Today was supposed to be a getaway game. A West Coast road trip without an off day was looming over the Yanks and the best case scenario would have been to get out of there quickly with a win, and board the plane to Seattle. The length of the game turned out to be the least of their problems.
It started as soon as the Yankees came to the plate. Leading off the bottom of the first, Jeter was in the hole 1-2 against Ricky Romero when he took a curveball off the top of his unprotected right foot. It didn't appear certain that he would stay in the game, but he hobbled to first, advanced to third on a double by Johnny Damon and scored on a grounder by Jorge Posada.
The Jays answered with a homer in the 2nd by Randy Ruiz, his second in as many nights. The Yanks added two more in the 3rd and 4th on solo shots by Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano to retake the lead and subsequently stretch the margin to 3-1. In between those two, Ramiro Pena was brought in for Jeter at shortstop, which is never a good sign. X-Rays were negative on his foot but Jeter may still need some time off to recover.
Through his first five innings, A.J. Burnett managed to distribute 7 hits, a walk and a wild pitch such that Ruiz's solo shot was the only run scored against him. In the sixth, however, it caught up to him. After retiring Vernon Wells, he allowed back to back singles to Ruiz and Edwin Encarnacion. A.J. followed this up with another wild pitch, which moved the runners over, and a single, which scored Ruiz. He got Joe Inglett to strike out for the second out of the inning, but with an 0-2 count on Marco Scutaro, Burnett's third wild pitch of the day rolled far enough away from Posada for Encarnacion to tie the score at 3.
From our seats in Sec. 410, none of those wild pitches, let alone all of them, looked like they should have been scored as such. This might explain why Burnett didn't want to talk about them after the game. David Robertson threw another one that hit Posada in the glove in the 7th inning which was also scored a WP. Shortly thereafter, Jorge was hit by a foul tip on his bare throwing hand, but unlike Jeter, remained in the game for the duration.
After Burnett exited the game, the Yanks bullpen was once again flawless. Phil Coke, D-Rob and Phil Hughes combined to keep the Blue Jays off the board through the end of regulation, at which point Chad Gaudin made his Yankee debut. While the Yanks went down in order in the bottom of the 9th and 10th, Gaudin kept the Jays off the board in the tops of the 10th and 11th.
Just like Jeter in the first, A-Rod was hit by a pitch leading off the
inning. Also like The Captain, A-Rod stayed down for an extended period of time while Joe Girardi and Gene Monahan checked where he had been hit above his elbow protector. Knowing that some majorly awkward defensive switches were going to have to be made, A-Rod gutted it out and took his place at first base. The other walking wounded, Posada, singled to left and moved A-Rod to second. Robinson Cano stood at the plate, with runners in scoring position no less, and ripped the first pitch he saw into the gap in right center, it one bounced against the wall, and that was that.
It wasn't an expedient at 3 hours and 56 minutes, nor was is painless, with three very close calls on injuries during the game. Now the Yanks have are headed out to Seattle with three nicked up core starting players and a taxed bullpen, but they finished the homestand at 6-1 and still hold a 5.5 game lead over the Sox, who won easily behind Josh Beckett.