JD Nets Third Straight Walk-Off Versus Twins With HR; Yanks 3-2

Before getting to yet another dramatic walk-off win by the Yanks over the Twins, an explanation of my recent absence and whereabouts.  I was in The Outer Banks for a much-needed vacation for the last week, having just returned early this afternoon after a week of sun, fun with the family and friends, coldies, and more food than I should have eaten–my jambalaya, Frank the Sage’s endless steak platters, my wife’s side salads, my friend’s wife’s salads, plus snow crab legs, raw clams, and more.  Yet my laptop’s adapter ended up in a bag left at home because the bag wouldn’t fit in the trunk of the car and, since my daughter had lots of homework to do on hers, and the house computer got lots of attention from the kids and other relatives, I used the time to take a big break from the computer all around.  I had been working 10-12 hours a day for a couple weeks on fact and note-checking a book before vacation.  Although I was listening to the games, I was tied up with work.  Plus, considering how poorly the Yankees played, I could literally have changed but a few words, names, and numbers from a post last year and easily rewritten a post to describe this year’s myriad futility.

In sum, the vacation came at a great time.  By the end of the week, I was fairly eager to get back to normal routines, my computer, and the Yankees. We’re dealing with a moderate crisis with my son having left his favorite stuffed animal, Lion, who has been with him from the get-go, in The Outer Banks.  We’ve made a few phone calls there, and are hoping that the cleaning and laundry service found it in the bed where it was likely left, and the rental company will notify us to placate my anxious but coping son.  Fingers crossed.

What a game, yet another comeback with yet another walk-off win versus the Twins at The Stadium–about which The Sage and I ranted in OBX last week.  I’ll save that for another time and immerse myself and what few of you might be reading this in the feel-goods of the moment.  JD crushed a 3-2 fastball to deep right in the bottom of the 10th, capping a terrific comeback, game, series of comebacks, and extending the win streak to five to push the Yankees to a season-high three games above .500.  Yesterday it was A-Rod in the bottom of the 11th, with my wife giving me the good news found through the cell phone as we wound through northern West Virginia.  The night before, my friend Mike informed The Sage and me over the last beers of vacation, Avery’s The Reverend, as we played pool downstairs.  Brett the Jet with the inside-the-park job, the triple, Teixeira finally warming up with A-Rod behind him for much needed protection, and Melky the Once Again Clutch coming through.  As Mike (who was good enough to inform me of the walk-off today as I went to the store for provisions after a week-plus away, many thanks) and I have discussed, the Yanks may not always play well, and they continue to struggle with RISP.  But jeez, does this team battle.  They don’t quit, a far cry from last year’s team.

I got home and picked up the game in the sixth after cutting the grass which, after all the rain here while I was gone, could have used a harvester or sickle instead of a mower.  Burnett was pitching very well but had to, since Kevin Slowey was hand-cuffing the Yanks.  The Twins broke the mutual shutout in the seventh with two runs.  Gomez singled with one out, Punto walked, a bad walk since he’s batting below .200, Span went down looking for the second out.  But Tolbert’s single scored Gomez, and a pair of wild pitches gave away a second run, 2-0.  After Burnett’s control issues continued with back-to-back walks to Mauer and Morneau, Albaladejo delivered by getting Kubel looking on a 2-2 fastball.

A-Rod led off the bottom of the seventh with a blast to left, creaming a hanging curve that was left right over the plate.  Matsui immediately doubled to right, Swisher bunted him to third and, although Melky didn’t hit a very good sac fly ball, Thomson made a great call and sent Matsui on Span’s noodle arm, and Span delivered by chucking it a good 15 feet to the first base side of home, 2-2.  The ball was in shallow to medium left, so ultimately Melky did enough, but credit Thomson for the call and knowing who caught it, for while Matsui ran fairly well, that was no gimmee.

Albaladejo issued a lead-off walk to Cuddyer, who promptly stole second, but a comebacker to Alby got Cuddyer in a rundown, and Alby played it perfectly, running at Cuddyer and throwing back to Jeter for the out.  This was huge, for Gomez singled, Alby gave another bad walk to the weak-hitting Punto to load the bases.  But Tomko entered and worked masterfully, with help from Teixeira.  Span ripped a grounder to Teixeira’s right, but he made a great diving snare and threw out Buscher from his knees for the force–tremendous, game-saving play. Tomko then got Tolbert to pop out.  The Yanks had a shot to win it in the bottom of the eighth when Jeter blooped a single to center, JD singled to left, and Teixeira’s F9 moved Jeter to third.  Slowey plunked A-Rod to load the bases but the lefty Mijares fanned Matsui to end the rally.

Mariano worked around a lead-off single in the ninth to Mauer, but struck out Morneau and got Kubel and Cuddyer on two fly balls. Swisher walked and Brett the Jet ran for him, going to second on Melky’s sac bunt.  Cervelli then pounded what would have been the game-winning single off Mijares, with the ball caroming back near the plate to Mauer.  Instead of throwing to first to get Cervelli, he faked the throw then dove to block the plate and tag out The Jet, who ran on the play and never stopped.  It was a gutty call but a better play from the heady Mauer.  Cano’s F7 sent it to extras.  Aceves worked a 1-2-3 tenth, and JD’s tenth shot of the year off Jesse Crain ended it yet again in dramatic, walk-off fashion for the Yanks.

Five straight, three straight walk-off wins against the Twins, lots of dramatics and a very good baseball game to boot.

JD was taken into custody immediately after the game for felonious and repeated assaults on numerous baseballs after going 3-4, hitting .324 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs–leading the team in all three categories despite a sore head-to-toe.  Amazing work.  Jeter was 2-5 to raise his average to .270.  A-Rod’s third homer and 7 RBIs bumped his average up to .172.  Melky’s sac fly produced his 13th RBI, and Cervelli has filled in admirably for Jorge and Molina, with his single pushing him to a tremendous .318.  I for one certainly did not expect that–maybe .218, which I would have accepted.  He’s been excellent, and catching well.  Swisher was 1-2 to get back up to .244 after a 4-40 stretch moved his average down to .239.  Matsui was 1-4 with the double and run, but has sunk to .261.  Cano’s 0-2 steers him below .300 at .296.  Teixeira’s 0-4 with 2 K’s leaves him with a .231 average, which is still far better than a week ago, thanks to the return of A-Rod and some better pitches Teixeira is seeing. I don’t like the 1-5 with RISP, especially with the team second-last in the AL with RISP at .248 entering today’s game, but such things are easier to take when the team wins.

Although he allowed six walks and limped to the end of his start, Burnett deserves a lot of credit for hanging tough with Slowey pitching lights out.  Burnett only allowed two runs on six hits and six walks, fanning seven in 6 2/3 on 123 pitches/74 strikes, with a 5.02 ERA after today–not great, nor was the control, but better and a game outing.  The bullpen was very good, with Tomko getting a non-save save.  In all, the pen went 3 1/3 allowing no runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, and fanning 3.  Such late-inning heroics rarely happen without help from the staff, and the Yanks got both good bullpen work and good defense from Mr. Teixeira.

Although I’ll still be very busy especially the next few weeks, expect some semi-regular posting.  Tomorrow the Yanks go for the four-game sweep of Minnesota and six straight before three in The Bronx against Baltimore and the onset of interleague against the Phillies, before hitting the road against Texas and Cleveland.  The Yanks are still 4 1/2 behind Toronto, but they’ve bounced back, shown some grit, and can position themselves nicely for a lift when they get Jorge and Molina back later, especially when the pitching is good.

Good to be back.

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Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 5:13 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dramatic indeed.. Though many would probably like Yanks to start their scoring early.. I just love it.. Drama in sports is what we live for isn’t it?
    Lol, love your criminal description of JD’s day =)
    Will likely be hosting an in-gamer tomorrow night.. Hope you and the guys will stop by!
    Would it be too much to ask for four straight? Hehe..

  2. …more good news. Wang pitched 7 scoreless (minor league games are just 7 innings if part of a DH) innings for SWB today. A good sign. Bruney also started his rehab, but he was shaky.

    Ouch. Were the Celtics whupped at home in Game 7 or what?

  3. V, I am definitely one who would like the scoring to begin earlier, for it puts the pressure on the other team. But this has worked recently for the Yanks, and if nothing else shows their resolve. I don’t get the feeling that the 2009 Yanks are out of many games, unlike last year’s version. I’ll try to drop by for a little while tonight.

    I saw that as well about Wang and Bruney, Mike. Good signs. The Yanks sure need Bruney to shore up the bullpen, and while Hughes hasn’t been bad, clearly a healthy and efficient Wang would be a boost to the rotation. Hopefully Bruney can work off some rust soon, and he was very good early on after a rough ST. Yeah, too bad about the Celtics. I have no doubt that they’d be in the Eastern Conference finals if KG and Powe were healthy. Their injuries really hurt and, honestly, so did the lack of a consistent bench all year. The acquisition of Moore did woefully little to replace Posey, whom they should have kept for the several million per. Marbury shouldn’t return, either. I was impressed by the development of Big Baby who, while not star material, should be a steady pro player. Perkins’s shoulder worries me. I feel it will be something he will always have to deal with, and that’s a shame. Orlando really came to play in game 7, and Turkoglu was outstanding. The team was great from 3, and just never let Boston get all the way back. Once Boston couldn’t get closer than 3, they faded. They looked tired, Pierce especially, and who can blame them. They didn’t have it in them to keep going to seven games each series.

  4. Seems different in Yankeeland these days. Three straight walk-offs? Pretty crazy. As for the Celtics, can’t get on them too much right? They were still just a game shy of the Eastern conference finals without Garnett, which if you ask me is pretty impressive. And one can not really ask for much more in addition to what you got to experience last season. Even *I* watched more of the Celtics playoffs games last season than I missed. However, I have to admit, the Cavs/Lakers will be the only reason I watch the finals. And if that matchup occurs–which it seems it will–then I will look forward to it.

    http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

  5. vanessa–i’ll be around and will drop in for sure.

    great post and welcome back jason–you were missed..perfect tme to get away and miss some of those dreadful losses. lets hope that the home magic continues.

    one good thing to note is that there are only three teams with winning records at home and on the road. yanks are one of them.

  6. Jason, here is my new site link http://www.statisticianmagician.com/

    Come by, every single day. 🙂

  7. Oops, last comment was me. I was trying to start off with your name and apparently put it as my name as well.


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