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Sunday, July 6, 2008

New York State of Mind

Down 2-1, bases loaded with no outs in the top of the ninth. Yankee Stadium, Mariano Rivera on the mound. That's a dream scenario for somebody (anybody) to step up for the Boston Red Sox but with the last three positional players you'd want up in that spot, the Yankees escaped 2-1 with a win yesterday afternoon that you'd have to see to believe.

Coco Crisp meekly struck out for the first out in the ninth, Jason Varitek popped out and Julio Lugo fittingly ended it with another strikeout.

After taking the first two games of the series, a win yesterday would have been beautiful as the Yankees are quickly fading into oblivion in the AL East.

New York (46-42) got a fine start from Mike Mussina (11-6). The Moose went six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, one walk and striking out five before leaving with "dizziness." The Yankees' bat boys Cheech and Chong were seen outside Hank Steinbrenner's office after the game.

Melky Cabrera had an RBI single in the second with the bases loaded and then rookie Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth, scoring Wilson Betemit.

After J.D. Drew (2 hits) singled to open the ninth and Manny Ramirez was hit for the third time in the game, Mike Lowell knocked in Drew with an RBI single.

Sox (52-38) rookie Justin Masterson pitched well but once again he didn't have luck or much help from Boston's offense.

Masterson (4-3) also lasted six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Javier Lopez-who has been Boston's best reliever in the last month-had a clean seventh and Mike Timlin had a 1-2-3 eighth.

The Yanks got scoreless innings from the unlikely combination of Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth.

If nothing else, the immortal Rivera (23 saves) had to throw 25 pitches, making him less than 100% going into tonight's series finale.

Tim Wakefield goes up against Joba Chamberlain. I look forward to watching Joba, the next big thing, be worked over by a patient Sox offense that will make him throw say 100 pitches in 4.2 innings.

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