Game 66: NYY vs. MIN — A swing can make all the difference

The Yankees flew to Minnesota on a 4-game losing streak after their winning streak was snapped last weekend. Currently, the Twins are really not good (honestly, they’re tied for last place in the entire league with Atlanta), and not that I love the idea of taking advantage of someone’s misfortune, but perhaps this series couldn’t come at a better time for the Yankees.

CC Sabathia got a pretty decent start tonight against the Twins in the early weekend opener of this 4-game series. He threw a season high 116 pitches (career high, I was told, was when he was briefly with the Brewers in 2008 with 130 pitches) in his 6 innings, gave up 6 hits, 3 walks, and a run, and nicely striking out 7 batters (thanks in part to a rather generous strike zone). All this set Sabathia up for his 5th win of the season, and the pundits continue to be astonished about his miniscule ERA since coming off the DL last month (0.71 in his last 6 starts).

The lone run he (and the Yankees) gave up to the Twins came in the 4th inning. A 1-out double moved to 3rd on a single and then scored on a 2-out single by a former Yankee infielder who’s certainly carving his niche with his new team. (Though he hasn’t lost his helmet once… yet.)

The Twins’ starter nearly matched Sabathia on many of their stats, which means the Yankees didn’t poke through his outing until he started to tire near the end. In the 6th, with no outs and the bases loaded, the Yankees saw an opportunity with Jacoby Ellsbury’s single that scored only one run to tie up the game. An infield pop up and a double play with those bases loaded ended hopes of the Yankees taking the lead.

Well, until the next inning, that is. After Rodriguez singled and McCann walked, Castro’s textbook sacrifice bunt moved both of the runners up to scoring position. The Twins, realizing, they could be faced with another bases loaded situation and all that opens the door to once again, opted to go to their bullpen. So the new reliever threw a single pitch to Didi Gregorius, who, with one swing, changed the entire game. That ball ended up sailing into the right field seats, giving the Yankees a 3-run lead.

Sabathia turned the game over to the “Warriors Three”, who carried the game through to its logical conclusion, adding 4 more strike outs to the pitching total (of 11). Not a bad way to start a new good streak.

Final score: 4-1 Yankees.

We are less than a month away from the All-Star Game, and the time for voting for your favorite players is winding down. So if you haven’t voted your maximum (total 35 times), go vote today!

Go Yankees!

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