Melky Cabrera was given a rare start in centerfield by manager Joe Girardi which proved to be the guiding star for the Yankees as “The Melk-man” delivered two big homeruns, the biggest being his walk-off, two-run homer, in the bottom of the 14th inning, that led the Yanks to a 9-7 victory over the Oakland A’s at the new Yankee Stadium in the beautiful, Bronx, New York.
Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter also homered for the Bronx Bombers, but it was Melky’s two big blasts, the first from the right side of the plate in the second inning; and, the game-winner, lefthanded, in the 14th, that were the hightlights of the Yankees five-hour marathon afternoon win.
The two Melky homers were very hugh because they helped the Yankees win their third straight game, and, also, their sixth victory in nine games, improving the Yanks record to 9-6, tied with the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
Also, the homers will be a hugh boost to Melky Cabrera’s confidence, who was the Yankees opening day starting centerfielder in 2008, but lost the prized position to Brett Gardner in 2009.
Melky had a big smile on his face when he crossed home plate after hitting his dramatic walk-off homerun off A’s reliever, Dan Giese (0-2); and, after the game Melky Cabrera was looking forward to future time in center and the Yankees lineup when he said, “any time the manager uses me, I will be ready. He [Girardi] showed enough confidence in me, and I did what I had to do. I knew the ball was gone, and I knew we had won”.
Way to go, Melky !!!
I am very happy the Yankees won the game, and, also, very happy that Melky got the big hit.
Bobby Abreu will be very proud, as Melky now wears Abreu’s old #53 uniform number. I still wish Bobby Abreu was playing rightfield, and batting in the middle of the Yankees batting order. But, if Melky keeps hitting the way he did in this ballgame, maybe, just maybe, #53 will have a major impact in this Yankees season.
Much credit for this 9-7 Yankees victory also has to be given to the Yankees bullpen, including Mariano Rivera in the 9th, who combined to pitch 7.1 scoreless innings, to keep the game tied 7-7 into the 14th inning, after CC Sabathia’s very ineffective start in which he allowed seven runs (six earned) in his 6.2 innings of work.
The most effective of the six Yankee relievers was Jose Veras (1-1) who threw 46 pitches over 3.1 innings of scoreless ball, getting the final out in the 11th, then, the 12th, 13th, and 14th innings, allowing no hits, one walk, while striking-out four, to earn a well deserved win.
In the game, the Yankees pounded out 17 hits, including the four homeruns, and at least one hit by every starting position player.
* Derek Jeter (2-for-7); two runs; two RBI’s; HR
* Johnny Damon (3-for-5); two walks
* Mark Teixeira (2-for-7); one run; one RBI
* Jorge Posada (2-for-6); one run; one walk
* Robinson Cano (2-for-7); one RBI
* Nick Swisher (1-for-4); one run; one RBI; three walks
* Hideki Matsui (2-for-7); one run; one RBI; HR
* Melky Cabrera (2-for-6); two runs; three RBI’s; one walk; two HR’s
* Cody Ransom (1-for-3); one run
This victory was a perfect way for the Yankees to end their opening home stand at the new Yankee Stadium, as they now head up to Boston for a big three-game, weekend series, against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox are “red-hot” with a seven game winning streak, and are tied with the Yankees with a 9-6 record in the AL East, as both teams get ready to do battle in their first major showdown of the 2009 baseball season.
It will be a fun series …
“Playoff Baseball In April” !!!
“A Season Within A Season” !!!