Twins vs. Yanks … (2/28/09)

As we await another snow storm here in the New York area this weekend, the Yankees played a spring training game today against the Minnesota Twins in Tampa Bay, Florida.

At the start of the game the weather was perfect for baseball down in Florida, as the New York temperature hovered around the mid-30’s. So, watching this game on the Yes Network is the closest I will get to the beautiful sunny Florida weather on this day. 

Joba Chamberlain started this game for the Yankees, the first Yankee starter to make an appearance in a game this spring. He only pitched one inning, and it was not a good outing.

Chamberlain faced six batters, threw 21 pitches, allowed three hits, and two runs.

The Twins lead off batter, Denard Span, grounded out to third base on a 3-2 pitch; then, Delmon Young singled, followed by back-to-back doubles by Jason Kubel and Brian Buscher, that gave the Twins an early 2-0 lead. Both doubles were hit very hard, on high fastballs up in the zone over the plate.   

Joba retired the next two batters on ground balls, ending his work for the day.

The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the first on a Derek Jeter single; a RBI double by Mark Teixeira, and sac fly by Alex Rodriguez.

The Twins took the lead back, 3-2, on a long, two-out, solo homerun, by Carlos Gomez off Dan Giese, in the top of the second inning.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees played a little “small-ball” to even the score, 3-3.

Shelley Duncan, a late replacement for Jorge Posada as the DH because Jorge’s shoulder was a little sore, led off the inning with a single, and advanced to second on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Melky Cabrera, that ended up being an infield single when Melky beat the throw to first.

Then, Johnny Damon layed down another perfect bunt, moving Duncan and Melky to second and third with Jeter coming up to the plate. Derek delivered a sac fly RBI to drive home Duncan with the tying run. 

Now, that has to be my first choice for the “Rare Moment of the Game Award”. When was the last time the Yankees scored a run on two sacrifice bunt attempts and a sac-fly RBI ??? A very rare “small-ball” moment for these New York Yankees. I hope we see more of this type of “Billyball” play this season.

Giese got knocked around again in the top of the third, as the Twins pounded him for three hits and a walk, scoring three more runs to increase their lead to 6-3.

After the third inning, the game really settled down without any more scoring throughout the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.  

Both teams used many pitchers in this game, and after the first couple of innings, when Joba, Giese, and Twins starter, Francisco Liriano were not very effective, the rest of the pitchers have pitched fairly well.

For the Yankees, Jose Veras and Michael Dunn pitched a scorelees inning apiece; and, Kei Igawa retired six straight batters in his two innings of work.

The Yankees entered the bottom of the 7th inning with ten straight batters retired by Twins pitchers.

Melky led off the 7th by reaching first base on an error. Then, a fly-out to center, and a double-play ended the inning with the Twins still leading, 6-3.

After a scoreless 8th inning by both teams, the Twins scored another run in the top of the 9th on a sac-fly, to move their lead to 7-3.

The SF was the second out of the inning, but the Yankees made an appeal at second base claiming the runner on second left too soon trying to advance to third. And, the runner was called “out” by the second base ump. The run counted, though, because the appeal was the third out of the inning, and the runner already crossed the plate before this third out was recorded.

So, in a game that was really “not” that exciting, and kind of dragging along since the end of the third inning, the fans that continued to watch this game into the 9th inning, received a little bonus by seeing a “very rare” baseball play. How many times are appeals to any base “successful”? … Well, in this game, the runner was called out on the appeal at second.

The Twins quickly retired the Yankees in the bottom of the 9th, and that was the ball game.

Twins 7, Yankees 3.


“Rare Moment of the Game Award” …

Two Awards this game:

* Small-Ball by the New York Yankees in the second inning, scoring a run on three straight sacrifice attempts: a sac-bunt by Melky Cabrera that ended up being an infield single, advancing Duncan to second; then, a sac-bunt by Damon, moving Duncan and Melky to second and third; setting up the “captain” Derek Jeter’s RBI sac-fly, to tie this game, 3-3, at the time.

* The 9th inning appeal by the Yankees, after the Twins scored their 7th run when the runner on third scored on a sac-fly. On that play, which recorded the second out of the inning, the Twins runner at second base also tried to advance to third, but was called “out” for leaving second base too soon. The run did count, though, because the appeal was the “third out” of the inning, and the run had already scored before the succesful appeal ended the inning.  



  1. juliasrants

    Hey Jimmy – great summary of the game! You have to love it when a team can do something like the three straight sacrifice attempts. All too often, I think, batters are up there trying for the home run, triple, or double – forgetting that baseball games are won one run at a time; one base at a time. Nice job. I hope that Posada’s shoulder is okay – I know it is a long haul for him to come back. While the scores might not have always gone our way, I’ve been pretty happy with what I have seen so far this spring. We too in Massachusetts are waiting for the snow to arrive. I hope it is all gone by the time April 6th comes around or the Red Sox will have a tough home opener! Stay warm and have a great night!


  2. Erin Kathleen

    That was some game. Both of our starters got roughed up a bit, but I think they’ll be fine once the season starts. It takes awhile for guys to get used to facing live hitters again after such a long offseason. That play in the ninth was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. I saw Machado taking off from second and thought “What in the heck does he think he’s doing?!” I didn’t think the run was going to count, but I guess it did since Ramos scored before the out was recorded.

    I admit that I’m kind of enjoying the Twins’ victories over the Yankees right now. I know things will be very different once the regular season starts. I’m just glad the Twins aren’t in the AL East!

  3. crazy19canuck

    Enjoy the snow! You guys can have it. Don’t need anymore! 🙂 The guys will be shoveling their way to the Rogers Centre for the WBC. Calling for about 4 inches this weekend – just in time for the Canada-USA game on Saturday. Since when did the Twins get this good? How is Posada feeling?

  4. Jane Heller

    Thanks for that wrap-up, Jimmy. I missed the game, so it’s great to know you’re on the case with all the details! I’m really glad to hear about the sacrificing and moving runners over and getting them in – something we didn’t do last year. Let’s hope for more of the same today! Stay warm. Hopefully, this will be the last big blast of snow.

  5. Elizabeth D

    I’m sure that Joba is fine. Everyone is a little rusty on their first outing. Wakefield gave up two runs in his first, and Bowden gave up four! We all know the amount of talent that Joba has. Nice small ball by the Yankees.

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Thank you …
    To everyone who offered comments in regards to my above post !!! … I have been busy this past weekend with a few things that kept me away from my computer; and, then, was busy dealing with our most recent snow storm here in the New York area, shoveling, etc., the ten inches of snow that fell to the ground !!! … I really hope this is our last snow fall of the year; and, also, hope the weather starts to warm-up soon … This winter seems to be the longest, and coldest, we have had in this area in many years !!! … Maybe next year I will plan a trip to Spring Training in Florida, and, or, Arizona, from the middle of February to the middle of March !!! … Anyway, I will try to catch-up with my blogging today [as much as I can] starting with offering my responses to the above comments !!! … Once again, thanks to all who visited my mlblog !!! ……… I always appreciate all your comments, thoughts, and kind words !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  7. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Julia …

    It was nice to see the Yankees play a little “small-ball” in the game against the Rays … I hope this type of play will be a big part of the Yankees offense in the upcoming season !!! … Also, I hope, Jorge Posada will be okay throughout the 2009 season !!! … Jorge’s recovery from his shoulder injury will probably not affect his hitting, as much as, it will affect his catching and throwing this year … He will probably catch 110-120 games, and be the DH in about 40 games !!! … Julia, let’s all hope and pray that this is our final snow storm of the year … But, I do remember a couple of snow storms in the month of April in the past [just saying] … And, the way the weather has been this winter … well, I don’t even want to think about it !!! … Baseball is back; so, the warm weather should be here soon !!! … Take care, Julia !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  8. jimmy27nyy

    Also, Julia …

    Thanks, for once again being the first to let me know about the release of the latest mlblogs “Leader’s Lists” !!! … And, “Congratulations” on another “Top Three” ranking, Julia, at #3, for your mlblog “Julia’s Rants” !!! … It is a very well deserved honor that you have truly earned !!! … Have a great day !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  9. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, tyco551 …

    I hope all the distractions of the off-season will end soon, and will not affect A-Rod and the Yankees [on and off the field in 2009] … And, I too, look forward to the start of the new baseball season !!! … Thanks for the visit !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  10. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Erin …

    First, “Congratulatons” on your #10 ranking on the latest “Leader’s List” !!! … Wow, from #26 [on the last list] to #10 … Way to go !!! … Regarding your above comments: It is still early, and the pitchers are just trying to work on their pitches, build up their arm strength, and stay healthy throughout the spring; and, I agree, these pitchers should be fine once the season starts !!! … The appeal at second base in the 9th inning of the game vs. the Twins was very interesting to watch … Just seeing a successful appeal is very rare. I guess since it was a spring training game, the runner was a little too anxious, so he took off for third too soon !!! … But, it was good to see that the Yankees noticed that he left the base early and asked the ump for an appeal at second, even though it was a spring training game !!! … The Twins have a good team and are always fun to watch play, and they always seem to play well against the Yankees !!! … It will be a fun baseball season, and both the Twins and Yankees will be in the race to win their divisions in 2009 !!! … Take care, Erin !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  11. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Bob …

    Well, the Yankees vs. Twins game started out like it was going to be a very high scoring game, but after the third inning with the Twins leading 6-3, the pitchers on both teams were very effective not allowing any more runs until the Twins scored their final run in the 9th … But, it was only a spring training game, and the important thing is for all the players to get ready for the upcoming season !!! … Bob, “Congratulations” on being ranked #12 on the latest “Leader’s List” !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  12. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Canuck …

    Well, we had about ten inches of snow here in the New York area this past Sunday and Monday, and I have to say, I’m not really enjoying all the snow and cold weather we have had this winter !!! … So, I hope this was the last snow fall of the year !!! … It should be fun to watch the USA-Canada game this upcoming weekend !!! … Regarding the Twins: I think they have a pretty good team and always play well against the Yankees !!! …And, it is a concern to all in the Yankees organization and Yankee fans that Jorge Posada is still having some soreness in the shoulder that he had surgery on … Hopefully, he will be okay at the start of the year, and throughout the whole 2009 season !!! … Thanks for the visit, Canuck !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  13. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Jane …

    I expected Joe Girardi to play more “small-ball” last year, but he really didn’t manage that way … Maybe, this year will be different, and we will see more bunting, stolen bases, hit and runs, etc., like in the Yankees vs. Twins spring training game !!! … And, regarding the snow and cold weather — I have had enough of both this winter !!! ……. I look forward to the warm days of the new baseball season !!! … “Congratulations” on being ranked #1 [again] on the latest Leader’s List !!! … You are on a roll now, Jane … Best Wishes on keeping the streak going !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Elizabeth …

    Yeah, the pitchers are just getting ready for the new season, and the goals are: to work on their pitches, build up their arm strength, and stay healthy !!! … So, I agree, I think Joba will be okay … Also, I really look forward to watching Joba pitch in the starting rotation for the whole 2009 season !!! … Elizabeth, “Congratulations” on being ranked #5 on the latest “Leader’s List” !!! … You continue your move up to the top of the “List” !!! … Keep up the excellent work !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  15. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Happy …

    A Yankees / Brewers World Series sounds great to me !!! … I would sign-up for that Series right now !!! … It will also be interesting to hear the reaction of the Brewers fans when CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees !!! … I look forward to the new season, and also the nice warm and hot days of summer !!! .. Take care, Happy !!! Jimmy [27NYY], BY&L”

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