it’s hard to say anything bad about a game as exciting as this one, but here goes:
Gardner: With Damon sitting the game out, Gardner was in the number two spot. He went 0-3, leaving one runner on. He did make a great catch to start the game, however, which probably saved a run or two in the end.
RISP: The Bombers were 1-5 with runners in scoring position.
Pettitte: Andy got into a couple jams early, but was able to limit the damage. He went six innings, giving up seven hits for two runs while striking out four and walking three. He seemed to get better as the game went on and picked up his 14th win of the season.
Bruney: It looks like perhaps Bruney has started to pull everything together just in time for the post-season. He has had a couple good outings and on Sunday he entered the game in a key situation and delivered. He went 1.2 innings and gave up no hits or runs or walks. He struck out one.
Teixeira: Mark went 2-4, scoring twice and picking up a RBI.
Matsui: Godzilla drove in the winning runs and continued to show that he is a very important part of this team.
In Their Words:
Who better to speak about the importance of this victory than the players and coaches who made it happen.
Derek Jeter on getting past the first round of the playoffs: The big difference is pitching. That’s the bottom line. When you’ve got guys like we have in our starting rotation, the bullpen’s throwing like they’ve been throwing, and Mo closing – I like our chances.
Joe Girardi: We had some things we had to deal with in the beginning. Alex came back, we got our bullpen straightened out, our young kids did a great job. it’s a great feeling…We got so many contributions from the guys we expected, but also from the guys we did t expect. A guy like Cervelli…our bullpen guys, like Ace who came up and Robertson and Hughsey, the job that Hughsey did…It is a feeling of accomplishment, but it’s only step one.
Mariano Rivera on the new Yankee teammates: Those guys looked like they’d been here for years! Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett – for us it’s an honor and privilege to have those guys, you know, come and fit like they home. Nick Swisher has done a tremendous job. Phil [Hughes] filled in like he belonged there… He is a young boy who has all the strength, all the power and all the desire to do the job and he has done a tremendous job.
CC Sabathia: We have a lot of chemistry on and off the field and that makes all the difference… We got a lot of work left to do but this is what you come here for… To win a World Series would mean more than winning 20 games, so that’s what I’m focusing on.
Alex Rodriguez: This was a unique year because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to play baseball at all this year. And the fact that I was able to play and contribute and be in the middle of all this…we have 25 guys who bought into the system, bought into Joe Girardi and for me, that’s been the key to this year.
In the On Deck Circle:
There are still some games left to be played this season. Tonight, the Yankees take on the Kansas City Royals. Chad Gaudin (5-10, 4.78) will take the mound as the Bombers face Luke Hochevar (7-11, 5.98). Gaudin has looked decent lately, and may be auditioning for a role during the post-season. The Yankees have each of Gaudin’s September starts. Hochevar has only one win in his last eleven starts and, despite a strong start to his last outing, the Red Sox broke through in the fifth to tag him for six runs. This is the Royals first game in the new Yankee Stadium. First pitch is at 7:05pm.