It was a game in July, but it felt like the middle of October. It is a game that you are going to have to watch to believe. It was a game that was for the ages. Last night's Yankees Victory over the Red Sox, more than just the completion of a sweep, it was a statement.
The Yankees came into the series with a five and a half game lead over the Red Sox, by the first pitch on Thursday night, that lead was seven and a half games. It was a must win game for The Red Sox and their ace Pedro Martinez took the hill. Pedro picked up where he left off last year. After Gary Sheffield disrupted Pedro's focus by calling for time, Pedro plunked him with the baseball. After that, you could almost feel the air turn into the crisp October air this game deserved.
Tony Clark, who followed Sheffield in the batting order, took a Pedro Martinez pitch deep over the right center field fence, giving the Yankees a two-zero lead. In the fifth inning Posada added an insurance run with a solo home run to right field. Brad Halsey was pitching well, holding the Red Sox scoreless into the sixth inning where it fell apart for him. Hideki Matsui misplayed a David Ortiz pop fly to left, and Manny Ramirez, the next batter, crushed a home run to center field to draw the score to three to two.
The Sox managed to tie the score at 3-3 in the seventh, when both teams turned to their bullpens. That's when the heroics began. Uber-Yankee, Derek Jeter added to the Jeter-lore when he flew into the stands after catching a fly ball, nearly breaking his jaw. Alex Rodriguez made a bases loaded diving catch and turned a double play, shifting the momentum to the Yankees. Miguel Cairo tripled to lead off the 12th inning, but was left stranded at 3rd base and the score remained three to three in the 13th inning.
Manny Ramirez came up in the 13th inning and blasted a solo home run into left field. It gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead, but everyone watching had a feeling that it was not over yet - after all, it was a Yankees/Red Sox game. When Ruben Sierra laced a two strike, two out single into right field which was followed by a Miguel Cairo double into the right center field gap. Sierra scored on the play and the winning run was in scoring position. John Flaherty, the last player on the Yankees Bench, was called in to pinch hit. He delivered with a long single to left field that scored Cairo, giving the Yankees the sweep and setting up a Subway Series at Shea.
It's been a long time since April when the Red Sox swept the Yankees.