Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yankees Sweep Twins

The last baseball game has been played at the Metrodome.

The Yankees beat the Twins 4-1 to sweep the ALDS and will advance to the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Yankees dominance of the Twins continues unabated. The Twins did not win a regular season game against the Yankees and could not muster a win in the ALDS despite leading in every game.

The Twins had a 2-0 lead early in Game 1 only to have the Yankees score seven unanswered runs.

In Game 2, the Twins had a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th when Twins closer Joe Nathan gave up a two run home run to Alex Rodriguez to tie the game. The Twins did have the bases loaded and no one out in the 11th but could not score. Mark Teixeira hit a line drive home run in the bottom of the 11th to give the Yankees a 2-0 ALDS lead.

Today, Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano were locked in a pitcher's duel. Pavano, who pitched for the Yankees between 2005 and 2008, struck out nine batters over seven innings. The Twins scored first on a single by Joe Mauer in the bottom of the 6th. Pavano, however, surrendered two solo home runs to A-Rod and Jorge Posada in the 7th to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

The Twins had a chance to tie in the 8th but Nick Punto overran the third base bag on a ball hit by Denard Span and Derek Jeter alertly threw the ball home to Posada who in turn threw the ball to A-Rod who tagged out Punto.

The Yankees added two runs in the 9th on singles by Posada and Robinson Cano after three consecutive walks by three different Twins relievers.

Whatever momentum the Twins had in the final three weeks of the season was stopped dead in its tracks by the Yankees.

It's perhaps just as well the Twins have played their last game at the Metrodome. Maybe Target Field will yield greater success for the Twins against the Yankees and the rest of the AL. After the game, home plate was dug up so it can be moved to Target Field. Joe Nathan grabbed some dirt from the pitcher's mound as a keepsake. I remarked to my Dad that when ballparks were retired in the early 1970s the fans would rip the ballpark apart up and to including taking seats from the ballpark. But we are in a much different world now.

As for the Yankees, they will host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday. The Angels clinched their ALDS against the Red Sox earlier today. So both teams will have five days to rest.

The Angels have defeated the Yankees in the ALDS twice (2002 and 2005) but this is the first time the two teams have squared off in the ALCS. Unlike the Twins, the Angels have consistently beaten the Yankees in a way no other team have including the Red Sox. The Yankees should have far more competition in this playoff series than they did in the ALDS nothwithstanding the Twins stellar efforts in Game 2.

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