If you’ve followed the Yankees at all this year, you’ve probably heard a little bit about the Jorge Posada drama. Tabbed as the everyday DH this year, he’s been dropped in the batting order, asked out of the lineup all together and finally just benched. It’s always sad when a former great player can no longer play up to his standards, but today he showed a spark of his former greatness.
I wrote right before the game that the Rays were sending Jeremy Hellickson out to the mound in conditions he was not used to, specifically the amount of rest. Pitching on four days rest for the first time in almost two months, Hellickson simply did not have it. Too bad too, as he was pitching in front of his father. He left in the fifth, only losing 3-0, but I would say that he pitched much worse than that. Perhaps he was getting squeezed, but like a catcher, an umpire anticipates pitches. Hellickson wasn’t getting the benefit of the doubt and wasn’t pitching with a very good rhythm either. The infielders behind him were constantly trying to stay loose. All in all, he was really out of sync.
It all came apart for Hellickson and the Rays in the fifth. He allowed a homer to Curtis Granderson to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. A double later and he was out of there. Brandon Gomes was called upon, but he was actually much worse than Hellickson. He walked two to load the bases for Posada. Previously with the bases loaded, Posada knocked in two with a single. This time he hit a grand slam to Posada to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead.
The Rays offense finally woke up a bit against Phil Hughes in the sixth who had been shutting them out on two hits. Desmond Jennings led of the inning with a homer and Johnny Damon followed with a triple. He eventually scored, but the big comeback was not to be. The Yankees added on in the bottom half and beat the Rays 9-2.
Player of the Game: Jorge Posada