6:07pm can’t come soon enough. While we’re waiting around, we may as well take a quick look at the Yankees and Twins regular season matchups in 2009. Not that this tells us anything whatsoever about what will happen in the postseason, but hey, we’ve still more than four hours until game time.
As we all know, the Yankees went 7-0 against Minnesota this year, with their first three victories coming via the walk-off.
Here’s the first set at Yankee Stadium last May:
Game 35: Friday, May 15, Hughes v. Liriano, Yankees win 5-4
Game 36: Saturday, May 16, Chamberlain v. Blackburn, Yankees win 6-4 in 11
Game 37: Sunday, May 17, Burnett v. Slowey, Yankees win 3-2 in 10
Game 38: Monday, May 18, Pettitte v. Perkins, Yankees win 7-6
And the second set at the Homerdome:
Wow, remember when Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain were both in the rotation? Those were the days. Looking forward to seeing that again in 2010. All of the Yankees starters handled the Twins pretty admirably, with the only really bad start coming from Alfredo Aceves in that last game. Ace wasn’t terrible, but he only managed to go 3 1/3. Thankfully, the bullpen held the Twins scoreless the remainder of the game, although this lengthier outing for one of the Yanks’ key bullpen cogs marked the beginning of a dead-armed/less effective Aceves for much of July and August. In any event, Ace seems to have righted himself.
The best game by far of this crop of seven is the Sunday, May 17, game, which was actually highlighted by two of my favorite defensive plays of the year. In the top of the 8th, with one out and the bases loaded, Mark Teixiera made one of the best plays of the season, diving to cut off a quick grounder and gunning the runner out at home from his knees, preserving the tie.
One inning later, Joe MVPauer made one of the best defensive plays I’ve ever seen from a catcher, pouncing on a slow roller and diving back to the plate to tag potential winning run Brett Gardner out at home in the bottom of the 9th. Thankfully Johnny Damon would end the game one inning later walkoff-style. Mauer making that play was a tough pill to swallow, but also significantly increased my already high level of respect for him. Can’t wait to see him do it again as a Yankee in 2011.
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