It was too good to be true. As Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett matched
zeroes early on Friday, the game was moving along at an
abnormally brisk pace. But a funny thing happened in the Bronx. The
teams forgot how to score a run. They went a combined 0-for-19 with
runners in scoring position. They struck out 14 times a piece.
They combined to use 14 pitchers. It took five hours and 33 minutes to
come to a conclusion. It was wonderful.
The game was everything we envision the postseason to be at it’s most dramatic, from Josh Reddick and Melky
Cabrera’s almost game-winners, to J.D. Drew’s game-saving catch to Alex
Rodriguez’s thrilling walk-off blast in the 15th. The new Yankee Stadium
may have opened in April, but this was it’s close-up.
Here’s just some of the reaction from Friday night’s 15-inning marathon:
“It was a big game at the beginning, and it just kept getting bigger
and bigger. You don’t want to go 15 innings and lose
those big pitching performances on both sides.”
– Alex Rodriguez, who sent Yankees’ fans home happy with his walk-off
blast. The game-winner broke a career-worst 72 at-bat homerless drought.
“I thought his poise was fantastic. We knew that, or he wouldn’t be here. That was certainly easing him into the fire.”
– Terry Francona comments on 23-year-old Junichi Tazawa, who gave up
the game-winning blast to Alex Rodriguez in his major league debut.
“When he caught that ball, that’s when I thought the game was never going to end.”
– Derek Jeter marvels at J.D. Drew’s game-saving catch in the 14th inning.
“It’s one of those plays where it’s kind of a do-or-die situation. Guys on, [Eric] Hinske’s up, you make a beeline straight
across the field, stick your glove up, see what happens. I don’t know
how in the world it ended up in my glove.”
– J.D. Drew still doesn’t know how he caught that ball.
“It was awesome. It was an environment, really, I can’t
describe. You see the whole place pretty much full in the 15th. And to
come off the field and get that ovation, I’ve never experienced that
before. It was amazing.”
– A.J. Burnett showed that he is ready for the big stage. Battling
through a shaky first inning, Burnett matched Josh Beckett, tossing 7
2/3 shutout inning, allowing just a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury.