week but Newsday's capable baseball team will have plenty of stuff on here on the Mariners series.