Actually, a very watchable type classic. Plenty of twists and turns along the way in a game that wouldn't be decided until the bottom of the ninth. Most notably is Johnny Damon's 6-for-6 performance, including the game winning single. Also notable was Jose Guillen's 3-for-4, 7 RBI, 2 HR performance including a back breaking Grand Slam off Andy Pettitte (who was awful) in the seventh inning.
I don't really blame Pettitte. Guillen was in the middle of a killer series against the Yankees which would see him finish 9-for-16 (.563) with four home runs,10 RBI, a 1.438 SLG and a 2.001 OPS.
The Yankees would have to stage three comebacks in this one. They trailed 5-1 in the fourth when they would put a four spot on the board to tie it off tomato can, Brian Bannister, and then add one in the fifth on a Jason Giambi solo HR to take the lead.
However...a tiring Pettitte would give up five runs in the Royal seventh, including the aforementioned Guillen Granny, to put them on top 10-6. It looked bleak for the Yankees, having once again to come back from a four run deficit and only three innings to go.
Alex Rodriguez then dropped a two-run bomb on Brett Tomko to pull to within two. The following inning, the man of the hour, Johnny Damon drove home Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera with a two-run single to left.
Now tied, Girardi called on Mariano Rivera to keep it that way. Mariano had problems throughout the 2008 season coming into games in non-save situations. This day would be another example as David Dejesus drove Mariano's first pitch into the left-center bleachers to give the Royals a lead.
Down once again and only three outs to go, it looked like it just wouldn't be the Yankees' day. Especially with Kansas City's all-star closer Joakim Soria on the mound, who hadn't blown a save all year. That streak ended when Jorge Posada lined a one-out homer into the right field stands to tie the game. The Yankees weren't through. After a Robinson Cano ground out made it look like extra innings might be in the cards, the usually impatient Wilson Betemit drew a walk and Melky Cabrera followed with an infield single. That brought up Damon, 5-for-5 to that point, as the potential hero. This was certainly his day as he lined a single down the left field to plate Betemit and give the Yankees a dramatic and gutty 12-11 victory.
You can have all the pitching duels you want, but I'll take a crazy, high scoring affair any day. That's why I rate this one highly. There's enough action sprinkled throughout the game to make it watchable and that's really what you want for a Yankee classic in my humble opinion. Will it stand the test of time? Maybe not, but out of all the regular season classics, this is the type that's always fun to watch.