What? No walk-off win? What’s up with that?
Last night, it appeared that the Yankees were going to coast to a victory for a change. The Twins had scored a couple of runs at the top of the first inning, but the Yanks roared back with 6 runs in the bottom of the frame. Included in the scoring were back-to-back home runs by the suddenly very hot Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.
Barton Silverman/The New York Times
Nick Swisher almost made it three straight home runs, but his fly ball fell about six feet short of the fence.
It was revealed after the game that Twins starter Glenn Perkins had taken the mound with an injury (inflamed left elbow), and it worsened while he was pitching. He was placed on the DL after the game. Nevertheless, the Twins relievers did a good job in shutting down the Yankees after the disastrous first inning. R.A. Dickey, in particular, was solid in 4 1/3 innings of relief. It allowed the Twins to slowly climb back into the game. They certainly had every opportunity to pull out a come-from-behind victory.
The Twins pounded out 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings against Andy Pettitte, but couldn’t get him to break. They had a hit in every inning except the 9th. They missed a golden opportunity in the 7th inning with the bases loaded, but Carlos Gomez flied out to center.
Mark Teixeira added another home run in the bottom of the 7th inning which proved to be the insurance run the Yanks needed.
Manager Joe Girardi gave Mariano Rivera the night off after so much work earlier in the series, so the 9th began with the somewhat unsettling sight of Phil Coke on the mound to close it out. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t pretty, but in the end, it was enough to allow Coke to pick up his first save. He allowed a walk that eventually resulted in a Twins run, but the clutch hit the Twins were looking for, never came. While Coke seemed to have trouble with the psychological edge needed to close a game, he finally succeeded in ending the game by inducing a groundout. After the game, he said that he was completely gassed. I guess he proved that he was a “Weeble”…
While the Yankees swept the four game series, every game was so close. It could have very easily have been a Twins sweep of the Yankees with a few timely hits here and there. Still, the Yankees can feel good about themselves as they’ve improved their record to 21-17 and now stand just a single game behind the second place Boston Red Sox.
Oh, I almost forgot, Jason Bay, this gift basket is for you. Julia seems to be focusing on Theo, but we know you’re the one who really matters. Don’t sign an extension with the Red Sox because there’s a great spot in left field at Yankee Stadium waiting for you in 2010. The Celtics and the Bruins have proven that Boston can easily return to its heartbreaking ways, and you deserve so much better. #44 is not available, unless you can coerce Reggie Jackson into giving it up. But I am sure there’s a number that would work for you…$$$$$$… J
See you in the Bronx next year, Jason! 😉