"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Late-inning magic leads Yanks to victory

Heading into the bottom of the ninth tonight, the Yankees were down 4-2 with star closer Joe Nathan on the hill.

However, Brett Gardner quickly put a scare into him, tripling to lead off the inning.  It could have been worse, however, as he tripped over first base.  He actually had a chance for a second inside-the-park home run on the night, as he ran around the bases in the seventh inning for one.

Following the triple, Mark Teixeira singled to cut the Twins’ lead to 4-3.  Alex Rodriguez then walked (he had four walks in his first game in the new Yankee Stadium), advancing Teixeira to second.  However, Hideki Matsui struck out swinging and Nick Swisher was robbed of a hit by first baseman Justin Morneau.  With runners on second and third, Robinson Cano was intentionally walked to load the bases for Melky Cabrera.  On the first pitch, Cabrera hit a fly ball that dunked in in between Denard Span and Carlos Gomez to drive in the game-tying and the game-winning run.

Gardner, who went 3-for-3 and was a double shy of the cycle, wasn’t even in the starting lineup.  He entered the game in the fourth inning when Johnny Damon was ejected for arguing a call.  Home plate umpire Wally Bell had a rather inconsistent strike zone.

Phil Hughes started for the Yankees and only lasted five innings.  He walked four, struck out only two and allowed two home runs to Morneau.  Phil Coke also allowed a home run in his first game back from back stiffness.

Jose Veras retired the final batter in the top of the ninth inning and was rewarded with his second victory of the season despite his 6.89 ERA.  Relievers Jonathan Albaladejo, Brett Tomko and Edwar Ramirez also had scoreless outings.

The Yankees have won five out of their last seven and will look to take the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon with Joba Chamberlain on the mound.


kongon said...

An important win with those wasted bases loaded opportunities. Our top guys might not be hitting all the time, but at least when they get on base like they did tonight, it helps.

I wouldn't say this was as satisfying as that walk-off against the Angels (also courtesy of Melky), although I had thought that game was going to be the turning point of the season. Instead, it led to that big losing streak and erratic performances from the lineup and pen.

Kudos to Gardner for his speed! Wouldn't have won without that.

Andrew Fletcher said...

This is the kind of win that could get them going. They can't have their typical let-down tomorrow afternoon.

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