Game 135 / 76-59 / 2nd / -1.5 GB : If the New York Yankees do indeed catch Toronto and win the division, this will be the game to look back on as the catalyst. Down 3-0 in the 6th inning against a pitcher who beats this team like they owe him money, a stunning chain of events resulted in a 4-3 New York lead, and ultimate victory.
This one had it all on the emotional rollercoaster. The sense of dread just having to face Chris Archer. Resignation that all was lost after being down 0-3. Coming to terms with being 2.5 games out as the Jays were clobbering Baltimore. Then a trickle of hope with 2 on and McCann at the plate. Then euphoria. Then more euphoria when A-Rod goes deep. Then unease when Betances gives one up. Then panic when Miller faces the potential go-ahead run at the plate. Then a big exhale. It made me think of the days when the Yankees had a 15 game lead about this time of year, and I didn’t need a straight-jacket until the playoffs started.
Here’s the box score, full recap, and video highlights.
Yankees 6, Rays 4
McCann Takes Archer High And Far
Alex Goes Back to Back
“I think this is a big win for us. We’re facing their ace, who’s been really tough on us for a couple years now. To be able to pull this one out after a frustrating loss yesterday, I think it shows you the character in that room.” ‐ Joe Girardi (h/t: Bill Chastain and Grace Raynor / MLB.com)
MEMORY LANE : On today’s date in the strike shortened 1981 season, the Yankees replaced manager Gene ‘Stick’ Michael with Bob Lemon, who managed the club in 1978-79. New York finished the season half of the season under .500, but would go on to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the ALCS, and sweep the Oakland A’s for the American League pennant. They lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. …. (h/t: Baseball-Reference.com, Today in Baseball History)
FOOTNOTES : A Happy 69th Birthday to Francis Xavier Healy, who caught for the Yankees over the 1976-78 seasons, backing up Thurman Munson.