What a wide range of emotions. Two Alex Rodriguez home runs, including one in the top of the ninth with two outs, gave the New York Yankees a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. David Robertson picked up the win and Mariano Rivera got the save. With the win and the Tampa Bay Rays loss, the Yankees are back where they belong: first place.

Initial Reaction:

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot recently, but poor AJ Burnett. He was “effectively wild” tonight, and kept the Orioles to three runs in seven innings. However, the Yankee offense didn’t quite give him a chance to get a win. These past few games have been very frustrating to watch and I really hope the Yankees can drop this funk very soon.

Update (10:04 PM): Sorry, that was my depressed alter ego writing the beginning of the post. I obviously forgot that Alex Rodriguez is still one of the best sluggers in the game, and he gave the Yankees a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth to (finally) give the Yankees a chance to win.

Positives From The Game:

An A-Bomb: Although A-Rod won’t hit his 30 home runs this year due to injury problems; he’s doing what it takes to lead the Yankees to the playoffs. He hit his 24th home run of the year tonight in the top of the second to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

The Man of the Night: A-Rod’s ninth inning home run genuinely picked up my spirits tonight. The three run shot was his 25th of the season, and it gave the Yankees a much needed 4-3 lead. Remember what I said about him not being able to make it to 30? He needs five in fifteen games. He’s done it before folks.

Negatives From The Game:

Pick up the Slack, O: The offense again had a very groggy night. The Bombers only managed one hit to lead off an inning, and it was A-Rod’s solo home run.

Give the Guy a Break: Mark Teixeira is batting .231 with no home runs in September. We all heard about his broken toe, and it is obviously affecting his power numbers. Give Fat Elvis a day or two at first to rest big Mark. He certainly needs it after going 0-4 with two strikeouts.

Plain Bad Luck: A.J. Burnett made a great pitch to Robert Andino that he somehow pulled for a home run in the first row in left field. The ball never looked like it would ever be high enough to get out, but sure enough, it did.

Interesting Facts:

Andy Pettitte: Andy was back in the dugout tonight. Hopefully he’ll be rested and ready for his start on Sunday.

Kevin Millwood vs. the Yankees this year: 0-2, 7.56 ERA. Obviously, not counting tonight.

A.J. Burnett hit two batters tonight on 0-2 pitches. He now has 16 hit batsmen on the year.

The Yankees left eight men on base tonight. These horrible numbers with RISP have to end sometime soon.

What’s Next?:

There are no relevant college football games tomorrow, so you have no excuse not to watch the Yankees take on the Orioles at 7:05 on the YES Network. Let’s see if the Big Stoppa can finally get win #20.

Projected Starters:

CC Sabathia (19-6, 3.03 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (10-13, 3.74 ERA)