Ichiro Suzuki joined an elite group of batters to reach 4000 career hits as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 4 – 2.
The mood in Fenway Park was white hot as Ryan Dempster struck Alex Rodriguez in the 2nd to draw warnings from the home plate umpire and incense Yankees manager Joe Girardi to the point he was ejected from the remainder of the game. A-Rod would have the last laugh as he later homered and his obvious delight was clear as he rounded the bases to a huge chorus of boo’s and helped the Yankees to a 9 – 6 victory over their bitter rivals. One thing for sure, Rodriguez clearly feeds off the Red Sox intense hatred, helping himself to three hits, two RBI’s and two runs.
The late acquisition of Alfonso Soriano may be the last throw of the dice for the Yankees distant play off hopes, and tonight against a faltering Angels he produced another inspired performance with 7 RBI’s including two home runs. In addition, he is one of only three major league batters in the history of the game to score 6 or more RBI’s in consecutive games. Angels starter Jered Weaver was the man put to the sword by the Yankees slugger, giving up 9 runs in 5 innings. The final score was 11 – 3.
As the Yankees continue to hang on to play off hopes by a thread, their exciting walk off win against the Tigers tonight 5 – 4 offered up more intrigue beyond the obvious excitement of the final score against one of their fiercest rivals.
Mariano Rivera gave up an unprecedented third blown save, and although coach Joe Girardi and fans may be inwardly concerned, one can’t see any possibility that there would be a change of closer during the regular season, unless he continues to struggle and it comes down to the wire. The possibility of play off baseball weighs far higher than sentiment.
After a mixed reception from Yankees fans on his return, Alex Rodriguez turned boo’s into cheers as he hit a home run and drove in two runs. Who says baseball fans are fickle? Maybe they see A-Rod’s inclusion in the team whilst he appeals the suspension by MLB’s drug enforcement agency as a vital cog in any possibility of play off baseball.
Not only was Brett Gardner’s first ever walk off home run a complete surprise, but did anyone notice who he passed his helmet to before the inevitable home plate celebrations…..? A-Rod ! If anyone told me the 3rd baseman had lost support from the locker room then Gardner’s small gesture of inclusion said more than any words could express.