Thursday, October 08, 2009

Yankees Follow Formula in Game 1

For at least the first game of the ALDS, the Yankees followed their proven formula for success. The formula? The starting pitcher keeps the Yankees in the game while the Yankee batters wear down the starter until he breaks and then feast on the weaker bullpen. Once they have the lead, turn it over to the bullpen, play good defense and the win is in the books.

The game started a little shaky for the Yankees. Duensing started sharply and besides Jeter's opening single, the Yankees looked fooled by the rookie Twins' starter. Meanwhile, the Twins nicked Sabathia for three straight hits and another passed ball for Jorge Posada in the post season resulting in two runs. Only an excellent throw by Swisher on a shallow fly kept the game in line at that point.

Then Derek Jeter came up for the second time and padded his legend by pulling a breaking ball for a huge home run well into the seats in left. That was huge for the Yankees as they were playing tight before that. The Captain's bomb loosened the team up and they went on to score the go ahead run and then finally ran Duensing out of the game much earlier than Gardenhire was hoping after yesterday's 12 inning division clincher. Gardenhire had little choice but to bring in Liriano, one of the few pitchers that didn't pitch yesterday. Liriano promptly gave up a bomb to Matsui to center and the game was basically over.

A couple of notes on the Yankee victory:

  • - Jeter had a perfect day going 2 for 2 with two walks. He scored three of the Yankees' seven runs.
  • - A-Rod came through in the clutch twice in three attempts, which is certainly good news for him and for the Yankees.
  • - Sabathia wasn't outstanding, but he was certainly good. He didn't walk anyone and the rally the Twins had to score two runs came with two outs after a bad call by the umpire on what should have been the third strike.
  • - Speaking of that umpire, he was uniformly bad calling balls and strikes. It looked like he squeezed both teams on should-be strikes and called some questionable balls for strikes.
  • - Mauer did his part with two solid singles. The guy can flat out hit.
  • - It still seems like Posada and Sabathia struggle to get on the same page. Of course, this has been the big story all week and it isn't going to go away unless the Yankees sweep everything.
  • - This Fan is still amazed when a big, six foot, eleven inch pitcher can somehow coordinate all that body to throw in the major leagues. John Rauch does it somehow and is successful more than he isn't.

The Twins might be exhausted. They may have played tonight on the rush of yesterday's thrilling victory, but once the Yankees got the lead, the Twins seemed placid on the bench. They will get a day of rest tomorrow and then Friday is the crucial game for both teams. If the Twins win, they will have the momentum going home and if the Twins lose, the Yankees will be set up pretty nicely.

The Fan is pooped. Too many late night baseball games lately. More posts for you in the morning.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

It's always sweet to sweep a team, but I'm sure it will make it extra sweet to beat Pavano in Game 3.