Winning The Ugly Ones

May 2, 2009 – 10:00 am

NYY 10, Los Angeles 9.  The Yankees and the Angels bullpens have the two worst ERAs in the league, so you have to figure that in any game between these teams it ain’t going to be over until it’s over.  And sure enough, that’s what happened last night.  Andy Pettitte again struggled mightily, although in true Pettitte style he held the Angels scoreless through five.  And in fact he probably should have gotten out of the 6th with only one run scored had not Ramiro Pena let a hard hit ground ball through (it was generously scored a hit).  But at that point Girardi went to the bullpen — understandably so this time, as Pettitte was clearly out of gas — and all hell proceeded to break loose, as one could easily have predicted.  And so a 4-0 lead quickly became a 9-4 deficit going in to the bottom of the 8th.

But then the Angels bullpen imploded even worse than the Yankee’s had.  In what was truly a “team” effort, nearly everyone seemed to contribute to the rally.  Robbie Cano got key hits in both the 8th and the 9th, Pena redeemed his fielding blunder with a 2-RBI hit in the 8th, even struggling Mark Teixeira did about all he seems capable of doing right now by getting a lead-off walk in the 9th and scoring what ultimately was the game winning run.  And of course it was Jorge Posada who drove in the winning run.

If you like good pitching — and who doesn’t, right? — then this game was truly ugly.  But winning ugly is what ultimately makes champions.  It’s not enough to win when you’re hitting on all cylinders.  Pulling games like this out of the fire makes the difference.  This game was a very good sign for the Yanks.

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