Derek Holland had a decent start, but it was by no means spectacular. It didn’t really seem like he lacked confidence, he just didn’t have the best stuff. He battled, and he did a pretty good job, except for a 3-run homer to Jorge Posada in the 2nd inning. He gave up another home run last night in the 4th inning – a solo shot to former Ranger Jerry Hairston, Jr.
I guess when you take into account that 1) Dutch gives up a fair amount of home runs, 2) the Yankees lead the majors in home runs, and 3) more home runs have been hit in Yankee Stadium this year than in any other park in the majors, it doesn’t really add up to a successful night for the Rangers.
Even though the Yankees lead 4-0 after the 4th inning, the Rangers looked like they were getting ready to fight back. David Murphy drove in both of the Rangers runs, with an RBI double in the 5th and a solo home run in the top of the 7th, to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-2. Murph wasn’t even in the original lineup last night, but when Marlon Byrd had to go to the hospital with kidney stones, he stepped in. Great job!
I’m guessing that Murph will be back in the game today, because Marlon is still having pain. Anyway, Murphy was on a roll helping to get the Rangers back in the game. But then came the bottom of the 7th and Jason Jennings.
Dutch started the 7th inning, but left after giving up a double to Robinson Cano and walking Jerry Hairston, Jr. He wasn’t able to get any outs So JJ came in with 2 men on base and no outs, and Wash was hoping JJ would be able to shut down the Yankees. Yeah, that didn’t exactly happen.
Melky Cabrera hit a sacrifice bunt, but due to a fielding error by Jennings, he was able to reach base safely. So now, instead of a man on 1st and 2nd and no outs, they had the bases loaded with no outs. Lovely.
Then Derek Jeter singled, scoring Cano and Hairston. 6-2 Yankees. Great. Then Nick Swisher doubled, driving in Melky Cabrera. 7-2 Yankees. Fantastic. Then Mark Teixeira singled to score Jeter and Swisher. 9-2 Yankees. Freakin’ A, are you kidding me??
The Yankees scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th before A-Rod hit into a double play to finally put a damper on the rally. When the 8th inning came around, Doug Mathis took the mound to pitch for the Rangers instead of JJ.
And today, I read on several blogs that the Rangers DFA’d Jennings (Designated For Assignment – meaning they’ve removed him from the 40-man roster), and they brought up 24-year-old minor league pitcher Pedro Strop to take his place. Coincidence? I think not. JJ hasn’t been doing too well in his last few outings, but this seems a little severe. In the next 10 days, the Rangers will have to decide whether they want to 1) place JJ on waivers, 2) trade him, or 3) release him.
Today’s pitching matchup:
Dustin Nippert (4-2) against the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett (10-7). I know the Rangers would love to come back and win this game, since it would mean that they win the series. And Dustin Nippert has done a pretty fabulous job for us this season, so we’ve definitely got a shot. But I predicted that we would only win one game in this series, and we already won the first game, so I won’t be too disappointed if we lose.
Terminology: Games like these are often called a “rubber games,” or the “rubber match” of the series. That means they’re a tie-breaker. I wiki’d “rubber match,” and apparently the term comes from some English game called “bowls,” which is supposedly kind of like bocce ball. Whatever. Anyway, the third game of a series is called a “rubber game” when the the first two games were split (meaning one game was won by each team), and the third game determines who wins the series.
Originally published August 26, 2009