A-Rod drove in two in the ninth with a home run, which was an absolute bomb by the way, to tie the game and sent it into extras. In the eleventh, Mark Teixeira hit a “wall scraper” to win the game down the left field line. Wow! What an exciting game but there is plenty more about this game that made it spectacular.
AJ Burnett and Nick Blackburn both threw outstanding games; Burnett went 6 innings and Blackburn went 5.2 each giving up a run. Burnett gave up five walks which could’ve led to some pretty bad happenings for the Yanks but he got out of it like both teams did over the course of the game. Blackburn gave up three hits and walked two while striking out three. Overall, the starters threw a pitchers duel that was exciting to watch. They always are, waiting to see who makes the first mistake that will cost them the game.
When Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke combined to throw a perfect seventh inning I thought the Yanks were gonna cruise to another win with the way the bullpen was pitching. Yeah right! Phil Hughes came in to pitch the eighth and that is where everything went wrong. He was chased after only getting two outs after he gave up two hits and a walk which led to two runs. It was a tough performance from Hughes and the Twins took the lead going into the final inning.
This is where I picked up the game on the radio on my way home from the movies with some friends. I figured out that the Yanks were down 3-1. It was killing me how the Yankees might end up losing to the Twins. It was terrible. But then it all happened. Mariano Rivera finished the eighth and got out of the ninth with no more damage. This was the time for the Yankees to hit there stride. And they did. Teixeira got on base and Alex Rodriguez brought him home with a bomb to the bullpen. The game was tied and we almost won it in the ninth too. Swish almost hit one but it was a few steps short of the wall.
In extras, it was pretty close with each team making their fair share of mistakes, pitching and fielding. In general, the pitching only made a few mistakes to let guys get hits but the biggest one was when the Twins’ Joe Nathan threw the ball to second to try and pick off Brett Gardner and he threw it into the outfield. Gardner shimmied over to third and was immediatley the number one priority for the Twins’ defense. But Gardner made a mistake too. On a line drive to the middle of the infield, Gardner took off towards home. But he didn’t realize it was hit right at Orlando Cabrera and Gardner was doubled off at third. That killed me.
The Yanks were unable to capitalize in the tenth but when Mark Teixeira came up in the eleventh, he came threw and hit a bullet down the the left field line that hit the top of the wall and bounced into the stands for the homer. The game was finally over and the Yankees won again. Just like I predicted they would. It was a great game that was not only going have every one on the edge of their seats, but it was key to the outcome of this series. Now the Yankees don’t necessarily have to win on the road they can have the comfort of playing another game at home if they are unable to win in Minnesota, which won’t be an easy task.
The Yankees just keep on rolling and to be completely honest, I think it will take a lot more than the effort the Twins gave last night to stop the Bombers.
CC was absolutely phenominal. I can’t say enough about it. He pitched 6 2/3 solid innings and he was just about as good as he has been all year. This win shows that despite being denied 20 wins on the season that he is still about as good as they get. With 8 K’s and only one earned run, I officially summarize this game for the Yanks as domination.
CC wasn’t the only successful Yankee last night. Far from it in fact. Let’s start with the Captain. Mr. November just picked up where he left off in the regular season and completely dominated Twins pitching. He was 2-2 with a homer, three runs scored, and two RBI’s. An outstanding performance from the captain was just the beginning of the successt the Yankees had last night.
Hideki Matsui surely showed that he still deserved the nickname “Godzilla” and belted a homer in the fifth. He finished the game having gone 1-3 with that homer and he also drew a walk.
A-Rod went 2-4 wtih two RBI’s and a run scored and he played a solid third base as well. Nick Swisher also drove in a run to add to the Yankees’ success. Another thing I’d like to add about Swisher is how important his clubhouse presence has been all season. Every team should have at least one guy like this. Someone to keep everyone going and to keep spirits up. The jokester on the team, the prankster. Swisher definitely filled that roll this year with the Yankees and I am really grateful of that.
When the game finally rolled into the ninth inning, it looked as if the game was done with. The Twins had no chance. They weren’t even gonna come close to scoring at all…
-Now with the way I just said all that it seems like I’m going to say that they came back and won the game. Yeah right. Not on Mo’s watch.
Mariano Rivera pitched as spectacularly as he has all year. Another great performance that left the Twins scratching their heads. He let up one hit and one walk but other than that he was fantastic striking out two.
The great thing about Mo is that he does all of this with only one pitch. His cutter, which wasn’t originally a cutter, has gotten the job done over his career unlike any other pitcher’s pitch in history has. That story was in Sports Illustrated recently and it was one of the best articles I have read in a while. Mo is one of a kind.
With the opening game win in the books, the Yanks have one day off before they send AJ Burnett out to face off against Nick Blackburn.
-By the way doesn’t Blackburn and Joe Mauer look really similar or is it just me?
Well, I’m pretty sure that Burnett has the advantage in this one but Blackburn is still a quality pitcher. The Twins may have some chance… possibly… maybe a little… Yeah right, I’m just joking. The Yankees are going to win this one as they did the first one.