September 23, 2010 – 2:01 pm

Tampa Bay 7, NYY 2.. This one was ugly. A two hour rain delay in the third turned what was possibly shaping up as a pitchers duel in to a bullpen duel, and apparently Joe Girardi wanted nothing to do with that, as he ran out the second string relievers who were all terribly out-matched. And this time I guess I can see Girardi’s logic. The best you can probably hope for in this series is winning 3-of-4, and with two games in hand and CC Sabathia going in the final game, why not concede game three and keep the top relievers fresh? So tonight’s game could easily be for the division title. If the Yankees lose, they will have but a half game lead, and with the remaining schedule that both teams have, the advantage sure goes to the Rays. But if the Yankees win, that gives them a 2.5 game lead, which might be just enough to offset the schedule differences. Plus, CC vs. David Price could well be a preview of the opening game of the ALCS — ah, but we do get ahead of ourselves.

About the only good news to come out of this one is that Derek Jeter continues to hit, and even in the No. 2 slot in the order which has been troublesome for him. Jeter is now working on an eleven game hitting streak, and over that time period he’s got a .327 BA and .404 OBP. That’s the Jeter we need to show up in October. Let’s hope this isn’t just a small sample size glitch, and that he’s finally back to hitting like the back of his baseball card says he should. Box Score | FanGraphs Game Graph | PitchFX Game Tool

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