It was an up and down night for the 8 Bombers who were on the roster. Here's how everybody's night went:
- Derek Jeter: started at SS, batted 2nd, and went 1-2 with a walk and a clean game in the field in 6 innings of play. He walked off of Ubaldo Jimenez in the 1st inning, struck out looking against Josh Johnson in the 3rd, and singled off Roy Halladay in the 6th. One of the few AL players who didn't look completely overmatched at the plate.
- Robinson Cano: started at 2B, batted 8th, and went 0-1 with a sac fly that could have been a double or a homer if he got a little better wood on it, and an RBI in 5 innings of play. Cano also bobbled 2 balls hit to his left in the field, turning one into an out and failing to make a play on a diving attempt that was ruled a hit.
- Andy Pettitte: Pitched a scoreless 3rd inning after David Price worked the first 2, and worked quickly and efficiently, striking out Andre Ethier and Corey Hart swinging and getting Hanley Ramirez to ground into a fielder's choice after allowing a base hit to Yadier Molina. Andy threw just 9 pitches, 8 for strikes, and his inning of work was shorter than most of FOX's commercial breaks last night.
- Phil Hughes: Hughes started the bottom of the 7th for the AL, and after getting Joey Votto to ground out to 2nd, allowed 2 consecutive singles to Scott Rolen and Matt Holliday to put runners on the corners with 1 out. When Matt Thornton allowed Brian McCann's bases-clearing 2B later in the inning, Hughes was tagged with the first 2 runs and took the loss. He wasn't awful with his stuff, but did catch a little too much of the plate with his pitches to Rolen and Holliday.
- Nick Swisher: Pinch hit for Ty Wigginton in the bottom of the 7th and struck out swinging against Adam Wainwright. Swish never got to play in the outfield as his spot in the order was replaced by Adrian Beltre in the top of the 8th.
- CC Sabathia: Not available after pitching in the Yanks' last game before the break, CC probably spent most of the night chatting and cheering with guys in the dugout and eating his fair share of assorted seeds and gum. Don't forget about the few cups of Gatorade too. Dude's gotta stay hydrated.
- Mariano Rivera: Also not available because of lingering bumps and bruises, Mo most likely spent his night the same way CC did, with the added bonus of teaching the other AL guys in the bullpen how to walk on water, cure cancer, and balance the federal budget.
- Alex Rodriguez: In what had to be one of the strangest managerial decisions of the night, The Horse was the lone AL position player to not make it into the game. Joe did plenty of mixing and matching with pinch hitters and replacement fielders to try to get everybody in and yet, bottom 9th, here's A-Rod still riding the pine. There was an opportunity for him to pinch run for Big Sloppi or pinch hit for John Buck or Ian Kinsler, but Joe had already painted himself into a corner with his roster and couldn't afford to lose either of those 2 if the game ended up being tied after 9.
Joe's curious decision does open the door for speculation about A-Rod's health, but I wouldn't read too much into it. I think it was just a case of Joe getting too cute with the lineup card, trying to get everybody their participation trophy, and leaving himself up that old creek without a paddle. Unfortunately The Horse was the one that had to suffer because of it.
FOX did a nice job of honoring George Steinbrenner as well, so all in all it wasn't a bad night for the Yankees, losing home field advantage for the World Series they will inevitably make aside. It will be curious to see the reaction today around the blogosphere about A-Rod's benching.
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