Prado: One of my biggest moments
August, 23, 2014
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Following Martin Prado's game-ending, bases-loaded single in the ninth, the New York Yankees' clubhouse was filled with superlatives as they were elated -- maybe more relieved -- to live another day in the playoff race.
"I can describe that as one of the biggest moments of my career," Prado said after the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
With two outs in the ninth, Prado fought back from 0-2 down against hard-throwing righty Daniel Webb to single up the middle for the game-winner.
After being mobbed by his teammates, Prado answered questions on YES from Meredith Marakovits. During the interview, Brett Gardner dumped two buckets of Gatorade on Prado. Gardner said one was for Prado's two-run homer in the third, which cut the White Sox's lead to one. And the other was for the game-winner.
"It was the biggest win of the year, for sure," Gardner said.
Gardner's reasoning was basically the Yankees can't afford to let any close games slip with the calendar turning to September soon and the wild-card standings looking the way they do.
As usual, Gardner did his part, nailing a runner at the plate to end the sixth and delivering a sacrifice bunt in the ninth to move Ichiro Suzuki over to second. Ichiro would eventually make it to third with the bases loaded, setting up Prado.
Prado is a different hitter against lefties as compared to righties. Versus lefties, like White Sox starter, John Danks -- whom he homered off of -- Prado slugs at better than a .600 rate, while against righties, he is slightly north of .300. Webb throws in the upper 90s, so falling behind the righty was not what Yankees manager Joe Girardi wanted to see.
Instead, Prado worked the count to 3-2 and then delivered. The extra BP he often takes paid off.
"He's looked really good," Girardi said.
The Yankees escaped with a win and were trying to grab onto it for momentum heading into the rest of the weekend.