Last night’s Rays-Yankees game at the Stadium was surreal. I almost felt like I rode to the ballpark in a DeLorean with a flux capacitator, and not on the 4 train.
The Yankees were playing a huge game, albeit against the Tampa Bay Rays, who, while for real this year, have been irrelevant since joining the American League.
And while this Yankees team can’t hold a candle to the teams in the past, it was two old-school Yankees who led the club to victory last night.
Andy Pettitte pitched eight strong, shutout innings for the win, only really running into trouble in the top of the seventh.
And who got Pettitte out of trouble in that seventh inning? None other than the captain, Derek Jeter, who turned a spectacular, inning-ending force play by backhanding a grounder deep in the hole and firing to second while airborne.
Jeter also jump-started the Yankees’ offense. With two outs in the bottom of the third — just when it looked like the Yanks were going to waste the opportunity of first and second, none out for about the 1,473th time this season — Jeter came through with a two-run double off Scott Kazmir to break a scoreless tie.
What’s next? Jeff Nelson and Mike Stanton anchoring the bullpen? Darryl Strawberry coming off the bench and drilling a fastball 450 feet?
It was like déjà vu all over again.