Sunday, May 24, 2009


Melky Delivers Another Walk Off Victory

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
4 6 0
NY Yankees
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3
5 8 0

WP - Veras (3-1) LP - Lidge (0-2)

Joe Girardi Homestand Checklist:

1. Plan 9th inning rally
2. Select player to get a walk off RBI(s)
3. Make sure A.J. Burnett has a fresh supply of whipped cream

Okay, so maybe Joe Girardi doesn’t have a prepared list, but it certainly would seem that way. For the fourth time in eight games of the current nine game homestand, the Yankees won in walk-off fashion on Saturday. The Yankees trailed 4-2 in the 9th and had to face All-Star closer Brad Lidge. But Lidge walked lead off hitter Johnny Damon, who then moved to second base on fielder’s indifference. Lidge struck out Mark Teixeira, but after throwing a number of off-speed pitches to Alex Rodriguez, Lidge left a 3-2 fastball up in the zone. A-Rod jumped all over it it, sending it to right for a game-tying home run.

The Yankees weren’t done either. Robinson Cano singled and quickly stole second base. That left it up to Melky Cabrera, who had two walk-off hits in last weekend’s series against the Minnesota Twins. Lidge again left a pitch up in the zone and Cabrera looped it into right-center field to score Cano and give the Yankees a 5-4 win and another victory celebration. Burnett finished it off with a double whipped cream delivery to the faces of both Cano and Cabrera.

Jose Veras
pitched to one batter in the top of the 9th to pick up his third win of the season. Andy Pettitte threw a solid seven innings, but gave up a pair of home runs, to Raul Ibanez and John Mayberry Jr., to put the Yankees in a 4-1 hole.

Derek Jeter got the Yankees back to within a run in the 6th with a solo home run off of Phillies starter J.A. Happ and the Yankees put the tying run at the plate in the eighth. Brett Gardner reached on a one-out pinch-hit double off Ryan Madson, but Madson, who had already struck out Nick Swisher to start the inning, K’ed pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui and Jeter to end the inning.

But it didn’t matter, because the Yankees had a checklist to handle the 9th inning.

Game Notes

John Mayberry Jr.’s
home run was the first of his major league career and it only took him two at-bats to do it. His father, former Royals’ All-Star and one time Yankee, John Mayberry Sr. was in attendance. FOX Sports made a major snafu, however, when for several innings they showed an African-American man in a Phillies cap with a graphic stating that it was the senior Mayberry. It turned out not to be him at all, causing Joe Buck to apologize for the embarrassment. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal later located the real Mayberry Sr. and conducted a brief interview.

Alex Rodriguez‘ home run was career #560, putting him three behind Reggie Jackson for 11th place. He’s just seven home runs behind Don Mattingly for 9th place on the Yankees career home run list.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the win was the 5th walk-off in May, the first time the Yankees had achieved the feat in a single month since September, 1988. The last time the Yankees had four walks-offs in one homestand was 1963. And finally, Yankee Stadium is the first major league park to have a home run hit in 22 consecutive games.

Nick Swisher’s play in May has reinforced the need for the healthy return of Xavier Nady. Swisher is hitting just .117 this month and has struck out 24 times in 60 at-bats.

Brad Lidge has three blown saves after having none last year.

Pitching duels don’t always work out in the actual games, but today’s pairing is fantastic on paper. The Phillies will send their ace, Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.95), against the Yankees ace, CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.43).

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