An unexpected turn of events occurred on Wednesday, with the Yankees beating the Rangers and the Giants overcoming the Phillies. Just when everyone thought that the Yankees were out of the playoffs they took advantage of the situation to show off their resiliency. The Giants on the other hand, pushed the Phillies into a situation that nobody expected, elimination.
The Texas Rangers imploded early in the game and the Yankees being as experience as they are took advantage of it, as it was a do or die situation for New York. The Yankees are one game away from going home but they did not budge when in the 2nd inning the Rangers experienced a meltdown. The Yankees rally started with a Jorge Posada single to left that scored Alex Rodriguez and sent Lance Berkman to third base and opened the score 1-0. The following batter, Curtis Granderson singled to right field, which opened the way for Jeff Francoeur to commit a throwing error as he tried to throw out Jorge Posada at third base; the blunder extended when C.J. Wilson overthrew home plate after Berkman scored and allowing Posada to score (3-0). The mishaps continued for Wilson and the Rangers in the 3rd inning, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back homeruns to left field and right field respectively to extend the lead 5-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Rangers opened the score thanks to a Matt Treanor solo home run who filled in for Bengie Molina at catcher (5-1). Minutes later in the bottom part of the inning, Berkman hit a sacrifice fly to center field, which scored Nick Swisher (6-1). The following inning proved to be scary times for the Yankees as C.C. Sabathia loaded the bases on three consecutive singles from Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler and Jeff Francoeur. With the bases loaded, Treanor had another opportunity to cause more damage, but grounded out to Alex Rodriguez whose only play was to first base and allowed Murphy to score for the 6-2 score. The game remained uneventful until the bottom of the eighth when Granderson hit a solo home run off closer Alexi Ogando for the 7-2 final.
C.C. Sabathia was not spectacular as he did give up 11 hits and 1 home run in six innings pitched, but being that he only allowed two runs it was enough to get the Yankees the win. Conversely, C.J. Wilson got lit up for six runs in six innings pitched and suffered his first lost of the postseason.
Later in the day, the San Francisco Giants hosted the Philadelphia Phillies for what proved to be a very exciting game. Although the starting pitching was nothing to brag about, both lineups were very tenacious. Both Joe Blanton and Madison Bumgarner gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
San Francisco got ahead in the bottom of the 1st inning with a single to center field from Buster Posey, which scored Freddy Sanchez for the 1-0 score. Two innings later, Posey executed again with a double to left-center field that score Aubrey Huff to extend the lead 2-0.
It took the Phillies a few innings to reclaim their identity as one of the most offensive driven clubs in the National League, but their bats came to life in the top of the fifth. Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz started the festivities at the very top of the inning with two singles setting up the stage for Shane Victorino. Victorino with runners on the corners singled to center scoring Francisco and almost scoring an aggressive running Ruiz who got thrown out at home made the score 2-1. The feast continued with Chase Utley single to right-center field that moved Victorino to second and finished Bumgarner’s night. The following batter, Placido Polanco welcomed Santiago Casilla to the game with a double to deep center field that scored Victorino and Utley for the 3-2 lead. The pressure of pitching in the playoffs was so intense for Casilla that he walked Ryan Howard, hit Jayson Werth with a pitch and threw a wild pitch while Jimmy Rollins was batting that allowed Polanco to score (4-2).
The Phillies had taken the lead but the Giants refused to relinquish the game at home, as Aubrey Huff hit an rbi single that scored Andres Torres in the bottom of the inning (4-3).
In the bottom of the sixth, newly acclaimed Cody Ross emerged again with an ensuing double. The following batter, Pablo Sandoval also doubled to score Pat Burrell and Ross to reclaim the lead 5-4.
Late in the game, the Phillies proved why they are one of the most feared teams in the league when Werth tied the game 5-5 with a doubled to left field that scored Howard in the top of the eighth inning.
The game remained uneventful until the bottom of the ninth and with a Roy Oswalt on the mound for the Phillies all it suggested is that it would have gone into extra innings but the Giants had different plans. With one out and runners on the corners, Juan Uribe hit the most exciting sacrifice fly of the postseason to left field, which allowed Aubrey Huff to score the game winning run. A jubilant Giants team charged onto the field and stampeded the hero of the night, Juan Uribe to celebrate what could be their first trip to World Series since 2002.
Tonight will be decisive for the Phillies who are facing elimination and the great feat of overcoming “The Freak” Tim Lincecum in an encore of Game 1, which will have Roy “Doc” Halladay on the mound for the Phillies. This crucial duel begins at 7:57 PM EST. The Yankees and the Rangers shift their series to Texas on Friday and are scheduled to play at 8:07 PM EST.