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That was a week and a half ago. They hadn't lost since. They had come back on Mariano Rivera on Friday night, two outs in the ninth. They had come back from 0-6 down to A.J. Burnett on Saturday, then lapped the Yankees on their way to a 16-11 joyride.

And Pettitte, right now, was searching for the perfect pitch.

"You know," Joe Girardi would say later, "sometimes a pitcher can get extremely locked into trying to get the hitter out and ignore the runner on third that can really run . . ."

He paused, shook his head. "It's a mistake," Girardi said.

It was maybe a millisecond after Pettitte began his windup that he saw Ellsbury make his break, and it was right around then when he wanted to curse himself for not starting in the stretch position. From the Yankees dugout came desperate, guttural warnings, none of them especially useful now. Pettitte tried to improvise: he shortened his delivery, shortened his follow-through, delivered a shot-put of a pitch.

"I tried to put it in a place where maybe we get him out," Pettitte said.

But Ellsbury already was across the plate, though he nearly tripped a few strides shy of it. The first thing Gary Cederstrom, the home-plate umpire, did was rule the pitch a strike. The next thing he did, channeling Bill Summers 53-1/2 years later, was to flatten his arms.

"Safe!" he screamed, though it was drowned in the din of 38,154 customers who had hoped to see the Red Sox finish off a sweep of the Yankees, and now got to see them step on their necks at no extra cost. It felt like the hundred-year-old foundation might be reduced to dust.

It was 3-1. Moments later, Drew did something nearly as shocking, drilling a run-scoring double to right. That made it 4-1. It ended that way.

The Yankees left behind a team riding a 10-game winning streak and a ballpark still shaking from what it saw. Sometimes, this game really can still surprise you.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

Toronto Blue Jays News

News » Boston fans get sweep and so much more


Boston fans get sweep and so much more


Boston fans get sweep and so much more
BOSTON - You just don't ever see something like this at a ballpark, not any more, not unless you're looking at a huge video board and Jackie Robinson is dashing down the third-base line, slipping under (or colliding into) Yogi Berra's mitt, and Bill Summers is signaling "Safe!" and Yogi is jumping so high it looks like his head might hit the old Stadium frieze.

Stealing home? That's the kind of stuff they do in bad baseball movies, in bad baseball novels. Stealing home? Forget having legs swift enough to get you there, you had better have guts steel enough to even think about asking your legs to get you there.

And yet, even with that . . .

Even with that, Jorge Posada's antenna was twitching. The Yankees were behind 2-1, bottom of the fifth inning. The bases were loaded, and there were two out, and Andy Pettitte was facing J.D. Drew, trying to minimize the damage, trying to tighten a tourniquet around a weekend that already had gotten away from the Yankees.

In two previous at-bats, Drew, a left-handed swinger, had looked more uncomfortable than Mickey Rourke at a debutante ball. Pettitte knew this. So, surely, did Jacoby Ellsbury, leading off third base. And so did Posada, who two years ago had seen Pettitte surrender a steal of home to Toronto's Aaron Hill. That memory, in fact, was so strong he visited Pettitte at the mound.

"Be careful," Posada said. "Pay attention to him."

Just 10 days ago, the Red Sox were a mess, off to a brutal start, looking discombobulated and creaky, which is to say not very different than the way the Yankees suddenly looked heading into this game. The Sox were 2-6 and reeling, and you couldn't help wonder if maybe this isn't the year when they start to cruise into neutral a little bit. Or reverse, even.

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