Sunday, May 17, 2009

Damon Bails Out Gardner

The Yankees earned their 3rd straight walk off win thanks to a 10th inning homer from Johnny Damon. Despite all the cheers from the fans in attendance, you could still hear the sigh of relief coming from Brett Gardner.

In the bottom of the 9th, sitting on 2nd base, Francisco Cervelli dropped one down to the right causing Twins catcher Joe Mauer to come up and field the ball. Cervelli would have beat out the throw and so Mauer held on. Brett made the turn at third and was tagged out by Mauer at home. If Gardner had help up, the Yankees would have had 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Robbie Cano popped deep into left and would have scored a tagging Gardner for the win. Instead, we went to extra innings.

There’s no room for stupid in the bottom of the 9th. Yankees 3rd base coach Rob Thompson clearly called for Brett to hold up at 3rd. You have to love young guys with enthusiasm, but there’s a fine line between being eager for a win and costing your team a victory. In the end, Johnny Damon made it all a moot point, but Girardi still needs to have a talk with Gardner.

That play aside, hats off to the Yankee bullpen. Tomko, Aceves and Rivera all were sharp. Burnett struggled at times, but gave up very few runs and lasted deep in the game. Albaladejo made things interesting, loading up the bases, but afterward Yankees pitching was lights out. In a tie game, late innings, the bullpen pitched extremely well in a high pressure situation. Given enough balls to swing at, the offense is going to produce a run eventually and the bullpen bought the team enough time to do it.

Aceves, Tomko, and Coke are the go-to guys in the bullpen right now in my book. Albaladejo is streaky and Veras and Ramirez are dangerous (Farnsworth type dangerous). Let’s see what Girardi does in the future once Bruney comes back. Hopefully he’ll stick with what’s currently working. I’d like to see Melancon back in the majors also, giving him some more big league experience.

This was another big win for the Yankees, who now have a nice win streak going, and have given the home town fans some memorable moments in the new stadium. Hopefully they can keep it up and do even better once guys start coming off the DL.

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