The play of the game was courtesy of Derek Jeter…
The Yankees emerged victorious, winning the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins, three games to none. Thanks to a 4-1 victory tonight, the Yankees will head home for a Friday meeting against the Los Angeles Angels and old friends Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera.
I really didn’t want to see Carl Pavano pitch the game of his life against his former teammates. He had the strikeouts (9), but in the end, he was done in by 7th inning home runs from Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.
The Yankees added a couple of insurance runs in the 9th inning, but in my mind, the play of the game was courtesy of Derek Jeter with an assist by Jorge Posada. In the 8th, Nick Punto led off with a double. The next batter, Denard Span, hit the ball to Derek Jeter after a hop. Seeing that he had no play at first, Derek fired the ball to Jorge Posada when he saw that Punto was running past third despite the stop sign. Posada quickly made a perfect throw to third baseman Alex Rodriguez to erase Punto who was diving back to third. So, instead of runners on the corners with no outs, the Twins only had a runner at first with one out. The Yankees escaped the inning without allowing any runs, and the Twins’ last threat of the 2009 season was eliminated.
Martin Levison/Star Tribune
Mariano Rivera recorded the final four outs to save the game, and propel the Yankees into the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The game represented the final baseball game held at the Metrodome. The Twins will move to their new ballpark, Target Field, next season. The Vikings are now the sole tenant of the Metrodome (at least until they find a new stadium).
Alex Rodriguez has eliminated any doubt that he is not a post-season performer, and Jorge Posada has proved once again that he is a man to be counted on when it counts. It was a great victory for the Yanks, and a nice sweep to give them a few days off before they face their nemesis in the Bronx.
It’s hard to believe that 3 of 4 play-off series were decided by sweeps. I am surprised that the powerful Philadelphia Phillies are the only team that is engaged in a difficult battle. They are clearly more talented than the Colorado Rockies, but they are tied in the NLDS with the Rockies, but leading 4-3 in the early stages of the very cold game tonight..
Congratulations to Joe Torre and the Los Angeles Dodgers for advancing to the National League Championship Series. I have to admit that it was a little bittersweet watching Donnie Baseball wrapping his arms around Dodgers players in celebration of their series sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals.
It was tough to watch the Boston Red Sox exit the 2009 play-offs. I was really hoping for a final Yankees-Red Sox showdown. I thought the Red Sox were going to win today’s game, and didn’t really think that the Angels would rally against closer Jonathan Papelbon. Had the Sox won today, they would have re-captured some momentum in the series, and they’d have a good chance to even things up in Game 4. Alas, it was not meant to be as Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero came up with key hits in the 9th to score a total of 3 runs to overtake Boston, 7-6. Still, I thought the Red Sox had a chance in the bottom of the 9th but they just couldn’t get it going.
I have enjoyed my season-long wagers with Julia of Julia’s Rants. Early in the season, it was all-Red Sox. Julia was living a charmed life. Then, the Yankees picked up a win on August 6th and they haven’t looked back. It has been a fun and exciting year for the Yankees and Red Sox. “The Rivalry” is great for baseball, and I think I learned to better understand Red Sox fans with my battles against Julia. They are passionate, and they care about their team. They are supportive through the end, and they walk away with their heads held high. They know, not just hope, that they will be back next year…stronger and hungrier than ever before. Congratulations Julia to you and your team on a fine season! Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t be anxious to see photos of you wearing your pink Yankees cap and Lou Gehrig t-shirt holding a sign proclaiming that the Yankees ARE BETTER! Life is good!
As for my favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings were victorious against the St. Louis Rams, 38-10. I was a bit worried that the Vikings would have a letdown after the emotions of facing the Green Bay Packers last week, but then again, they were only facing the Rams. That team has certainly fallen on hard times.
Percy Harvin is quickly becoming my favorite player. He caught four passes for 66 yards, but no TD’s. Another personal favorite is DE Jared Allen. A week after his repeated “hugs” of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Allen recovered two fumbles and returned one 52 yards for a touchdown. I gotta admit that I enjoyed Allen’s quote after the game. “We think we’re a good football team”, Allen said. “The worst we can finish now is 5-11”. I like his perspective as he isn’t taking anything for granted.
Brett Favre is 1-0 as a 40-year-old QB. I have to admit that I was surprised when I heard that this was Favre’s first 5-0 start. Congrats to Brett and the Vikings on a great game!
This is my 200th blog since joining MLB.com. Very appropriate! MLB.com Bloggers, one and all, are the best!