Not to be overlooked in the excitement/relief over a vintage Andy Pettitte Game 2 outing: contributions from two of Brian Cashman’s trade-deadline acquisitions. The beauty of Cashman’s July moves was that they came with little risk: The Yankees gave up no regulars to acquire Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Austin Kearns. So in a worst-case scenario, if none of them worked out, they’d simply replace other little-used players on the bench — the likes of Juan Miranda, who wouldn’t be seeing action in big spots anyway. And in a best-case scenario, two of the three of them contribute to a key playoff win.
And so last night, Lance Berkman twice gave the Yankees a lead — on his fifth-inning home run, and on his seventh-inning double — while Kerry Wood, who’s become Joe Girardi’s most-trusted reliever after Mariano Rivera, solidified his hold on the eighth-inning job by retiring the side in order. (Perhaps this is the place to note that Joba Chamberlain has yet to appear in this series. For that matter, neither has Kearns.) And for good measure, Curtis Granderson, another Cashman pickup (albeit an off-season one, and one that came with significantly more risk), had three more hits last night, a day after his two-RBI triple capped a four-run rally. Though in Granderson’s case, it’s Kevin Long who looks like the genius.