It had all the makings of the moment that Mark Teixeira became a "true Yankee." There were two outs in the eighth inning and the bases were loaded. The Yankees trailed by three and desperately needed a spark to avoid a fourth straight loss. If all that didn't set the scene enough, the skies opened with a raging downpour.
If it felt familiar, it's probably because it was familiar. YES showed the clip of Jason Giambi's 2002 grand slam against the Twins in a similar setting. Texieira, as you know, also plays first base with the number 25 on his back. That's a lot of mojo, and the mojo worked.
Teixeira tied the game with a double, following the Giambi script to a tee, and the game was quickly put into a rain delay. That's where the two stories diverged, though. Giambi sent the Yankees home winners with his blast, but Teixeira merely extended the game long enough to give him a chance to fail in the clutch.
He couldn't get Johnny Damon in from the third with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, a frustrating moment that doomed the team to a 4-3 loss to the Rays. He wasn't the only guy to drop the ball in a clutch spot, not on this Yankee team that is 4-for-32 with runners in scoring position in the last four days, but he was the one you noitced because it had looked like his night a couple of innings before.
You look at the lineup, with or without Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez, and think that there's no way they can keep failing in big spots like this. Then the big spots come and the bats go quiet and the Yankees lose once again. It's as frustrating as the non-stop rain that's accompanied the losing skid, and everyone's desperate for a little sunshine.