Well, that was a relief. I'm, of course, very happy that the Yankees won. But I'm also relieved. Losing to the Twins would have been being at the short end of a losing match for the ages. Now the Yanks just have to beat the Twins two more times. (Incidentally, Red Sox fan Paul asked me which game I thought the Yanks would lose, to make my Yankees in 4 prediction come true. The Carl Pavano one, of course!)
As for last night, let's break down this Yankee victory's highlights and lowlights:
* Derek Jeter had a great night - the kind of night that justifies his clutch reputation. He started with a single to lead off the game, also had a two-run homer, and two walks. And I think it's appropriate for this team's history that Derek Jeter is the first player to hit a homer in the new Yankee Stadium.
* CC Sabathia wasn't the best he's been this year, but he still had an impressive start, albeit one with a very shaky beginning. When was the last time the Yankees 1) had an ace to start an October game, and 2) had an ace that actually won the game?
* Part of CC's initial shakiness last night had to do with Jorge Posada, who is getting on my nerves. After doing that little passive-aggressive hissy fit over not getting to catch for A.J. Burnett, it probably wasn't the best time for Posada to have such a terrible night behind the plate, with two passed balls, and all sorts of sloppiness. (He looked as bad as Jason Varitek does out there these days!) After watching Posada chase after the ball, I said to myself, "I just hope we win that game. That’s all I’ve got to say."
* And our long national nightmare is over - Alex Rodriguez finally got a hit with runners in scoring position, and then got another hit with RISP. Did A-Rod say, "Kiss me, Kate" after the game? (Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes!) Anyhow, let's hope that this starts to get the postseason monkey off his back.
* Hideki Matsui had a quietly brilliant season for the Yankees, and he quietly got a critical homer for the Yanks last night, one that allowed Joe Girardi to get his bullpen some work. Some might think he did a little too much mixing and matching, but I think it was good, given the layoff, to have Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera get some work in.
* Speaking of Joba, I am strongly leaning towards having him as a bullpen guy. For whatever reason, he is a much more fearsome pitcher coming out of the bullpen.
* Nick Swisher was having fun, and got a key hit and RBI. Mark Teixeira, on the other hand, didn't look so great behind the plate. Squawker Jon and I were trying to think of some Twilight Zoneish plot behind it, where some gremlin haunting A-Rod in October moved into Tex's locker!
What do you think were the highlights and lowlights of last night's game? Leave us a comment!