Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yankees Walk the Walk Off

A-Rod Gives Yankees A-Win

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

WP - Aceves (1-0) LP - Breslow (1-2)

Alex Rodriguez homered in his first at-bat this season down in Baltimore, but since then he’s shown more rust than a ‘57 Chevy. A-Rod shook some of the cobwebs off this afternoon and delivered a clutch, walk-off 2-run home run in the bottom of the 11th to give the Yankees a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at the Stadium.

Mark Teixeira, who was 4-4 on the day, opened the inning with a walk. That brought up Rodriguez, who was in a 3-24 skid since that Camden Yards home run. Craig Breslow got ahead in the count with a first pitch strike, but than hung a slider that A-Rod drilled into the left field seats for career home run number 555. A-Rod flipped his bat on the way to first base and flashed a knowing grin to the Yankees’ dugout before circling the bases to an awaiting mob scene at home plate. Al Aceves pitch a scoreless inning to earn his first win of the season.

Joba Chamberlain started for the Yankees and threw a fairly effective game. He allowed just 3 hits in 6 innings and struck out 6, but did walk 4 batters. He left with a 3-2 lead, but the Yankees bullpen quickly put the team in a hole. Justin Morneau hit his third home run in two days, a long shot off left-hander Phil Coke, to tie the game at 3 apiece in the 8th. Later in the inning with 2 outs and a man aboard, Brian Buscher doubled into the right field corner. Michael Cuddyer was waved home by third base coach Scott Ullger and scored the go ahead run as Melky Caberera’s relay throw missed the cut off man.

The Yankees came right back in their half of the 8th. Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui started the inning with a ground rule double off starter Nick Blackburn. Derek Jeter bunted pinch-runner Ramiro Pena over to third base, but Johnny Damon hit a tapper back to the mound for the second out of the inning. That gave Teixeira the opportunity to continue his best game in a Yankees uniform. He didn’t disappoint- Teixeira’s fourth hit of the game, a hard single to right, scored Pena with the tying run and ended Blackburn’s day.

Teixeira had given the Yankees their first lead of the day, in third inning, with a long home run following two out walks to Jeter and Damon. Trailing 3-1, Joe Mauer took Chamberlain deep to halve the lead in the fourth. It was the second straight game in which Mauer homered, with both balls landing in Monument Park.

Game Notes

The bullpen had an up and down day. Jose Veras got himself in a two on, no out jam in the 7th, but was rescued by Coke. Mariano Rivera threw a pair of scoreless innings and got out of his own jam in the 9th.

Mark Teixeira finished a triple shy of the cycle and raised his average to .238.

Nick Swisher will never be called “Mr. May” by George Steinbrenner. His 0-4 this afternoon dropped him to 4-40 for the month. To make matters worse, he has struck out in 18 of those 40 at-bats.

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