Yanks honor Boss, Sheppard with incredible walk off

CC didn’t have his best stuff but didn’t take the loss and Swish Dog went 3-for-5 with three RBI to redeem himself and give the Yanks a 5-4 walk-off win on an emotional night in the Bronx.

Prior to the game, the Yanks honored longtime owner George Steinbrenner and longtime PA announcer Bob Sheppard with a special ceremony. The shindig included video tributes to both men, a speech from Jeter before a moment of silence and Mo leaving a pair of roses on home plate — one for GMS and one for the Voice of God. Between innings the big screen in center field played video tributes to Steinbrenner and other memories, such as his appearance on Saturday Night Live from the early 90’s and player reactions to his passing.


Both men, Mr. George Steinbrenner and Mr. Bob Sheppard, cared deeply about their responsibilities to this organization and to our fans…Simply put, Mr. Steinbrenner and Mr. Sheppard both left this organization in a much better place than when they first arrived.

In addition, Paul Olden announced the lineups and umpires prior to first pitch and then the PA booth remained silent in honor of Sheppard. Furthermore, the Bleacher Creatures didn’t do Roll Call — something that hasn’t happened since 1999 — out of respect. Also, all flags at the stadium — including each of the championship banners — were at half staff.

Sabathia, who came in 11-0 with a 2.03 ERA at home since the 2009 All-Star Break (15 starts) and hasn’t lost a regular season game at The Stadium since July 2, 2009, pitched seven innings and gave up four runs — three earned — on eight hits with four walks. Big Stoppa hasn’t lost since a May 23 game against the Mets. He also recorded his 1,700th career strikeout with six on the evening. The big guy failed to win his ninth straight start, something that hasn’t been done since Ron Guidry won 11 in a row in 1979, but more importantly the Yanks got the win.

Trailing 3-1 in the sixth, Mystique and Aura made an appearance. Cano, who was 13-for-31 with two homers against “Big Game” James Shield coming into the at-bat, hit the hell out of a ball to right-center and Georgie juiced one for the Yanks’ third pair of back-to-back jacks this season. It was the first time in Posada’s career he hit a home run on a 3-0 count and he moved in front of A-Rod for seventh place on the franchise list with his 253rd longball. “Sado” also moved past Joe Torre and Bobby Murcer for 191st on the all-time homer list while the hit itself tied him with Frank Crosetti for 18th on the franchise hit list with number 1,541.

The Rays took the lead in the seventh as Upton singled and Crawford hit a ball to right. Instead of hitting the cut off man, Swish — who also let a ball drop earlier in the game, but led to no runs — threw to third to try and get Upton which allowed Crawford to go to second. Longoria was intentionally walked and Upton eventually scored on a Zobrist ground out.

After D-Rob fanned the side in the eighth, Swisher atoned for his miscues with a game-tying BOMB to right (it should have been his second dingy of the game but Gabe Kapler robbed him in the fifth). Then the magic happened in the ninth.

Upton finagled a leadoff single off of Mo but was subsequently picked off. It was Mo’s fifth career pick off and first since May 21, 2003 against Boston. Crawford and Longoria were murked and the Yanks went to work off Choate. Granderson led off with a single and moved to second with a pinch-hit bunt from Ramiro Pena. Gardy then drew a walk and Dan Wheeler came on in relief, setting up Jeter to play the role of hero on an epic night, but he went down swinging. Lance Cormier was called in from the bullpen and everybody’s favorite All-Star then smacked a ball to right that Grandy came around to score on and the rest is history. It was the cock blocker’s third career walk-off hit, and second with the Yanks — both coming against the Rays.

It was only fitting that #42 got the win in the Yanks’ 42nd home game of the year…and such a special day.

Holy christ what a win. The Yanks got AJ going tomorrow against Jeff Niemann on Old Timers’ Day, but I don’t know how they can possibly top Friday’s game.

Shit I didn’t like: In his first four at-bats of the night, Jeter saw seven pitches. SEVEN F’ING PITCHES IN FOUR AT-BATS. He now has two hits in his last 20 at-bats and is hitting .270 with an OPS of .722. It’s getting interesting to see what will happen with his contract negotiations at the end of the season. Sorry to go off on a rant after such a magical win, but it’s moments like the ninth inning that, in the past, we’d all expect Jeet to come through. Almost like it was scripted for him. But tonight I felt like I knew he wasn’t going to come through. Scary.

Shit I did like: Prior to the game, the Yanks sent Kevin Russo down to Triple-A and recalled Juan Miranda. Miranda started at DH on Friday and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. You can’t get mad at him since he hasn’t played in the Bigs since June 1, and I’m glad they made a change. Hopefully soon they’ll make a trade for a big-time DH bat…Sergio Mitre is with the team and is expected to throw a side session on Saturday. When he comes back he should inject life into a less-than-stellar bullpen…Ace is expected to resume playing catch sometime this weekend.


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Tags: Bob Sheppard CC Sabathia Curtis Granderson David Robertson George Steinbrenner Jorge Posada Mariano Rivera Nick Swisher Robinson Cano

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