Yankees 8 Twins 2: Bats Stay Hot; Pitching Excellent

The Yanks have taken the series with the Twins with their fifth straight win after the All-Star break, pounding Minnesota 8-2. Abreu went deep to give the Yankees the lead for good in the sixth, Cano continued his hot hitting, A-Rod is also getting hot, and Jeter and Giambi delivered clutch RBI hits as well. Rasner was solid, deserving better for his work but getting bested with some bloop hits, one rough inning, and a bad call at first. Yet Robertson entered and threw one pitch for the last out in the sixth and, as it turned out, his second win. Veras, Nuke, and Giese wrapped things up thereafter with terrific work.

Rasner worked well, getting DP balls in the second and fourth to erase walks. His sole offensive support during his stint was A-Rod’s leading off with a double in the second and scoring on Cano’s single. Rasner really only experienced trouble in the sixth. Gomez led off with a double, then scored on an infield single from Span that scored Gomez after Giambi’s dropped catch to tie the game. Casilla blooped a single to make it first and second. Giambi then made the first of two fine plays at first for the first out and made a terrific diving stop on Kubel’s grounder on the second chance, though neither turned a double play. Giambi dove to his right, threw to Jeter from his right knee and Jeter’s throw just beat Kubel for a 3-6-1 that wasn’t since the first-base ump called Kubel safe, 2-1 Twins. Robertson entered and got Young on one pitch to escape.

Right away, the Yanks responded. JD singled, Jeter flew out, and Abreu cranked a 1-1, belt-high fastball on the inner half deep to right, a no-doubt shot, 3-2 Yanks. A-Rod promptly singled to end Slowey’s night and stole second off Reyes, Giambi walked, and Cano reached down to stroke a 2-2 pitch–not a bad one–into center, 4-2 Yanks; fine hitting from the red-hot Cano. Thank your Dad for the BP during the break. The Yanks blew it open in the seventh after Veras went 1-2-3. Gardner walked, JD reached on an E5 and, after twice failing to lay down a bunt, Jeter ripped a hanging curve inside for a double into the left field corner, 6-2 Yanks. Abreu’s double to right scored Jeter, 7-2. A-Rod’s 4-3 moved Abreu to third, and Giambi’s single plated Abreu, 8-2. Nuke struck out the side in the eighth after a lead-off walk, and Giese got his first work in over a week, allowing a hit in an uneventful ninth to salt it.

Abreu’s 2-4 night bumped his average up to .277 with his 11th homer and his 64th RBI. Cano is up to .263 with his 2-4 game, and now has 45 RBIs. Cano is 12-23 after the break, raising his average 17 points in five games. Jeter’s double moved him to 46 RBIs. A-Rod’s 2-4 night upped his average to .319 and he added his 15th stolen base in 16 attempts, an outrageous percentage. Giambi was 1-2 with his 57th RBI and a walk, and JD was 1-3 with 2 BBs and 2 runs, hitting .319 also.   The top of the order carried the day, going 9-22 with 7 runs and all 8 RBIs.

Rasner was quite good with the exception of the four walks, giving up only four hits and two runs earned in 5 2/3, most of those hits not hard hit, two K’s on 92 pitches/52 strikes. His work has certainly been respectable and, while it’s hard not to give Aceves a shot sometime, Rasner hasn’t exactly been a stiff. Robertson got the most efficient win–one pitch–that one can hope for. Veras and Nuke were excellent again, and good to see Giese get some work–and everyone give Mariano a second straight night off after he pitched in two straight. Again, the bullpen was brilliant–3 1/3 IP, 1 hit, no runs, 1 BB, and 5 K’s. Crucially, the Yankees’ pitchers have limited Mauer and Morneau, the two players I most feared hurting the Yanks this series, to a combined 1-13 the first two games of this series, walking them four times (Morneau thrice tonight, not a bad thing), fanning them four times, and not allowing them to either score or drive in a run; very impressive.

Yanks go for the Crazy Stein tomorrow. With tonight’s win and Tampa’s 8-1 loss to Oakland, the Yanks are now 3 1/2 games out with 62 games left to play. They are also at their high-water mark of 10 games above .500. Keep up the good work, guys.

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 9:47 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ahh the game was great. Finaalllly, a win when I’m at the game.
    The offense is awake at last. I’ve said that they’re awake at times earlier during to season, just to watch them suck in the next game they play. I think it’s safe to say now though, they’re hoottt.
    Not enough can be said about the bullpen. It has been more that I thought it would be. Girardi has really done an outstanding job with that. Last year there were a lot of guys burnt out and ineffective. This year it seems as though every guy is getting their time.
    I hope the Yankees not only get the sweep today but sweep Boston at Fenway… might as well go for it all.

  2. Way to bring back the W, V! Sorry I neglected to mention it in the wrap. How were your seats? You’re absolutely right about Girardi and the bullpen. They need to keep the hot bats as well.

  3. A-Rod crushes a double off the LCF wall to score Jeter (after his double) and Abreu and, after A-Rod took third, Sexson scored him on a sac fly to deep center, 5-0 Yanks. Terrific hitting.

  4. Mussina was nothing short of dazzling through eight, great outing and terrific ovation. I have a guest lecture to do, then softball practice this afternoon. Wrap afterwards.

  5. My seats were pretty good. They were upper deck, a little to the right of home plate. The only crappy thing about them was that they were right in front of a guy who not only spent every single second talking [if i wanted to hear commentating, i would have stayed home] but also thought he was some psychic. He would say something like “Gardner’s on base, bet he steals…. told ya.” He made a bunch of those “predictions” and I’m just thinking “Wow… just about everyone in the stadium knew he was going to go for second, including the Twins.” you don’t have speed and not use it. But, other than his somewhat annoyance it was great. The crowd was kinda quiet, but got some more energy after the Abreu home run. It was actually so quiet in the beginning that the cotton candy vendor was starting the “Lets go Yan-kees” chants and then saying “hey, I got sugar here if you need it” when not as many people participated. It was a fun night though.
    I got some pictures up on my blog from the game if you want to check it out.
    And, the Moose is incredible. What a comeback after last year. Outstanding.

  6. 2oW Season Moose.

  7. Man , I said at the start of the season Moose was done . Was I ever wrong !!! He has done a lot , and I don’t know where the team would be without him.
    I hope I am wrong about them missing the playoffs too .

  8. Very funny account of your time at the game, Vanessa, and I’m glad you had fun. You’re not the only one thinking that’s a possibility, Leo. He’s on a roll and, sentinel, you’re not the only one who was wrong about Mussina. Goodness knows I was, and I’ve been gladly wolfing down platters of crow when he pitches.

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