We heard the new Yankee stadium was a bit of a home run friendly park; I guess they weren't lying. The Rays hit seven home runs in the two game set including a team record tying six home runs on this night. While tying the team record for home runs in a game, the Rays made some history against some of the best pitchers in Yankee history.
The Rays started the home run parade early as Jason Barlett took Andy Pettitte deep on the third pitch of the game. MVB is now one home run away from tying his career high of five in a season. Carlos Pena would add his major league leading 13th home run just three batter later and is on pace for 61 homer this year. Evan Longoria would take Pettitte deep in the third inning on a two run shot, his ninth of the season and first of two on the night. Late inning lightning, Ben Zobrist struck again breaking a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning with a home run that was crushed into left field. The Rays would hit those four home runs off of Yankees' starter Andy Pettitte, who surrendered four home runs in one start for the first time in 442 major league appearances.
While all those home runs were great, they weren't quite as great as the final two Rays' home runs of the night. After Dan Wheeler gave up another game tying home run, the game was tied 6-6 headed into the night inning. Then the music played...with Enter Sandman blasting over the PA system, Mariano Rivera entered a tie game in the ninth inning for a second straight night. Also for the second straight game, Rivera would be facing the top of the Rays order. Just like last night and so many times before, Rivera got the leadoff man, in this instance, Jason Barlett swinging on a third strike cutter. However, that would be the last similarity of the evening for Rivera.
It's no secret that Carl Crawford has been having much better at-bats lately. He's taking pitches, he's walking, and he's getting on-base. Basically, CC has turned in to exactly the hitter we've all wanted him to be for years now. The only thing that has been missing from Crawford's game has been power. After striking out looking against Rivera on just three pitches last night, CC had one of the best at-bats of his career tonight.
- 1st pitch cutter: Ball
- 2nd pitch cutter: Swinging Strike
- 3rd pitch cutter: Called Strike
Here is where the battle began:
- 4th pitch fastball: Foul
- 5th pitch cutter: Foul
- 6th pitch cutter: Foul
- 7th pitch cutter: Ball
- 8th pitch cutter: Ball
- 9th pitch cutter: In play, run(s)
On the ninth pitch and eighth cutter of the at-bat, Crawford took Rivera deep into the right field stands for his first home run of the season. Even more importantly, he gave the Rays a 7-6 lead. For Rivera it was the third home run he's given up this season, but the first home run he's given up in the new stadium. It was the 56th time in his career that he's given up a home run. Rivera has given up two home runs in a game one other time, however never in his career has been been taken back to back....until tonight.
After working a 2-2 count on four straight cutters, Rivera would throw a four seam fastball middle in to Evan Longoria and history was made. Longoria turned on the offering and deposited his second home run of the game and 10th on the season into the left field seats giving the Rays an 8-6 lead and joining Carl Crawford as the first duo to hit back to back home runs off the greatest relief pitcher of all time. After a 1-2-3 inning from Brian Shouse and Joe Nelson, the Rays were 8-6 winners.
Take my hand
Were off to never never land...or Boston