The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Game 36: Twins at Yankees

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on May 16, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

YANKEES (18-17)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira DH
Rodriguez 3B
Swisher 1B
Cano 2B
Cabrera RF
Gardner CF
Cervelli C

Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 3.89).

TWINS (18-18)
Span CF
Harris 2B
Mauer DH
Morneau 1B
Kubel LF
Cuddyer RF
Buscher 3B
Redmond C
Punto SS

Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (2-2, 4.32).

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES.

ON A LITTLE ROLL: The Yankees have won three straight, four of five and five of the last seven. At 18-17, they are above .500 for the first time since May 4.

COMING AROUND: Mark Teixeira is 6 of 16 over the last four games with three RBI. His batting average has climbed from .191 to .213.

GETTING OFFENSIVE: The Yankees have collected 28 hits (15 for extra bases) and drawn 19 walks in the last three games. However they have left 30 men on base.

SWISHER’S SLUMP: Swisher’s batting average is .239. His strikeout average is .319.

CAPTAIN COMEBACK: Derek Jeter has five home runs. He didn’t hit his fifth last season until July 12, the 87th game of the season.

GRITTY AND GUTTY: Brett Gardner is 7 of his last 19 with four extra-base hits and four RBI.

NO PATIENCE FOR PATIENCE: When Robinson Cano walked in the sixth inning last night, it was his first in 96 plate appearances.

PITCHING IN: The Yankees have allowed seven earned runs in their last 27 innings.

BULLPEN BRING IT: Yankee relievers have allowed one run in their last eight innings.

A-ROD UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez is 2 of 21 since his home run. But he has been drawing walks, including four last night.

ALBIE’S ARRIVAL: Jonathan Albaladejo’s last seven outings: 7 5 2 0 4 2.

ROAD KILL: The Twins are 3-9 on the road.

Late report today, so the lineup may be a bit. Back with much more later,

UPDATE, 11:01 p.m.: Still no lineup. Girardi is waiting for Alex to arrive.

UPDATE, 11:57 p.m.: Brian Bruney will head to Scranton and is scheduled to pitch an inning tomorrow. If that goes well, he will likely be activated on Monday or more likely Tuesday. … Sounds like Xavier Nady will lead to Tampa in nine days when the team goes on the road. Spoke to Jose Molina, who was on his way to the cages to hit and throw. He said his leg feels better but he’s still a week or so away from going to Tampa to ramp up his rehab.

Girardi said Teixeira feels fine. They’re just giving him a day as DH. How about Nick Swisher? The season started with questions about how often he would play. Now he plays no matter what.

UPDATE, 12:26 p.m.: Mariano Rivera is signing for the people down the right field line and has been there for a while.

JOBA’S WARM-UP ROUTINE UPDATE, 12:37 p.m.: I’m going to document Joba’s warm-up as best I can. He just walked out to the outfield.

12:38: Playing catch with Cervelli as Dave Eiland watches.

12:41: Playing some longer toss with Cervelli.

12:43: Back to 60 feet. Throwing harder now. Still in outfield.

12:45: In the bullpen now.

12:46: Threw 7 pitches to a standing Cervelli.

12:47: Now throwing to a squatting Cervelli. Nice and easy.

12:50: Throwing with a little more purpose now. 18 pitches in.

12:53: He’s throwing hard, but not full out. 30 pitches in.

12:55: Taking a little break after 35 pitches. Talking to Cervelli.

12:57: Back on the mound.

12:58: Throwing to Cervelli with Mike Harkey standing in the lefty batters box.

12:59: He’s 8 pitches in. Harkey doesn’t have a bat (which is in accordance to MLB rules, I believe).

1:00: 12 pitches in. Joba seems to be throwing a game speed

1:01: He’s done. By my count, he threw 15 pitches. Now he’s headed in with Eiland and Cervelli.

1:03: So there you have it, Joba’s “simulated game” lasted about four minutes and he threw 15 pitches. We’ll find out soon enough if that helps him.

UPDATE, 1:12 p.m.: Joba fanned Span to start the game. But in what appears to be something that can’t be a coincidence, the gun doesn’t work on the scoreboard and isn’t on YES, either.

UPDATE, 1:16 p.m.: Joba retired the side in order on 14 pitches, 8 strikes. Whatever they did worked today worked just fine.

UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Trying to find out what happened there. It seems Cuddyer missed second base on his way back to first. But the run counts.

UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: Yeah, that’s it. Run counts as it scored first. Cuddyer out because he slid into second, went past the bag and didn’t touch it on the way back.

UPDATE, 2:01 p.m.: The Yankees and Bank of America are doing a good thing that ends this weekend. The ComBAT Hunger food drive includes the Yankees donating $100 for every hit they get at home from April 16 until tomorrow. Meanwhile, BoA is matching any donations that fans make on line up to $50,000. More than $20,000 has been raised by fans so far.

So let’s do our part. I’ll start with $50. Go to and donate a few bucks. The Food Bank says that $1 can provide five meals.

If everybody reading today kicks in a few bucks, we can do a good thing. So get on it.


UPDATE, 2:26 p.m.: Outside of the third inning, Nick Blackburn has been remarkably efficient. But Yankees lead 3-2. … Swisher looks like he needs a day off. His bat is slow.

UPDATE, 2:53 p.m.: Joba gave them a quality six (6 3 2 2 4 6) and now they need to come up with six outs before handing the lead to Mo. Tall task.

UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Of course scoring a few runs here would help make getting the ball to Mo a lot easier A-Rod has a chance with runners on first and second and nobody out.

UPDATE, 3:03 p.m.: A-Rod strikes out. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and 3 for 26 (.115) on the season in eight games with one extra-base hit. His range at third base has been limited, too. That you expect given the nature of his injury. But you have to wonder whether the lack of offense is attributable to the injury, being rusty or something else.

UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Jose Veras with a lead? Really?

Not for long.

UPDATE, 3:12 p.m.: Leadoff walk and a rocket single. First and second and nobody out. Look for the fundamental Twins to bunt the No. 9 hitter then let the top of the order work.

UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.: Yep, sac for Punto. Veras out, Phil Coke in. Veras can’t even handle the bottom of Minnesota’s order. He walked .211 hitting Brian Buscher to start the inning. Brian Buscher. Just brutal.

UPDATE, 3:21 p.m.: Phil Coke just saved his manager’s bacon right there by getting out of that inning.

Meanwhile, here is the classic case of how all managers use closers the wrong way. One-run game. Minnesota has Mauer, Morneau and Kubel due up, their best hitters. Rivera should pitch the eighth inning. This is where the game has to be saved, not the ninth.

But nobody ever does that because it would open them to criticism. It’s too bad. It’s Russian Roulette to send somebody else out there in the eighth inning.

UPDATE, 3:33 p.m.: And there you have it, Coke gets Mauer out then Morneau puts one in the second deck.

I don’t blame Girardi because there isn’t a manager in the game with the guts to do it. But that is where the game needed to be saved. That is where the Yankees needed their best reliever, not home-run prone Phil Coke.

3-3 and it’s anybody’s game.

UPDATE, 3:37 p.m.: 4-3 Twins. That’s asking too much of Coke there.

Now what is interesting is Minnesota may not have Joe Nathan today as he has worked four days in a row and threw a lot of pitches yesterday. Yankees have two shots to at least tie it.

Well, that assumes Edwar doesn’t make it worse. Big assumption, that.

UPDATE, 3:51 p.m.: Nice pinch hitting by Godzilla as he doubles to left. Jeter bunts (although I’m not crazy about taking the bat out of his hands). Now Damon has a shot to tie it.

UPDATE, 3:53 p.m.: It would seem Tex has arrived in the Boogie Down. 4 for 4 with four RBI and two extra-base hits.

The four hits match a career high. Brand new ballgame again and another chance for A-Rod.

By the way, don’t you walk Tex to get to A-Rod? I know he’s A-Rod. But he’s not himself.

UPDATE, 3:58 p.m.: Alex walks and it’s a chance for Swish.

UPDATE, 4:02 p.m.: No dice for Swish. Enter Sandman.

UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.: Mo had two strikes on Span and there were like seven people clapping. The crowd seems a little worn out by the tumult of the day.

UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: Mo does his job. He seems to be back to being Mo. Now Robbie Cano puts one out and everybody goes home happy.

Or will Melky be the Walk-Off Wonder again?

UPDATE, 4:14 p.m.: Girardi is going to use Mo for another inning. I didn’t realize this game decided something.

Explain this to me, please. If you’re willing to use Mo for two innings, why doesn’t he pitch the eighth inning when you needed him?

UPDATE, 4:18 p.m.: This is a first guess: I don’t get this. They have used Mo carefully all season and now May 16 against the Twins is the seventh game of the World Series apparently. This is asking for trouble.

UPDATE, 4:25 p.m.: Mo ducked out of a jam thanks to a nice running catch by Gardner. They better win this now and keep the bullpen on ice.

UPDATE, 4:37 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves out of the pen. Why not use Mo for three? I don’t get it.

UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Nice play by Jeter. Suck it, UZR. Meanwhile, it would be wise to win this game now as Mauer and Morneau will get up in the 12th.

UPDATE, 4:44 p.m.: Matter of time there. Yankees win as A-Rod walks off with a blast. He has eight walk-off jacks in his career, five with the Yankees.

That’s four in a row for the Yankees. Nice win for them.




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