Improbable. That seems to be the best word to use to describe how the New York Yankees' 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Texas Rangers Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium unfolded.
The improbabilities began with starting pitcher Brian Gordon, a 32-year-old making his first big-league start and pitching 5.1 solid innings. Gordon had been pitching with the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and was allowed to opt out of his contract by the Philadelphia Phillies. Another improbability was the winning pitcher, Cory Wade, another guy the Yankees just pulled off the scrap heap after being released by Tampa Bay a week ago. Wade pitched two perfect innings in his second day with the Yankees. Wade had not pitched in the big leagues since 2009 before becoming a Yankee.
The final improbability had to be Brett Gardner, a left-handed hitter, getting the game-winning hit in the 12th inning off left-handed reliever Michael Kirkman. Inserted into the game in the ninth inning, Gardner got a pair of hits off left-handed pitchers -- against whom he has rarely played this season.
Curtis Granderson led off the 12th with a single of Kirkman (1-1). was later hit in the hand by a pitch. Gardner then dropped a single into right field with one out and Granderson scored without a play at the plate. Gardner had only 29 at-bats against left-handed pitchers this season.
Granderson finished the game 3-for-5 with a run scored, Cano was 2-for-4 with two runs scored whileand each drove in a run in the win.
Gordon was charged with two runs on seven hits with three walks, two hit batters and three strikeouts. Gordon had appeared in three games as a reliever for Texas in 2008, but the rest of his 15 professional careers have been spent in the minors with five different organizations.
"There's been a lot of highs in my career, there's been a lot of lows," Gordon said. "This has got to be at the top of all the highs. This is a very special day, for myself and my family."
|Final - 6.16.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||11||0|
|WP: Cory Wade (1 - 0)
LP: Michael Kirkman (1 - 1)