I like walk-off hits…
Melky Cabrera won last night’s game against the Minnesota Twins with a two-run single in the 9th inning. The inning had began with the Twins up 4-2 and ace closer Joe Nathan on the mound. Brett Gardner tripled to start the inning, and Mark Teixeira drove him in with a single. Alex Rodriguez worked the count and walked. Nathan struck out Hideki Matsui and retired Nick Swisher. Swisher’s ground out moved Teixeira and Rodriguez to second and third. The Twins issued a free pass to Robinson Cano which loaded the bases, with two outs. Melky Cabrera came up and promptly delivered the game winning shot with a single between center fielder Carlos Gomez and left fielder Denard Span. The Yankees, who had never held a lead in the game, won 5-4.
Richard Perry/The New York Times
The bullpen finally did a good job as starter Phil Hughes only went 5 innings, giving up three runs. The bullpen only gave up one more run, a homer by Joe Mauer against Phil Coke in the 7th. The winner was the generally unreliable Jose Veras, who struck out the only batter he faced in the 9th inning (Michael Cuddyer).
Meanwhile, Hughes is probably packing his bags for Scranton as Chien-Ming Wang nears his return…
Other game tidbits…
The Twins’ Justin Morneau hit two home runs on a day he celebrated his 28th birthday…
There was some drama when Mark Teixeira took exception with Carlos Gomez and his ‘inside path’ to first base (the second time he had run that route in the game, which resulted in a collision with Tex’s wrist at first). The players had words and it brought out both managers in defense of their respective players.
The game also saw the Yankees’ first inside the park home run when speedy Brett Gardner hit a ball to shallow left that took an unexpected bounce and went to the warning track on Denard Span. It was the first inside the park homer for the Yanks since Ricky Ledee did it in August 1999.
It was an exciting game. Unlike the Yankees’ depressing loss to Doc Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays (where I felt that the Yankees were never going to get back in the game), I had the sense last night that it “wasn’t over until it’s over”. You could see and feel the rally in the 9th, so it almost would have been a surprise had Cabrera not come through. It was a feel-good victory, and it pushed the Yankees to a winning record at 18-17. The Blue Jays also won so the Yanks remain in 3rd place, 4 ½ games behind. Until the Yanks play again later today, life is good…
This, of course, brings me to the second place club. I had gotten a message from my friend that the Boston Red Sox were leading the Seattle Mariners 2-0. But there were no follow up score updates. Of course, I woke up this morning and saw that the Mariners had rallied from a 4-0 deficit against Jon Lester, and had pulled a victory by the same 5-4 score the Yankees had. I think it was even an ex-Red Sox pitcher that saved the game for the M’s in David Aaardsma. So, Julia, yes, it was a perfect night!
SOME OFF-TOPIC COMMENTS –
FAVRE AND THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS
I know, how can I be a Vikings fan but not like the Twins? Well, that’s what happens when you grow up in a “free agent” state (a state which does not have any professional teams). C’mon, how many professional teams are itching to build a new stadium in Des Moines, Iowa? LOL!
I have been following the Brett Favre story with some interest. I have to admit that I have very mixed feelings. Obviously, the Jets failed down the stretch last year, and much of it has been attributed to Favre and the partially torn right biceps tendon in his throwing shoulder. Brett opted not to have surgery, and is still recovering from the injury. This week he consulted with Dr. James Andrews to determine his options.
A leading shoulder specialist was quoted in a Minnesota newspaper that minor surgery to correct the problem is the worst case scenario. Favre is apparently amenable to minor surgery, but not arthroscopic surgery. Minor surgery would allow him to be ready for training camp (and of course miss the OTA’s and mini-camps).
It would be weird seeing Favre wear a #4 purple jersey. But his leadership and experience would be invaluable for the younger players on the team, including QB Tavaris Jackson. Jackson is still young enough to learn a great deal from Favre who would be expected to play no more than one year.
And of course, I like the Green Bay Packers about as much as I like the Boston Red Sox, so there’s not much that would be sweeter than watching Favre lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
I wanted Matt Cassel and Jay Cutler at various points this off-season, but both were traded elsewhere.
Favre represents the next best option. The team has a strong defense, good offensive line (depending upon how well the younger players like new starting center John Sullivan and rookie tackle Phil Loadholt perform), good receiving corps that will feature a new look with the presence of the talented Percy Harvin, and, of course, the best running back in the league. I expect the special teams to be improved with some of the talent in the draft pick selections, so the key to the 2009 season is clearly the quarterback position. I am not convinced that T-Jack is the man for the job, and Sage Rosenfels is not going to suddenly blossom into the elite level. So, why not try Favre?