Dan Johnson. Dan #&@%ing Johnson.
Behind 7-0 in the bottom of the eighth, the Rays made a game of this by scoring six runs. Even so, they were still trailing the Yankees 7-6 in the ninth, and a deficit is a deficit. At that point, the Rays were still staring at slim odds of winning, or even extending the game.
But the Yankees went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. That helped. Then in the bottom, they called on Cory Wade instead of Mariano Rivera. That also helped.
Wade, though, is no slouch, and he retired both Ben Zobrist and Casey Kotchman to start off. Joe Maddon then sent Dan Johnson to the plate to pinch-hit for Sam Fuld, but Johnson came in with a .334 OPS. A .334 OPS. You read that right. Dan Johnson came in with a .334 OPS.
Johnson fell behind 1-and-2 in the count. At 2-and-2, Johnson fouled off a fastball, but then Wade threw Johnson a changeup he could handle. Johnson pulled a low line drive down the right field line, and barely, impossibly, it cleared the fence and stayed within the foul pole. It even hit a guy in the junk. Down to the last strike, Dan Johnson came up with a pinch-hit solo homer, and the Rays caught the Yankees 7-7.
Wade got out of the inning, but we're into extras now, and I can't even begin to explain how amazing this has been. 7-0. 7-6. Last strike. 7-7. More baseball.