In the middle of one of the nastiest heat waves of my lifetime -- even Richard Castle wouldn't like THIS heat wave -- the Yankees needed a hot pitcher.
(Yes, that was a Castle reference. "BAM!" said the lady. No, there won't be a Firefly reference in this post.)
They got a hot pitcher in Bartolo Colon (7-6), who revived his revival. He pitched 7 strong innings against the Oakland Athletics, 2 runs, 8 hits but only 1 walk.
He was backed up by Curtis Granderson, who hit his 27th home run of the season in the 5th inning, off Gio Gonzalez (9-7). "BAM!" said the Grandy Man. The Yankees took a 6-2 lead into the top of the 8th.
But Colon had thrown 98 pitches, and, slave to the pitch count, Joe Girardi wouldn't let him back onto the mound even though he was cruising. So he sent in David Robertson. Not a bad move, right? Robertson has been fantastic this season.
Except this time, he nearly blew it, and Girardi had to do what no manager wants to do: Bring Mariano Rivera in for the 8th inning. Somewhere, Luis Arroyo, Sparky Lyle and Goose Gossage all had to be thinking the same thing: "Why not, I used to do that." But while Mo is great for one inning, he's usually not good for two -- the one temper to his supposedly unassailable claim to being the "greatest relief pitcher ever."
Mo got out of the 8th, and it was 6-4. The Yanks got a run in the bottom of the 8th, and, as so often happens, that insurance run was needed. Mo allowed a run in the 9th -- including on a hit by ex-Yankee Hideki Matsui, who went 5-for-5 on top of his home run the day before -- but finally closed it out for his 25th save. Yankees 7, A's 5.
The Yankees' homestand continues against the Seattle Mariners, who gave them no help over the weekend, rolling over and playing dead against The Scum, and putting together a club-record 15-game losing streak. Let's make it 18. Tonight's starting pitchers are Freddy Garcia (8-7) for the Yanks and Jason Vargas (6-8) for the M's.
Jeter hits 3015 DONE
Rivera saves 584 17
A-Rod homers 626 137
A-Rod hits 2762 238