Yankees-Dodgers: Joe Torre's Men Miss Fat Lady, Blow Lead and Game to New York
As the old saying goes: "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."
With a 6-2 lead heading into the ninth inning, Joe Torre brought in closer Jonathan Broxton despite it not being a save situation.
Broxton had pitched the night before, but Torre, knowing how tough the Yankees are, went to the big righty to shut the door and go home with a series victory. Like the Yankees, when the Dodgers bring in their closer, the fat lady usually starts warming up her vocal chords.
Not on this night. Not for the Dodgers anyway.
The last time the Yankees came back from a four-run deficit this late in a game, Torre was in pinstripes. That day, a few Yankees reserves (Melky Cabrera, Andy Phillips, Miguel Cairo, and Kelly Stinnett) played roles in the comeback victory over the New York Mets.
Last night, a few reserves also had big parts in the comeback. It started with one out when Alex Rodriguez singled, followed by a Robinson Cano double that cut the Dodgers' lead to 6-3. Jorge Posada then grinded out a long at-bat before getting a hit. The next batter, Curtis Granderson, worked a walk to load the bases with one out. That brought up the youngsters.
Recently called-up outfielder Chad Huffman ripped a two-run single to move the Yankees to within one at 6-5. Huffman had entered the game in the fourth inning due to an injury to Brett Gardner.
So, with the lead now cut to one, the Dodgers still could not find the fat lady. The Yankees had runners on the corners with one out. A double play would end the game.
In a gutty at-bat, pinch hitter Colin Curtis hit a ground ball to Dodgers' first baseman James Loney, who had a couple options. He could have thrown home to cut down Granderson, who was on his way to the plate, or could have thrown to second to start a 3-6-3 double play that would have ended the game.
Instead, Loney decided to step on first base for an out and then throw home to try to get Granderson.
No chance! Combine Granderson's speed and Loney's throw that sailed toward the first base side of home plate, and the Yankees had scored the tying run.
Broxton would finish the inning without giving up another run, but you got the feeling the Yankees would not lose the game. Torre, Broxton, and the Dodgers must be awfully mad at the Fat Lady.
Said Joe Girardi: "We kind of stole the momentum there."
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera entered the tie game in the bottom half on the ninth and shut down the Dodgers. Then in the top of the 10th, Cano provided the dramatics.
The second baseman had been 0-for-11 against Dodgers reliever George Sherrill—until this at-bat. Cano drove a pitch over the left-center field wall for a two-run home run that essentially won the game for the Yankees.
Rivera came out for his second inning of work and got out of it without much of a threat. The Yankees finished their West Coast trip 4-2 and now return home to face the Toronto Blue Jays.
The first-place Yankees also went 11-7 in interleague play this season.
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