“Godzilla”

Hey, would you look at that… the Yankees and Red Sox are tied for first at the top of the AL East.  It was as simple as that.  The Yankees sweep the Tigers and continue to play well against the Orioles.  At the same time, the Red Sox are slumping and all of a sudden the Yankees are right back at the top of the East.  All we need is one more win and another Red Sox loss and we’ll be the sole leader of the division.  It’s great.  Well, last night’s victory is much thanks to Hideki Matsui (aka “Godzilla”).

Matsui stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at one.  Jim Johnson on the mound, was looking to put the game into extras.  But I think Matsui had different ideas.  Early in the at bat, Matsui breaks his bat, leaving a small section from the bottom of the bat in Matsui’s right hand.  It was a strange looking swing too, I might add.  But he got a new bat and stepped back up to the plate.  With his new bat, Matsui swung at a fastball middle in and demolished it to the right center bleachers.  Right off the bat the crowd at Yankee Stadium erupted as they knew that “Godzilla” had returned.  Matsui was regarded as “Godzilla” while in Japan as he hit many long home runs with a ton of power.  The only thing about his nickname when he came to the Yankees is that the home run power wasn’t as dominant as it was in Japan.  The name “Godzilla” wasn’t used very often but in times like this when he hits a walk off or even just a bomb here and there, “Godzilla” is the name of choice for Yankee fans.

Other than Matsui’s late game jack, defense played a huge part in this game.  Mark Teixeira grounded a ball off the bat of Nick Markakis and fielded it a little bit awkwardly.  He threw a sort of off balanced throw to Jose Molina at home and Molina, who had the wrong foot blocking home plate, swung his glove around in time to tag out the speedy Maicer Izturis.  (Izturiz, who was on first when a hit and run was put on, ran with the pitch and slid into second, not knowing Brian Roberts had hit the ball.  He then got up and started a slow walk back to first thinking the ball may be caught.  When it wasn’t, he ran over to third but that is as far as he got.  He should have scored but his baserunning error cost him and the O’s).  Another great play at the plate came from Molina as well as Phil Coke who was on the mound.  Now, usually a past ball is not a good thing but this one turned into a good thing.  Coke threw one in the dirt and Molina went back to get it as the very speedy Brian Roberts was heading home.  He threw to Coke who was covering the plate and Coke tagged out Roberts who never even touched the plate.  Two amazing plays at the plate saved the tie for the Yankees and the game went into the ninth.  You have to see the video because you can’t really understand how great these plays were.  Here’s the link to the video.

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5652275&c_id=nyy

So, the Yankees played a great overall game.  Offensively, they were a little slow.  The only run before Matsui’s homer was on an Eric Hinske homer.  Same on the other side of the field.  Only a Nick Markakis homer put the O’s on the board.  So, other than the home runs, there was pretty much no offense on either side. 

Pettitte pitched pretty well.  He didn’t get the win though and that’s unfortunate since he deserved the win.  The rest of the pitching was good as well.  Aceves got the win as he pitched the ninth before Matsui’s homer.  Here’s therest of the box score.

Baltimore AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Roberts, B, 2B 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .279
Markakis, RF 4 1 1 1 0 1 3 .291
Jones, A, CF 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 .304
Huff, A, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .257
Mora, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .267
Scott, DH 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .294
Reimold, N, LF 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 .265
Wieters, C 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 .244
Izturis, C, SS 3 0 1 0 0 2 3 .257
Totals 30 1 6 1 3 8 16  
BATTING
2B: Roberts, B (31, Pettitte).
HR: Markakis (10, 1st inning off Pettitte, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Roberts, B 2; Markakis 4; Jones, A; Mora; Wieters; Izturis, C.
RBI: Markakis (60).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Markakis; Roberts, B; Reimold, N.
GIDP: Huff, A; Reimold, N.
Team RISP: 0-for-8.
Team LOB: 6.

BASERUNNING
SB: Jones, A (8, 2nd base off Aceves, A/Molina, J).

 
NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 .318
Damon, LF 3 0 1 0 1 2 1 .279
Teixeira, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .280
Rodriguez, A, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .250
Matsui, H, DH 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 .264
Cano, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .305
Hinske, RF 3 1 1 1 0 1 0 .264
  Swisher, RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .235
Cabrera, Me, CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .278
Molina, J, C 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .255
Totals 29 2 4 2 3 5 7  
BATTING
HR: Hinske (5, 2nd inning off Hernandez, D, 0 on, 0 out), Matsui, H (15, 9th inning off Johnson, Ji, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Damon; Teixeira; Matsui, H 4; Hinske 4.
RBI: Hinske (16), Matsui, H (42).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cano 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING
DP: 2 (Teixeira-Jeter-Teixeira, Jeter-Cano-Teixeira).

 
Baltimore IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Hernandez, D 6.0 3 1 1 3 4 1 3.55
Hendrickson 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.40
Johnson, Ji (L, 3-4) 1.1 1 1 1 0 1 1 3.05
 
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Pettitte 7.1 6 1 1 2 8 1 4.62
Coke 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.86
Aceves, A (W, 6-1) 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 0 2.60

P.S. How ’bout that Kevin Millwood.  Not only did he pitch great enough to stop the Red Sox, but he made two crazy snags against Dustin Pedroia who hit them right back to the mound.  One he caught with his glove, but the second he snagged it with his bare hand.  Very impressive.

-Dillon

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12 comments

  1. popejonash

    The Yanks have started to catch on to a little bit of a roll once again eh. I was there on Saturday to see them edge out the Tigers 2-1 behind big fat CC Sebathia. I’ve just posted a bunch of pics from it if you have time to check them out. Ashhttp://ashleymarshall.mlblogs.com

  2. ryandepaul

    Yes, the walk-off was clutch… well kind of. I don’t know how “clutch” a fly ball to right that carries over the short porch is, but good for Matsui. I’ve never had a problem with Matsui, but man! I can’t stand some of those Yankees announcers, IDK what is worse…
    “A thrilla from Godzilla!”
    or
    “An A-bomb, from A-Rod!”

  3. raysfanboy

    Wow. That video says it all. I read about the play somewhere else, but you have to see it, I guess. That doesn’t happen often, so when it does you have to appreciate it.

    How has Matsui been for you guys this year? I haven’t heard his name much over the course of the season and I wonder if he’s fallling off the map.
    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

  4. crazy19canuck

    Congrats on first place! I thought Matsui was still hurt – guess not. Kudos to him. Hope you guys enjoy the time in first – RSN is not liable to let you stay there long, and we’re kinda missing our time at the top too.
    Ginny
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

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