Lately, the Yankees have had quite a streak of bad luck having pitchers get hurt. But they were quite fortunate here, as Andy Pettitte narrowly avoided injury in a pregame mishap involving The Banjo Man.
It's Jackie Robinson Day! I thought Derek Jeter looked much bulkier than usual with that extra digit on his back.
First pitch, Rich Harden to Johnny Damon.
"Now batting, #42, Derek Jeter." Roy Steele is back as the PA announcer after missing nearly all of 2006. It was great to hear. His voice sounded pretty much back to its normal, fabulous self.
Andy Pettitte pitches.
Nick Swisher gets brushed back.
Swisher responds to the brushback with a double, which sets up the A's first two runs. How many 42s can you see in this picture?
Mike Piazza dances over a ground ball to Jeter.
Rich Harden pitches.
Piazza squibs one, and Pettitte throws him out. Pettitte cruised after his first inning jitters.
This was pretty much the lone offensive highlight for the A's from innings two through eight. Eric Chavez triples, but is left stranded.
Rich Harden throws, and it's juuuuust a bit high.
Marco Scutaro fails to catch a blooper. Save your cartwheels for later, Marco.
Doug Mientkiewicz tries to score on a wild pitch by Harden, but is tagged out at the plate by Harden.
Uh-oh. A dreaded Larry Davis sighting. Rich Harden has a "tight right shoulder."
I'm thinking, "there goes our hopes for both this game and this season, walking injured off the field."
But this is no day to be bitter. Be thankful for what you have. It's a day of celebration.
Shortly after Harden was replaced by Joe Kennedy, Jorge Posada hits a rocket past third base for a double, setting up a big inning.
Two sacrifice flies later, and the Yankees take the lead.
This is almost a three-run homer by ARod to put the game away, but Nick Swisher robs him. Instead, it's a sac fly to make the score 4-2 Yankees.
Jay Marshall comes in and keeps the Yankees at four runs.
Bottom of the ninth, 4-2 Yankees. Mariano Rivera comes in, and quickly gets the first two outs. All hope seems lost. The A's haven't hit anybody all year, and perhaps the greatest closer of all time is in the game.
But Todd Walker singles to left, and then Jason Kendall walks. Two out, two on, bottom of the ninth for Marco Scutaro.
It's like a scene from the Natural. 34,976 people sit and wait for the inevitable. But then, a solitary figure rises up, waving a rally towel, in an act of defiant faith. Marco Scutaro swings...
...and it's a long drive to left field...is it fair or foul?...It HITS THE POLE!!!
The crowd goes nuts. Everyone is stunned, shocked, struck by total disbelief. Some in despair, others in pure joy.