(A well-earned high five. Courtesy of Getty Images)
After going down quieter than could normally be on Tuesday, the Bombers were back after it last night in the Rocky Mountain air, and in a fashion that's become quite commonplace for this group they managed to squeak out another close win to knot up the series. They jumped out to a very early lead, lost it almost immediately, then scratched for it back in the 9th on a combination of bold managerial calls, good luck, and hustle. Scrappy doesn't even begin to define it.
- That early lead came in the top of the 1st, when Vernon Wells deposited a 3-2 fastball into the left field seats for a 2-run homer. He hit it like he knew it was coming.
- Yankee starter David Phelps didn't wait long to give that lead back, making a similar mistake to Todd Helton with 1 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 2nd. 3-1 fastball down Broadway, yard shot, 2-2 game.
- Phelps was very good after that hiccup, allowing just 1 more hit and no runs over the next 4 innings. He gave up just the 2 in 6 IP with 1 walk and 4 Ks. He mixed pitches well and had a decent curveball and good change.
- The Yankee lineup didn't do much after Wells' HR either. 2 singles and a walk over the next 7 innings, with no runs to show for it. They headed into the late innings with that short bench working against them, and that's when Joe went to work.
- After an infield single and 2 walks to load the bases with 1 out in the 9th, Joe went to Travis Hafner for Chris Nelson knowing he didn't have any other infielders to use. He played to win the game there and Hafner didn't come through. But Joe stick with it, hitting Brennan Boesch for the pitcher and Boesch came through by beating out an infield single to score the go-ahead run.
- That left Wells to play third in the bottom of the 9th, which he actually did splendidly:
(Check the range! Courtesy of RAB)
The combo of Preston Claiborne, D-Rob, and Mo worked 3 scoreless innings to secure the win.
- Wells: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 1 LOB. Drove in the first 2 runs, scored the winning run, and played a mean hot corner in the bottom of the 9th. To quote Will Ferrell impersonating Alex Trebek, "simply stunning."
- Phelps: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. That rotation competition might be heating up again, eh? Nova was a little shaky in his rehab outing yesterday and Phelps has pitched pretty well since taking his spot. He may get a start in the doubleheader, but I wouldn't say Nova is a lock to get that spot back from Phelps with the way Dave is pitching right now.
- Robinson Cano: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. Where ya been, guy? Still on East Coast time?
Another rubber match for the Yanks today, afternoon start time. CC Sabathia gets the start against fellow lefty Jeff Francis.