Hits and Misses from the Past Evident in Yankees' Sweep of Rays

Jonnie ForbesCorrespondent IApril 15, 2008

The New York Yankees were cruising against the Tampa Bay Rays. I was getting ready for my weekly tournament. As the bottom of the seventh inning began, my babysitter was complaining about not being able to get a ride somewhere.

The complaints of the babysitter sounded more like the muffled cries of a cat trapped in a bag, as I watched Bruney give up the first two-run shot in the seventh.

After the second two-run bomb, but before the tying tater actually landed in the right field seats, her complaints had faded away completely. They were replaced by a high pitched ringing whine, not unlike a dentist’s drill.

It was an all too familiar scene: blown lead by the bullpen, only this time it had been done in grand style to the tune of five runs on three hits. I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t 2007, or 2006 maybe. Nope, definitely 2008.

New year, same middle relief.

But in the top of the eighth I saw something I felt I hadn’t seen since 1998. A late game comeback in the form of a Robinson Cano dinger to put the Yanks ahead by one. The bullpen would have another chance to redeem itself…and it would do so.

Yanks prevail in the 8-7 slugfest.

I got home from work late and turned on today's matchup around the fourth inning. I was in time to see the Yanks take a slim 3-2 lead by taking advantage of some shaky Rays' pitch control. But it was the following inning that excited me.

With two outs, both Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter drove in runners from second base with timely, well-placed base hits. It was smart base-running by Jeter that got him in position for Abreu to even drive him in.

It was a microcosm of the Yankee success I’d gotten used to from the past. I checked the calendar again, to see if it wasn’t 1998, 1999, or 2000. Nope, still 2008.

Remember the ’98 season?

It was a season of “can-do” attitude that was more than backed up by actually “doing.” The season that coined the phrase “no lead is safe,” because there was no such thing as a safe lead over the 1998 Yankees.

But alas, it really is 2008. The Yankees left a battalion of guys on base today, but still completed the mini-sweep of the Rays with the 5-2 win.