Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Melkman Always Homers Twice

My recap of yesterday's game for Baseball Digest.

The Melkman Always Homers Twice

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 R H E
0 3 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 9 1
NY Yankees
0 2 2 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
9 17 1

With apologies to James Cain, Melky Cabrera homered twice Wednesday afternoon, including the game winning 2-run shot in the bottom half of the 14th inning to give the Yankees a 9-7 win. The Melkman’s heroics came against former teammate Dan Giese and saved the Yankees from a possible heart breaking loss in the final game of the six-game homestand. Instead, they head to Boston with a 3-game winning streak.

The Yankees pitching, defense, and offense all contributed to blown leads as well as missed opportunities to take control of the game. Starter CC Sabathia had moments of brilliance interspersed with a lack of command, but retired 10 of 11 A’s before allowing a run in the sixth. The Yankees $161 million man ran out of gas in the seventh inning when Joe Girardi stuck with him too long.

A lead off single by Bobby Crosby was followed by a walk to Ryan Sweeney, the fourth free pass issued by Sabathia on the day. A sac bunt by Orlando Cabrera and an RBI ground out by Jason Giambi cut the Yankees lead to 7-6 and put the tieing run 90 feet away.

With Jonathan Albaladejo and Phil Coke up in the pen, Girardi made a trip to the mound, but left his ace in the game. The Yankees skipper had barely returned to the dugout when Matt Holliday ripped a game tieing single to center field.

The Yankees had a chance to go back ahead in the home half of the seventh when they loaded the bases with no one out. But former Yankee Russ Springer struck out Cabrera and Cody Ransom, and retired Derek Jeter on a pop up to get out of the jam.

The game would remain tied until the 14th when Nick Swisher drew a lead off walk, and one batter later Cabrera hammered a Giese offering into the right-center field seats for his fourth home run of the season.

Game Notes

It was record setting day for Derek Jeter, who became the sixth player in Yankees history to play in 2,000 games. (Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, and Bernie Williams are the others.) He celebrated with his fourth home run and an RBI double. It’s the fastest Jeter has reached four home runs in 10 years. The Yankees captain also passed Jason Giambi for sole possession of 10th place on the franchise home run list with his 210th.

Jose Veras had his best outing of the season, picking up the win after tossing 3.1 hitless innings. The Yankees bullpen did not allow a run and limited the A’s to three hits over 7.1 innings.

A’s top prospect Brett Anderson started for Oakland and was charged with five runs in 5.1 innings.

The Yankees have Thursday off and then begin a three game series with the Boston Red Sox on Friday. Joba Chamberlain will face off against Jon Lester.

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