The Yankees had a lot of good karma going for them with so many of their former greats in the house, with Gene Monahan being honored, with Tino Martinez even sending up a two-run homer in the Old-Timers’ game. They were down 3-0 in the fifth, but they didn’t want to blow it on this day. And they didn’t, taking the 6-4 win.
“The way Old-Timers’ Day is, bringing back the great Yankees that made this organization what it is, you’ve definitely got to send those guys off on a win,” Nick Swisher said.
The Yankees rallied twice, and Eduardo Nunez sent them ahead with a single in the seventh. Mark Teixeira took out insurance with a solo shot in the eighth, his major-league-co-leading 23rd.
“I can’t let Tino show me up on Old-Timers’ Day,” Teixeira said, smiling. “I still hear a lot of people who want Tino back at first base every time I have a couple of bad games.”
It was rather fitting that the 41-year-old closer, Mariano Rivera, struck out the side to end it. Rivera tied Trevor Hoffman’s all-time record by reaching 20 saves for the 15th time.
“We were joking with Mo that he should come out and get in between a few of us,” Joe Girardi said about the intros for the Old-Timers.
“Great day,” Girardi said. “It starts with the Old-Timers’ game and seeing so many people who have meant so much to this organization. We’re able to honor Geno. … Then to win a game like that, a game where we were behind and able to come back and gets some big hits by Swish, Posada and Nunie, great game.”
The bottom line is, the Yankees are playing like a first-place/playoff team. They have won two straight, 12 of 16 and 25 of 37 and are a season-high-tying 14 above .500 at 45-31.
“This team is a very talented team, a very potent lineup from top to bottom,” Swisher said. “I think we’re proving that.”
Swisher is batting .312 with seven homers in his last 28 games since May 27, when he was hitting .204, his low point. He’s up to .245.
*Alex Rodriguez is up to six straight games with an RBI, one short of his career high.
*Derek Jeter did some swinging for the second straight day in Tampa, only this day marked his 37th birthday. He told the AP that he hopes to kick off a running program tomorrow or Tuesday. Sure doesn’t sound like he’s coming back Wednesday when he’s eligible.
*After Monday’s day off, the Yankees will host the Brewers for three games. Freddy Garcia and Zack Greinke will be the pitching matchup Tuesday night. Then A.J. Burnett and Shaun Marcum will be the matchup for Wednesday night. CC Sabathia and Randy Wolf are down for Thursday.
“It’s fun,” Sabathia said. “It is my former team. I do know a lot of guys there. … I kind of miss them.”