Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Twin Killing

In tonight's game preview, we detailed the Yanks four game sweep of the Twins in May. Despite the four game sweep, the Yanks run differential for the series was only +5 and they required three walk-off wins. Tonight, they continued beating the Twinkies, and this time did so far more handily.

The Yanks scored early and often, scoring in three of the first four innings to take a 5-1 lead, and tacking on five more in the sixth to put the game far out of reach. Derek Jeter led off the game with a single and was later plated on a Hideki Matsui single. In the second, Robinson Cano led off with a double, moved to third on a Brett Gardner infield single, and scored on a Frankie Cervelli sac fly. They then added another run as Gardner scored on a Mark Teixeria base hit.

CC Sabathia gave a run back in the bottom of the inning on a Michael Cuddyer solo shot. But the Yankees chased Scott Baker in the fourth, adding two more runs. Carlos Gomez robbed Alex Rodriguez of a grand slam hauling in a drive that was ticketed to land over the fence. A-Rod had to settle for a sac fly, and a bases loaded walk from Nick Swisher forced in the Yankees' fifth run.

In the sixth, the Yanks ended the game for all intents and purposes, and all the damage was done with two outs. Robinson Cano finally broke his twenty-plus RISP oh fer, dropping a broken bat single into centerfield to score Teix and A-Rod. Brett Gardner followed with a two run triple scoring Swisher and Cano, then Cervelli ripped a double off the leftfield fence, to plate Gardner and close out the scoring.

The entire Yankee offense was great. Every starter had at least one hit, Cano and Cervelli had two each, Gardner three, and Teix four. Five of the starters drew walks, including two each from Matsui and Swisher. With the big lead, Damon, Jeter, and A-Rod all got the late innings off, saving them from the turf.

The Cuddyer homer was the only blip on the radar screen for Sabathia, as he rebounded from last Thursday's poor start. He needed 100 pitches, 68 of them strikes, to get through 7 innings. He allowed just three hits and a walk, and struck out three. He didn't allow more than a single baserunner in any inning. The big lead made it safe for Brett Tomko to close out the last two innings, but not before allowing the second Twins run in the eighth.

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