Sunday, August 29, 2004

Nine Spot In the Ninth

After 13 straight games in which the Yankee starter didn't get the win, Kevin Brown finally picked up his 10th victory with a seven-inning, four run effort. Initially, it didn't look like Brown's four runs would be good enough against the Blue Jays' Ted Lilly. But a three-run blast by Tony Clark broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth. Clark would hit another homer in the top of the 8th. Paul Quantrill came into the game in the bottom of the 8th, and looked better than in recent appearances, but got into a spot of trouble. He had to be bailed out by Mariano Rivera when the Jays got within three runs, at 9-6.

Then in the top of the ninth, all hell broke loose. Some Maurer kid loaded the bases, and walked in a run. Ruben Sierra greeted Kerry Lightenberg with a grand slam, Ruben's 300th career homer. Then Tony Clark went yard, his third of the game, off the SkyDome restaurant.

That would have been good enough, but the hits kept on coming. Bernie and Jeter both singled, and Sheffield followed with a bomb that hit near the top of the fence. Two runs scored and Sheffield legged out a triple, only to be tagged out after he hopped off the bag in pain, having caught his cleats on the front edge of the bag.

So after eight runs, there's the Yankees MVP writhing in pain on the SkyDome carpet. As Joe Torre noted after the game, that base has been unkind to the Yankees, it having also been the scene of Derek Jeter's separated shoulder on opening day, 2003. Luckily, Sheff was able to walk off the field (leaning heavily on Torre) and his X-Rays are reportedly negative.

Alex Rodriguez capped off the scoring with a homer, which will probably earn him a gripe for his "inconsequential home runs" in Lupica's column.

Lupica may, however, forget to be mean to Mariano Rivera, who after pitching out of a 2 out, 2 on jam with a 9-6 lead in the 8th, came back for the 9th inning to earn a pretty cheap 12 run lead save.

As for Sheff, my Brother-in-Blog offers the following advice over on the Page o' Stuff:

Wrap it up Sheff, ice for the next 24 and increase your Vioxx dose to the max
allowed, then walk it off babe, you can rest it after we've brought the trophy
home and dumped confetti on ya.

Hear, hear! Boston won last night, to extend its current win streak to five, and remain 5 1/2 games back.

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