In another game with a playoff atmosphere, the New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4. Robinson Cano was the player of the game, going 3-4 with a huge home run in the top of the ninth to give the Yankees the win. Javier Vazquez went 6.1 innings strong, but Dave Robertson got the win and Mariano Rivera picked up the save. With the win, the Yankees move to 66-37 on the season and guarantee that they will remain in first in the AL East over the Rays.

Teammates in 2011? - J. Meric/Getty Images

Initial Reaction:

Although there was much buzz about the Yankees and their deadline deals, there was still an important game that needed to be played this tonight. Much like yesterday’s game, tonight’s game had a playoff feel to it. Both pitchers, Javier Vazquez and Matt Garza, had their good and bad moments…

J. Vazquez 6.1 IP 4 ER 8 H 3 K 0 BB 1 HR
M. Garza 7 IP 4 ER 5 H 9 K 1 BB 2 HR

Positives From The Game:

DFA: The best news before the game started? The addition of Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns, and Kerry Wood meant that Chan Ho Park got designated for assignment. So long CHoP.

What a Bomb!: Mark Teixeira’s sixth inning home run went right down the first base line, but it would have been out anywhere in the park. This tied the game at three.

Batting Sixth: Nick Swisher obviously wasn’t too bothered with being moved to sixth in the lineup, as he hit a home run in the top of the seventh to tie the game at four apiece.

The Pen: Boone Logan and Dave Robertson pitched effectively in the seventh and eighth innings, shutting down the top of the potent Rays’ lineup.

Robby!: Robinson Cano had another fantastic game going 3-4, but his two doubles didn’t match up with his solo shot in the top of the ninth inning to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.

Negatives From The Game:

Sir Lancelot: In an unimpressive first game as a Yankee, Lance Berkman went 0-4. Obviously, he will turn it around, but it’s never fun watching someone pop out, foul out, fly out, and strike out.

Game Changer: Carl Crawford can affect a game in many ways. It looked like he was going to single-handedly beat the Yanks in his first two at bats. He ended up going 2-3 with an RBI and a steal. If the Yanks can’t have him next year, I hope he goes far, far away from the AL East.

Interesting Facts:

Alex Rodriguez, remember him? He went 0-4 and is still stuck on 599 career home runs.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will finish their three game series in St. Petersburg tomorrow afternoon at 1:05. The game can be viewed on the YES Network.

Projected Starters:

CC Sabathia (13-4, 3.15 ERA) vs. James Shields (9-9, 4.79 ERA)