A Long Day For Yankees Ends With 5-3 Victory

This day started with many members of the Yankees Organization, including Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, and Andy Pettitte, attending a Farewell Memorial Service, in Oklahoma City, for Bobby Murcer, who passed away on July 12th after a long battle with brain cancer.

Jeter and Pettitte were the only current Yankee players to attend, representing the rest of the team.

Then, during the afternoon, it was announced that Joba Chamberlain was placed on the 15-game disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis. Not many more details were given regarding this very devastating injury.

It goes without saying, this is a major loss for the Yankees; and, the way it looks now, there is much uncertainty surrounding this injury. So, it’s basically, wait and see, and pray that Joba makes a full recovery.

In the end, though, I think, Joba Chamberlain’s role on the Yankees pitching staff should not be compromised. At this point, Joba is a starting pitcher; and, if there is any “doubt” that the injury is more serious than reported, Joba Chamberlain should be shut-down for the remainder of the 2008 season. In my view, a return to the bullpen should not be part of the discussion, and really not be an option, if Joba is not able to continue as a starter this year. Also, whatever happens the rest of this year should not prevent Joba from being in the starting rotation, from spring training, on, in the 2009 season.

All this leads to yesterday’s game, which was a “must-win” game for the Yankees, as they lost the first two games of this series to the Texas Rangers, 9-5, and, 8-6. A big victory was needed to get the Bronx Bombers back on a winning track.

Former Texas Ranger, Sidney Ponson, was the Yankees starting pitcher, and the Yanks were hopeful that Ponson would deliver another great effort — as good as his last start when he shut-down the Boston Red Sox over seven masterful scoreless innings at Fenway last week, in the Yankees 1-0 loss to the Sox. Ponson did not get a decision in that contest, but pitched well enough to earn the victory.

Well, Mr. Ponson did turn in a great performance last night, as he threw 95 pitches, over 6 1/3 solid innings, allowing three runs, on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts, to earn the win in this game. Sidney now has a (7-2) record this season; and, is (3-1) in his seven starts as a Yankee.

The Rangers took an early 2-0 lead in this game in the second inning, when Ponson loaded the bases, and Chris Davis drove home both runs on a two-RBI single.

The inning ended with a violent collision at the plate between Ivan Rodriguez and David Murphy, when Murphy was trying to score on Ian Kinsler’s single. Bobby Abreu fired the ball home, and both the ball and Murphy arrived at the plate at the same time, resulting in David Murphy sliding into I-Rod with his knee, as Rodriuez placed the tag on him. The collision knocked both players down on the ground, but the out was made. 

Both Ivan Rodriguez and David Murphy had to leave the game, as the Rangers headed into the top of the third with the 2-0 lead.

The Yankees charged right back, and scored three runs in the third. Singles by Robinson Cano and Jose Molina [who replaced Ivan Rodriguez] started the inning off. Then, a RBI double, by Wilson Betemit, drove home Cano for the first run by the Bombers, followed by a fielders choice RBI grounder by Damon, and a RBI single by Jeter, that moved the Yankees into the lead 3-2.

Jason Giambi led off the 4th inning with his 22nd homer of the year giving the Yanks a 4-2 lead.

In the 5th inning, the Yankees scored again, on a single by Johnny Damon (2-for-5), and a RBI double by Derek Jeter (2-for-4), with two RBI’s. The Rangers starter, Hunter (0-1), was replaced by the bullpen in the middlle of this inning, as the Yanks now had a 5-2 lead.

Sidney Ponson settled down after the second inning, and threw scoreless innings in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

Michael Young hit a lead off homerun in the bottom of the 6th, making the score, 5-3, which completed the scoring this night.

The Yankee middle relievers held the lead until Mariano Rivera entered the game in the 9th inning. The “Great Mariano” then closed out this 5-3 win, recording his 27th save.

This was a very important victory for the Yankees, as they go for the split in game 4 of this series, with Mike Mussina pitching for his 15th win this season. 

After the game, Derek Jeter was interviewed by Kim Jones of the Yes Network, and when talking about the Memorial Service for Bobby Murcer earlier in the morning, Jeter said, “this game, and win, was dedicated to Bobby Murcer”.

So, this game had even more meaning for the Yankees, and it is very fitting that this victory was in the memory of the great Yankee, Bobby Murcer. 

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8 comments

  1. seanserritella

    Ponson has surprised me. I thought he would get rocked when I heard that the Yankees signed him. Mariano never gets old. It amazes me how great he is and how he could continue pitching at such a high level. Anway, nice write up.

    Yankees Daily

  2. jimmy27nyy

    Sean,

    Sidney Ponson has really given the Yankees more than they could have imagined. His last two starts, especially, the 7 scoreless innings against the Red Sox [at Fenway], have come at a time the Yankees needed these great performances the most . The Yanks have had so many injuries, its great to see Ponson deliver some big starts … And, Mariano Rivera has been his “Hall of Fame” self this year. What more can we say? This is probably Mariano’s best year. Where would the Yankees be without him? Or, where would we be, without the great year Mike Mussina is having? … Thanks for the comments, Sean !!!

  3. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, David …

    Yeah, the Yankees, again, were playng for the split; and, Sidney Ponson and Mike Mussina, both had great pitching performances … This was the same situation like the weekend series vs. the Angels at the Stadium. The Yanks lost the first two games, then won the final two … Same in Texas, lose two, then they won these last two games … This has been how the Yankees have played all year – Very Inconsistent !!! … Now, onto L.A., and three games against the Angels. It’s Kennedy in the first game, so we don’t know what to expect. If he can give the Yanks “five” strong innings, allowing “ony” three runs – I would be happy. We will see what happens tonight … Take care, David. Thanks for the comments !!!

  4. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, David …

    I checked out the profile of Jhonny Nunez on your blog, and like I said in my comments, I don’t know what the Yankees see in this pitcher … He walks too many batters, and gives up way too many homeruns … The Yankees should have gotten much more in this deal, but if it was my decision, I would not have traded Alberto Gonzalez … I would much rather have Gonzalez on the bench as the Yankees backup infielder, then Wilson Betemit … In my view, Alberto Gonzalez has many great qualities that will make him a “star player” in the near future … This was a great deal for the Washington Nationals, and a trade I wish the Yankees did not make !!! … also, David, the “Player To Watch” feature on your “The Hot Corner” blog is a really great idea … I encourage everyone to check out David’s blog, and offer some comments on his excellent posts !!! … It’s: – “The Hot Corner” — http://dailyrant.mlblogs.com/

  5. ricter

    Dude! Ponson threw his weight around on that mound and pushed around the Rangers! THEN the Texas Rangers got into a scuffle with a Moose and got the short end of that stick.

    Lets go clip some Angels’ wings this weekend…whatdaya say?

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Hi Michael,

    Two very big wins by the Yankees — BOTH MUST-WINS !!! …
    Ponson has really stepped up to the plate and delivered really big starts … And, where would we be without Mike Mussina??? … Moose is on his way to his first 20-win season, and the Cy Young Award !!! … also, Mariano Rivera [MVP?] … Both, Mo and Moose, are the main reasons that the Yankees are still in this race … And, its good to see Jeter have a great game yesterday [3-hits] … We go for the sweep this weekend vs. the Angels … Go Yankees !!!

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