Last night the Yankees took game 2 of the World Series by the score of 3-1. The Yankees were opposed by Pedro Martinez, and while he pitched well, he did not pitch as well as Burnett did for the Yankees. A.J. went 7 strong innings allowing only 1 run, while striking out 9 and only walking 2 batters. A.J. really showed his worth last night, and depending on the situations the Yankees may consider starting him on short rest for game 5. On the offensive side Mark Teixeira got the Yankees on the board by hitting a solo homer in the 4th inning, then in the 6th Hideki Matsui hit another solo homer to give the Yankees 2 runs, and that’s all they would need. However, the Yankees picked up an insurance run in the 7th when Jorge Posada (pinch hitting for Jose Molina) singled to score Brett Gardner (pinch running for Jerry Hairston Jr.). Mariano Rivera came in for the 8th and 9th, and shut the down, albeit with some difficulty. Still, the Yankees won, and evened out the series 1-1 going into Philadelphia for 2 games.
As you already know, Joe Girardi opted to put Jerry Hairston Jr. in right field last night in place for the slumping Nick Swisher (4-35 this postseason, a .114 average). I don’t disagree with the move to sit Swisher, but I’m not sure I think Hairston was the best replacement. I understand Jerry had good numbers against Pedro (1o-27), but Eric Hinske is 8-30 against Pedro, and Hinske is generally considered the better hitter out of the duo of Hairston and Hinkse. And if Girardi didn’t want to play Hinske, Gardner was an option as well, but I too probably would have chose Hairston over Gardner. What’s your take?
After winning game 1 of the ALDS, the Yankees sent A.J. Burnett to the mound with Jose Molina as his personal catcher to face Nick Blackburn and the Twins. Both starters ended up throwing good games, but in vastly different ways. Burnett went 6 innings, gave up only 3 hits and 1 run, but he was in trouble all night because of his 5 walks allowed, but he managed to give the Yankees a good game and strike out 6 batters. Blackburn had a no hitter going through 5.2 innings before Robinson Cano broke it up with a clean single. However, the Yankees would not score until the following inning (the 6th) when Derek Jeter hit a ground rule double with 1 out, and later in the inning Alex Rodriguez scorched a sharp single to left field to score Jeter, which at the time brought the game even to 1-1. In the 7th inning the Yankees brought Joba Chamberlain in to replace Burnett. Joba got the first two batters out, but allowed a single to Joe Mauer and Joba made way for Phil Coke who came in and struck out Jason Kubel to end the 7th. In the top of the 8th with the score still 1-1, Joe Girardi called on Phil Hughes. Hughes got the first two outs, but then fell in trouble as he walked Carlos Gomez, and then gave up back to back singles which allowed Gomez to score. Mariano Rivera came in the try and get out of Hughes’ mess, but before he was able to strike out Orlando Cabrera for the third out, Mo gave up a single to Denard Span which made it 3-1. Going into the bottom of the 9th, the score remained 3-1 Twins and the Yankees had to face Joe Nathan. Mark Teixeira led off the ninth with a single, which brought Alex Rodriguez up to the plate. Rodriguez worked the count until he got his pitch which he hit out to the Yankees bullpen for a two run homer to tie the game up! Was a pie inevitable for the Yankees? Nathan was able to keep the score tied in the ninth, so the game went to extra innings. The 10th inning proved to be an inning of missed opportunities for both teams, as they moved to the 11th. Damaso Marte came in to pitch the 11th because two lefties were due up, Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel who both got hits off of Marte. Joe Girardi was forced to take out a disappointing Marte, and he replaced him with David Robertson. Robertson came in and gave up a single to the first batter he faced to load the bases with nobody out. Then came the Houdini act. Robertson got the first out on a hard liner right at Teixeira. Then he got the next batter to hit a grounder to Teixeira who came home with the ball for the second out. Robertson got the third out on a flyball to center, ending the inning without surrendering a run. 3-3 going into the bottom of the 11th. Mark Teixiera led off the 11th with a walk off homer to give the Yankees the victory, and as a reward he received a pie courtesy of A.J. Burnett.
Robetson is pumped!
A-Rod recieves a curtain call after his game tying home run in the 9th.
Teixeira hits a wall scraper to win the game for the Yankees.
Well, the regular season ending yesterday with an intense one-game-playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins, and as you know the Twins came out on top after 12 tense innings. Tonight, at 6:07 on TBS the Yankees will play the Twins in the Bronx, on this extremely windy day. This matchup favors the Yankees in all categories, the only thing I worry about is how hot the Twins have been, and if they could be like the 2007 Rockies who made it all the way to the World Series. Well anyway, here is tonight’s starting lineup via the new crew of Sam Borden and Chad Jennings (who have been doing a great job) who took over for Pete Abe at LoHud:
SS Derek Jeter
LF Johhny Damon
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
DH Hideki Matsui
C Jorge Posada
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
CF Melky Cabrera
And on the mound, CC Sabathia
Now that the official ALDS roster has been announced, I thought I would go over it quickly…
AJ Burnett – starting the second game, in Yankee Stadium, with Jose Molina catching.
Damaso Marte – the Yankees decided to take two lefty relievers instead of Freddy Guzman because of the Twins lefty hitters.
Joba Chamberlain – He is in the bullpen for this series, that could change in the ALCS (if the Yankees are in).
Chad Gaudin – I guess since Aceves has sort of become a two inning pitcher, the Yankees decided they needed a real long man.
Francisco Cervelli – I don’t quite see the need for Cervelli, but it’s not my decision.
Jerry Hairston Jr. – also serves as an outfielder
Eric Hinske – can also play infield, but not too well.
Hideki Matsui – he will DH when Molina catches, in case you are wondering.