The 2009 season has brought us many firsts and today we received an exciting first walk off homerun from the Melk man in the bottom of the 14th inning. The first walk off in the new stadium. The Yankees took the series when they finally scored and defeated the Oakland Athletics, 9-7.
The game lasted 4 hours and 57 minutes and took a toll on my wrists from keeping score.The weather in the first half of the game looked alot like the pitching…ugly!
C.C. Sabathia took the mound for his third start of the season and it wasn’t impressive. Coming into the series the Oakland offense was horrible and one would think seven runs would provide a cushion for any pitcher. Sabathia labored throughout the game and threw a total of 112 pitches. The southpaw allowed six earned runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. The four walks he allowed all scored a run. The hook came when Matt Holiday hit a single in the seventh that sent Sabathia to the dugout and erased a two run lead.
In defense of Sabathia, Joe Giradi should have taken him out the minute he walked Sweeney and definitely when right-handed batter Holiday came to the plate. I don’t know maybe Giradi is getting a feel for his players but allowing Sabathia to pitch to Holiday needs to be questioned. The seventh inning would have been epic had the Yankees not pulled this one off. The guy was laboring and had given up a run every time he walked a batter.
The Yankees offense had answered back every time Oakland scored with exception of the seventh inning. The bases were loaded after Oakland pitcher, Russ Springer, allowed a single to Robinson Cano, a walk to Nick Swisher, and another single to Hideki Matsui. No outs. Next batter was Melky Cabrera and he was too aggressive against a pitcher with no sense of the strike zone. Result…Strikeout! Brett Gardner came up to pinch hit for Cody Ranson and had the same game plan, be aggressive. Result… pop up to third. Derek Jeter made the last out also unable to leave the infield but we give him a pass since he hit a homer and a double before this at bat. Both hits gave New York the go ahead runs in those innings.
The game would be scoreless for another nine innings. Thanks in part to the Yankee bullpen with 6 pitchers combining for 7 1/3 innings of hitless baseball. Jose Veras took the cake with 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Melky Cabrera came to the plate in the bottom of the 14th with Nick Swisher on first and his former teammate, Dan Giese, on the mound. It didn’t take long before Melky jumped on a pitch and launched it over and out for a walk off win. Yankees Win!!!
That was Cabrera’s second dinger of the game and fourth of the season. Fans are alredy asking for him to be the everyday centerfielder. Let’s not get too excited people. Yes, Melky is swinging a hot bat but the everyday competition for the job with Gardner is the reason. The guy needs to be kept on his toes to be productive and his patience at the plate is his weakness that will show if he plays every day.
For the record, every one of these Yankee homers was hit hard, wind tunnel not a factor. Still there were 26 round trippers during the home stand and the home homer watch will continue to be the focus when the Yankees come back on the 30th to host Anaheim.
Tomorrow night the most intense rivalry in sports begins when Boston plays host to the Bronx Bombers at Fenway Park. The players would love to think that it’s just another game but there is no getting past the atmosphere that gets created when these two franchises get together for a weekend. The anticipation is already building up and from what I’ve heard the weather will be perfect.