The Yankees certainly like to make things interesting. After starting the game in what seemed like a repeat of last night’s game, it certainly became interesting and then exciting and then rather wonderful. And believe me, after last night’s… whatever that was, it was nice to have a bit of a Hollywood story for the win in the Twin Cities.
Usually, tonight’s starter CC Sabathia is either really good or really bad, but tonight, he was kind of somewhere in between. He wasn’t bad, just not as sharp as he could be. His 92 pitches took him just 5.2 innings, getting in and out of several jams and finding himself on the wrong end of a no-decision. Overall, he gave up 6 hits, 5 runs, and 3 walks, and struck out just 3 Twins batters. In fact, his problems mainly came at the beginning of the game. In the 1st, a lead-off single scored on a 2-run home run to give the Twins an early lead. And then in the 3rd, with 2 runners on base with singles and one out, a batter smacked a nice 3-run home run.
This gave the Twins their early 5-0 lead, and Yankees Universe everywhere was groaning, fearing a repeat of yesterday. But the Yankees began their slow rally at the top of the 4th when Alex Rodriguez hit a very big 2-out solo home run (that bounced off the facing of the 3rd deck of Target Field, by the way).
And there the score sat 5-1 Twins for the middle part of the game. Adam Warren came in to close out Sabathia’s problems in the 6th inning and pitch through the 7th and 8th, keeping the Twins from adding to their score.
But in the mean time, the Yankees kept advancing. In the 7th (following the ejection of the Minnesota’s manager for arguing balls and strikes), Young led-off with a double and then scored on Rodriguez’s 2-run home run (yes, that’s home run #2 for the game). After Teixeira’s double, the Twins changed pitchers, getting into their bullpen. Teixeira moved to 3rd on a line out and then scored on Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly. The Yankees were within one run.
So, as part of their last hope, the Yankees made the most of the new pitcher in the 9th inning. To lead-off the inning, Alex Rodriguez promptly hit his 3rd home run of the game, his 23rd of the season. The game was now tied, and the Yankees weren’t done yet. After Teixeira singled, Carlos Beltran hit into an out — originally called a double play, upon a challenge, was overturned to a force out at 2nd to get Teixeira and to keep Beltran safe at 1st. On Headley’s single, Beltran moved to 3rd. And then John Ryan Murphy hit his 1st home run of the season — a big 3-run home run to center field to put the Yankees in a big lead.
And with Andrew Miller coming in for the bottom of the 9th, the Twins were shut down 1-2-3 in just 10 pitches because that’s what Miller does.
Fun random fact: until tonight, Rodriguez had never it a home run at Target Field. He certainly made up for this tonight.
Final score: 8-5 Yankees.
Guess what’s back on the blog… Roster Moves! Pitcher Nick Goody was signed to a MLB contract, up from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and showed up in away greys at tonight’s game. To make room, reliever Branden Pinder was optioned back to AAA Scranton, and infielder Gregorio Petit was designated for assignment.
Now, with the trade deadline looming (July 31), the Yankees aren’t expected to do anything big (like the year they picked up Ichiro Suzuki), but I imagine there’s still going to be a bit of movement in the club in these last few days of July while the Yankees are on the road. It’s going to make for an interesting few days at least.