Yet More Walk-Off Drama

May 18, 2009 – 11:28 am

NYY 3, Minnesota 2. Another great game, another thrilling finish. Baseball doesn’t get much better than what we saw over the weekend, and when the Yankees come out on top that makes it all the better. Sunday was a great pitchers’ duel with A.J. Burnett and Kevin Slowey matching each other for 6 innings of scoreless baseball. Slowey is amazing to watch, a virtual strike-throwing machine. His career stats are 39 BBs in 275 IP, which is a scant 1.3 BB/9. That’s pretty incredible in this day and age. And he was definitely on his game Sunday, so when you beat someone pitching like that you’ve more than earned the W.
Brett Gardner
Although Johnny Damon won the “pie in the face” award for his walk-off home run in the 10th, Brett Gardner came oh so close to winning that honor with his base-running near-heroics in the 9th. In retrospect it’s easy enough to write that off as a base-running mistake, as you really don’t want to make the second out at home plate in that situation. And as the fates would have it, naturally Robinson Canoe flies out on the next at-bat, which would have easily scored Gardner with the winning run had he not gotten tagged out at home on that play. But how can anyone take exception to what Gardner tried to pull off? Not only gutsy, but actually pretty smart — as there’s only one catcher in the known universe with the quickness and athleticism to even have a chance of catching Gardner there. And unfortunately, that one catcher is Joe Mauer. With anyone else at catcher, Gardner scores easily. And even with Mauer, he probably still scores 95% of the time. So here’s to Brett trying to make that play. It made for great baseball.

Photo: NY Post

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