The Yankees put on their ‘Clinch Day’ caps early this afternoon with a 4-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees followed up that 4-2 victory with another 4-2 victory in the night cap of the double header. Robinson Cano had a big two-run double in the first game and Jorge Posada had a clutch RBI single in the night cap. With the wins, the Yankees are officially your 2011 American League Champions. More importantly, the Yankees magic number for home field advantage is 3 with seven games to go!
Those are some UGLY hats...-AP Photo
-Big props to the Yankee bullpen for this one. Phil Hughes was a late scratch with a tight back. Joe Girardi was forced to scramble to put together a piecework stream of relievers. Well, Joe pushed the right buttons as the Yankee relievers only allowed two runs to a desperate Tampa Bay team. Mo came in in the ninth to lock down his 45th save and a Yankee playoff berth.
-Major props to Eduardo Nunez. With the Yankees trailing James Shields and the Rays 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Nunie crushed a deep home run knotting the game up. Five hitters later, Robinson Cano blasted a two-run double off the center field wall. Clutch hitting baby. It’ll win us games in October.
Big C got the start in Game 2. Sabathia hasn’t been great since his rain delayed start against the Seattle Mariners when he flirted with a perfect game. Nonetheless, the big man came out and threw 7.1 innings of two-run ball. He didn’t get his elusive 20th win and wasn’t exactly dominant, but gave the Yanks a good start. I’m not crazy with him throwing 130 pitches a week before the playoffs start, but I guess that’s baseball, Suzyn.
Jorge Posada had the big knock in this one. With the bases load, Jorgie stepped to the dish with the bases loaded and delivered an RBI single to right field in the eighth inning. Jorge’s hit was the game winner for the Bombers.
What’s Next?: The Yanks will go for the four-game sweep tomorrow against the Rays. The Rays are still only two games behind the Red Sox in the AL Wildcard race. Boston has been stinking up the joint against the O’s this week so these games matter. Let’s just sweep away the Rays and keep getting fat off our wins.
Thursday, 7:05PM: Jeff Niemann (11-7, 3.95 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.81 ERA)