If you took a look at the Yankee lineup card on Wednesday morning and double-checked the calender to make sure it wasn't the middle of March, you're forgiven.
Because he didn't want to overtax players by playing both ends of a doubleheader, Joe Girardi decided to rest Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Russell Martin for the opener against the Reds on Wednesday afternoon. Throw in the absent Derek Jeter and you had the makings of a team that was punting away a battle in the name of winning the war.
It looked like that was just what was going to happen during a calamitous fifth inning. Ramiro Pena, playing third, and Jorge Posada, playing first, teamed up for one error and Pena doubled down on the next ball hit his way to force in the first Reds run of the day.
Another run scored before Francisco Cervelli couldn't corral a pitch from Freddy Garcia to put another Reds runner on third, but Garcia got the final out to keep the score tied at two. Still, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Yankees succumbed to the group effort of their bumbling bench.
It wasn't to be, however. Posada made up for his alligator arms at first by hitting a two-run homer in the sixth, his first dinger since April 23rd, and Garcia allowed just three hits over his seven innings to make sure that stood up.
Call it a miraculous escape. Pena would add another error later in the game for the hat trick and Eduardo Nunez, who clearly didn't want to be left out, got himself picked off to make sure everyone knew just who didn't belong on the field.
That's not a formula for success, but the victory makes it 10 wins in the last 12 games for the Yankees all the same. They also have a 13-6 record overall in June, a fact that's been obscured somewhat by getting swept by a Red Sox team that's been one of the few better outfits in baseball of late.
They'll do it all over again on Wednesday night when the Yankees will presumably try to win a game without relying on a lineup best left for games in Tampa.