Friday, May 14, 2010

Game 35 Recap

A.J. Burnett ran into trouble right out of the gate. He stranded two runners in the first inning and then loaded the bases with no one out in the second. Nick Punto stood there while Burnett threw four straight balls to force in a run but up next, Denard Span tapped one back to the mound and allowed Burnett start a 1-2-3 double play and stall the rally. Orland Hudson struck out swinging to end the inning and Burnett escaped relatively unscathed.

Nick Swisher came out of the game after striking out in the second inning, his bicep injury apparently still nagging him. He had an MRI but it was negative and he's day-to-day.

The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a home run by Brett Gardner and a ground rule double to right by Robinson Cano but Joe Mauer hit a solo homer to even the score in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half of that inning, the Yanks jumped ahead once again, this time on a double my Mark Teixeira that scored Brett Garnder from first.

The score remained 3-2 until the top of the 7th. Burnett got two outs and with only 100 pitches and a man on first, Joe Girardi went to the bullpen for Damaso Marte, who promptly allowed a game-tying single to Joe Mauer. Brett Gardner threw the ball home for no apparent reason and allowed Joe Mauer to advance to second. Justin Morneau then ripped a double to center and gave the Twins a 4-3 advantage.

Scott Baker came out of the bottom of the 7th and gave up a single to Francisco Cervelli. Derek Jeter followed with a line drive directly off Baker's knee that deflected far enough away for Cervelli to get to third and Jeter to get to second with a double. Gardner looped out to left but it was caught and the Twins elected to walk Mark Teixeira to load the bases for A-Rod. Looking for the double play, Ron Gardnehire brought in sinkerballer Matt Guerrier, who A-Rod was 4-6 off of with three homers. Impossibly, his line got even better.

After ripping the first pitch down the third baseline (which looked to be fair or very close to it), Rodriguez blasted a fat fastball into the seats just in front of the bleachers in left for the 19th grand slam of his career, giving the Yanks a 7-4 lead. It also put him at 587, one ahead of Frank Robinson. A-Rod's home run was worth 35.9% of WPA which negated Marte's -33.5% implosion and then some.

Joba Chamberlain struck out the side in the top of the eighth inning, Francisco had an RBI triple in the bottom half and Mariano Rivera sat the Twins down in the ninth to wrap things up. The final score was 8-4 as the Yanks temporarily slowed their skid and continued their dominance at home over the Twins.

Tomorrow's game is at 1:00 as Andy Pettitte takes on the resurgent Francisco Liriano.

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