July 31, 2009

Crushing loss for the ‘Philthies’, Yanks

Despite the delayed start, I had the privilege of watching my beloved Yankees on television. Yes, the game itself was highly entertaining — a stellar pitchers’ duel — but the outcome was truly heartbreaking as the White Sox (52-51) walked off with a 3-2 win against the Yankees (62-40).

Quick `Cap:
Both starters, Gavin Floyd and Andy Pettitte, brought their ‘A’ stuff with them to U.S. Cellular Field, as they struck out 18 combined hitters. The White Sox pushed across a run in the third on Gordon Beckham’s double, but Johnny Damon’s sixth-inning single scored Jose Molina to tie the game at one.

The seventh inning would haunt Pettitte for the rest of his life if it were the postseason. Jim Thome led off with a swinging bunt down the first base line, and Pettitte botched the play by slipping to the ground after lunging for the ball. He struck out Paul Konerko, but a single from A.J. Pierzynski chased him from the game.

“Philthy” Phil Hughes induced a hard grounder to third, but Robinson Cano failed the double play attempt with an errant throw up the first base line. Mark Teixeira knocked it down, but it squibbed away and Jim Thome came around to score from second.

As dramatic as you can get, “King” Nick Swisher tied the game with a two-out, solo homer off Matt Thornton. In the last half, Hughes allowed two straight singles after getting an out, but was pulled at 35 pitches. The other “Philthy” Phil, Coke, came in for two lefties. Coke popped up the first, but Dewayne Wise, the guy who made the heroic catch in Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, lined a fastball off Coke’s glove that sailed into the outfield. Pinch-runner Scott Podsednik easily scored the game-winning run. Full box score here.

Although it was definitely a great display of pitching, home-plate umpire Ted Barrett was very generous on borderline pitches. Floyd’s seven caught-looking Ks is a testament to Barrett’s calls.

It was a thrilling game all around, and was awesome to see two pitchers fight it out. As baseball goes, neither wound up with a decision in the game, as the White Sox won the battle of the bullpens. If this were a Yankees-Red Sox game, it would fall right into the “historic games” category.

Line of the Night:
Pettitte: 6-1/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. The eight strikeouts tie a season high from two starts ago against Baltimore.

Up Next:
The Yankees find themselves behind in a series for the first time after the break, and will look to get back on track Friday night with Sergio Mitre (1-0, 55.91), who will face Clayton Richard (4-3, 4.65).

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