In a day/night doubleheader against the heavily slumping Red Sox, the Yankees won 6-2 in game one and lost 7-4 in 14 innings in game two. With the Tampa Bay Ray win, they now hold a one game lead in the American League wild card standings as each team has three games left to play.
In the early game, two very unlikely suspects who will most likely not play predominant roles in the playoffs stole the show: AJ Burnett and Jorge Posada. AJ Burnett looked, well, great. He went 7.2 innings and only allowed two earned runs on five hits. He also struck out six and only walked two. Jorge Posada crushed a two-run homer in the third that would prove to be the game-winning runs. The curtain call was emotional, as Jorge pounded his heart as he pointed to the fans – we may have witnessed the last great memory for Jorge Posada in a Yankee uniform.
In the nightcap, the Yankee offense kept rolling, with a three-run RBI double by Mark Teixeira in the first. Due to throwing errors on the Sawks, Teix came in to score. Then, John Lackey surprisingly turned it on and kept the bats silent for the last five innings. Eventually, Boston came back to tie it up and take the lead before Brett Gardner scored on a Chris Dickerson sac fly in the seventh.
You have to give friend of the blog Jonathon Papelbon credit, because he recorded seven outs against the tough part of the Yankee lineup without allowing a hit. In fact, the Boston bullpen only allowed one hit over the last seven innings of play. The game ended on a three-run blast by Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the 14th inning, which could end up to be a season saver for the Red Sox.
The Yankees have three games left on the schedule, all against the surging Tampa Bay Rays. It will be interesting to see who the Yankees trot out to face the Rays, because the Yankees are locked into first in the AL while the Rays are fighting for a playoff birth. Regardless, Phil Hughes will get the start tomorrow while the Rays will start James Shields.