Where to begin? The sloppy baserunning? The Yankees’ inability to drive in base runners early in the game? The shaky start by Javier Vazquez? The equally shaky start by Dontrelle Willis? All the double plays? Yes, any of those would do. But at least the ending was a happy one.
On the night the Diamondbacks announced they would retire Luis Gonzalez’s number, the final innings started to feel a bit too much like a certain game from 2001. After Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly against Aaron Heilman tied the game in the ninth, Curtis Granderson — playing the role of Alfonso Soriano — hit a go-ahead home run (albeit in the tenth inning rather than the eighth). Then Mariano Rivera (seeking a win this time, rather than a save) found himself in a jam in his second inning of work.
Down 6–5, Arizona loaded the bases with no one out on a single, a double, and an intentional walk. But Rivera would get Chris Young and Adam LaRoche to pop out — LaRoche had driven in all five of the Diamondbacks’ runs on the night — then struck out Mark Reynolds to end the game and give the Yankees a series victory. The win also extends their lead in the AL East to two and a half games, thanks to Tampa Bay’s loss to San Diego and Jason Giambi’s walk-off home run against Jonathan Papelbon.