The Yankees picked up an exciting come-from-behind victory in the first of four against Seattle, beating the Mariners 3-1.
Andy Pettitte and Jason Vargas were locked in a classic pitcher's duel until the bottom of the sixth, when another Pettitte throwing error to first base on a bunt allowed Seattle to score its only run of the game. Given the way Vargas kept inducing high pop-up after high pop-up, that actually looked like it was going to be enough to keep the Yankees at bay.
However, Alex Rodriguez had other plans. A-Rod walked to lead off the 8th, followed by a Robinson Cano single. A wild pitch put A-Rod on third, enabling a Jorge Posada double play to score Alex and tie the game. Obviously with runners on first and third and none out you'd like to see Jorgie not make two outs, but at least he hit the ball in such a way that it allowed A-Rod to score easily.
An inning later Alex found himself in the middle of the action again, with a rare Derek Jeter walk and Nick Swisher double responsible for runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs. A-Rod came through big time, plating both runs on a huge RBI single, and also picking Mark Teixeira up in the process, who had popped out to the catcher.
Not to take anything away from Jason Vargas, who had a terrific outing against the Yankees (7+IP, 1ER, 9H, 2BB, 3K) but just who the hell is Jason Vargas, anyway? I know I discussed him in the series preview and acknowledged his impressive numbers, but I'd never heard of him prior to yesterday, and before things went to pot in the eighth it looked like he might pitch a complete game shutout.
Additionally, it feels like the Yankees have faced a lefty starter practically every other game this season. While this isn't quite the case, they have seemingly faced a disproportionate number of lefties.
For the Yankees, Pettitte was brilliant yet again, throwing eight innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts, and leading the Yankees to the first six-game winning streak of the season.
As great as this win was, Yankee fans woke up to even bigger news this morning, as Joel Sherman broke the story that the team is supposedly close to obtaining Cliff Lee for a package centered around crown jewel of the farm system Jesus Montero. I'm all about getting Cliff Lee; however, I'm all about getting him after the season, when we don't have to surrender prospects.
This move rings false to me for a wide variety of reasons, perhaps none moreso than the fact that it goes completely against Brian Cashman's MO since taking full control as General Manager. Cashman's shown great restraint in not surrendering prospects and waiting to be able to acquire his targets for nothing but money, and dumping Montero for a four-month rental of Lee just seems like crazycakes to me. Obviously they'd plan to resign him in the offseason, but they don't even really need Lee right now. Clearly he would make the rotation nearly unstoppable, but the pitching's been the reason the Yankees sit where they do right now, and frankly what the Yankees really need is another bat.
Anyway, until we hear anything official it's all speculation, and I don't want to waste any more time writing about it until it becomes a done deal. Oh, and if the Yankees do decide to give up their best hitting prospect in years for Lee, they really oughta complete the deal before tonight, before Lee shuts them out while he's still a Mariner.