Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Swisher Keeps Summer of Fun Going

Swishhhh...nothing but seats
Written for Baseball Digest

The Summer of Fun continued in the Bronx last night as Nick Swisher provided the first and last runs in the Yankees 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. After a rare "bad" outing by Phil Hughes, Swisher's second home run home run of the game provided the Yankees 13th walk off win of the season. The 9th inning victory put the Pinstripes 40 games over .500 (90-50) and raised their winning pct. to .750 since the All-Star break.

Hughes came on in the 8th to protect a 2-1 lead, but Jason Bartlett smacked his 13th home run of the season to tie things up. It was the first earned run allowed by Hughes since August 4 and the first home run given up since June 10. But Swisher, who had smacked his 25th home run of the season in the 1st inning off starter David Price, turned around to the left side against Dan Wheeler and hit a laser into the first row in right field.

A wild celebration ensued, the culmination of course being an A.J. Burnett delivered pie to the face. Swisher, whose personality has helped turned the ball club from a corporate, button down philosophy to a more relaxed business casual, enjoyed every moment of it.

Alex Rodriguez' RBI single in the 6th had given the Yankees a 2-0 lead behind Chad Gaudin (6 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K), who was clearly having his best outing as a Yankee. Through six scoreless innings he had thrown just 65 pitches and scattered four hits. But Evan Longoria greeted him in the 7th with a lead off home run, his 30th, and Gaudin was pulled after a walk and single followed. Joe Girardi fully utilized his bullpen, bringing in Damaso Marte, Brian Bruney, and Phil Coke to strand both runners.

Game Notes

Derek Jeter's hitless string continued as he only put the ball in play once. His third straight 0-4 left him 0-12 in his last three games.

Mariano Rivera (2-2) earned the win after pitching a scoreless 9th inning.

From the Elias Sports Bureau - Nick Swisher tied his own AL record (2007), shared with Tony Clark, for most games (3) in which he has homered from both sides of the plate in one season.

Rays 1st Baseman Carlos Pena will miss the rest of the season after suffering two broken fingers on his throwing (left) hand. CC Sabathia hit him with a pitch in Monday's day part of the day-night doubleheader. Pena currently leads the AL with 39 home runs.

David Robertson has been experiencing discomfort in his elbow and will be visiting Dr. James Andrews for further evaluation.

Joba Chamberlain will get his 3 inning stint tonight when he faces Jeff Niemann in the series finale (7:05 P.M. ET TV-ESPN).

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