The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-4 to take a 1-0 lead in the American League Division Series. In what could have been a pitcher’s duel, both teams put together big hits, but none as big as Mark Teixeira’s two-run go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh. CC Sabathia picked up the win for the Yanks, and Mariano Rivera earned the save.

AP

Tonight’s game got off to a very slow start. Michael Cuddyer smoked a line-drive home run off of CC Sabathia to give the Twins a quick 2-0 lead. Orlando Hudson made his way around the bases to push the lead up to three.

Francisco Liriano was downright dirty for 5.1 innings, then the wheels fell off the bus. Mark Teixeira doubled, A-Rod walked, Cano hit an RBI single, Thames struck out, Posada hit an RBI single, and Curtis Granderson knocked out the AL Comeback Player of the Year with a triple that knocked in two more. Odds are if you missed fifteen minutes, you missed the entire four-run rally, but it destroyed Liriano. Looking back, it’s very hard to believe he retired ten Yankees in a row before hand. Even more important for the Yanks was that Posada’s RBI-single and Grandy’s RBI-triple came with two outs, which is an area which plagued the Yankees in the recent months.

CC Sabathia looked to shut down the Twins in the next inning, and he did for the first two batters. Then, CC ended terribly, walking Danny Valencia with the bases loaded to tie the game. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run that curved around the foul pole.

The Yankee bullpen got to work in the seventh, and it certainly wasn’t easy for any of them. However, Boone Logan, Dave Robertson, Kerry Wood, and Mariano Rivera pieced together the last three innings. Mo looked like he was in typical postseason form, shutting down Denard Span with inherited runners on second and third. That was his 40th career postseason save. Also, that was his seventh in his past 13 in the postseason that were more than three outs.

Anyway, Delmon Young’s “base hit” in the bottom of the ninth with two outs was not a hit. It wasn’t in real-time speed, and it wasn’t in slow motion. Sure, Jim Thome popped up to third to end the game the next at bat, but these umpires need to get the call right. There are six of them on the field – someone has to see that the ball clearly did not hit the ground.

As I said in my preview yesterday, the Yankees did a good job of shutting down the Twins’ lefty bats. Their lefties went 2-10 against CC and Boone Logan.

With Derek Jeter’s single in the third, he has now reached base in 123 out of 138 career postseason games. It will be interesting when he plays 162 postseason games to see just how good that would be if it were a season.
What’s Next?:

The Yankees take on the Twins tomorrow on TBS at 6:07 PM.

Projected Starters:

Andy Pettitte (11-3 3.28 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.75 ERA)

Andy in the Playoffs: 18-9, 3.90 ERA (all with Yankees)

Carl in the Playoffs: 2-1, 1.71 ERA (0-1, 2.57 with the Twins)