That, my friends, was incredible.
In keeping with the recent close-game tradition, we were really biting our nails in this one. It was close. It was really close. It was almost really close in the worst way. Fortunately, we handled ourselves well.
We scored two runs in the second; Gonzalez singled, Ross struck out, Salty walked, Middlebrooks struck out, and Sweeney doubled in two. But we really have to thank the pitchers for carrying us, because pitching, not hitting, is how you get through games in which you score only two runs in the second inning.
Doubront gave up nothing through six. The Yanks finally got to him in the seventh when he made a mistake and gave up a solo shot to lead off the inning. One single and one strikeout later, he was relieved by Albers. Albers gave up a single and was relieved by Miller. Miller pitched the rest of the seventh and then secured the first two outs of the eighth before allowing a double. Then he was relieved by Aceves, who blew his save completely by giving up an RBI single that tied the game.
It was beyond infuriating. Here we’d managed to take a one-run lead to the ninth, and the pitcher who blows the lead is the closer. It’s the closer’s exact job description to specifically not blow leads like that. Actually, it’s the closer’s exact job description to specifically not blow leads like that, ever. And there he was, allowing RBI singles like somebody told him to do it.
Anyway, he got through the ninth and ended up pitching the tenth. The offense fortunately bailed him and the entire team out. In the top of the tenth, Salty walked, and Bobby V. and Beckett were both ejected by two different umpires for maintaining that Middlebrooks got hit. The umpires thought he was faking it, but Middlebrooks was hit in the wrist, and you could clearly see afterwards that his wrist was bruised. I mean, he was trying to bunt; it’s natural for his wrist to be in the line of fire. If it wasn’t hit by the baseball, what was it hit with? I’d really like to know. The irony is that home plate umpire Brian O’Nora went down with Middlebrooks on that pitch because he was hit by it as well. So he should have known what it felt like. To claim that all you have to do is listen for the sound of impact of the pitch on the batter is nothing short of absurd.
Anyway, Middlebrooks ended up singling after that and was out on a force out by Sweeney. Ciriaco was the big hero yet again, delivering a single in the clutch that scored one run. Just enough to get the W.
The final score was 3-2. All told, Doubront gave up one run on four hits over six and one-third innings while walking five and striking out eight. Aceves received both a blown save and the win. Gonzalez and Ellsbury each had two hits, and Salty was the only member of the lineup who went hitless, although he did walk twice.
If you have to beat the Yanks, one of the best scenarios in which to do it is a late-inning situation on their soil. That really gives them a taste of their own medicine. It was beyond awesome. It was awesome, awesome, awesome.