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Nathan chokes, A-Rod comes through in Game 2

Oct 9, 2009, 10:59 PM EDT

Just because a guy has a lousy postseason reputation, it’s still probably not the best strategy to start grooving fastballs.
The Twins had Game 2 of the ALDS in control when they took a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning Saturday. They even picked up the last run after Mariano Rivera entered, and they went on to get a scoreless bottom of the eighth from Matt Guerrier. All that was left was for closer extraordinaire Joe Nathan to shut the Yankees down in the ninth.
Of course, it didn’t work out that way. Alex Rodriguez, who drove in the Yankees’ only previous run when he took a Nick Blackburn fastball left right over the heart of the plate into left field for a single, got a 3-1 fastball left up in the zone and teed off, taking it over the wall in center for a two-run homer.
It was another postseason failure for Nathan, who has given up seven runs in 7 1/3 innings in October action. He has two losses and a blown save to go along with his one save in seven appearances.
For A-Rod, it was even more redemption following his two-RBI game on Wednesday. He has five RBI in the ALDS, matching his high for a postseason series. He also had give in the 2000 ALCS and the 2004 ALCS, both of which were losses for his teams.
The Twins still had a chance from there, but the brutal call from Phil Cuzzi to deny Joe Mauer a leadoff double in the 11th really hurt. The Twins went on to load the bases with no outs anyway, but David Robertson retired Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez and Brendan Harris to escape the jam.
It was quickly over then. Mark Teixeira scorched a ball to left to begin the bottom of the 11th. A foot lower and he might have been held to a single. Instead, it skipped off the top of the wall for a game-ending homer.
The Yankees will travel to the Metrodome for Sunday’s Game 3 with a commanding 2-0 lead. Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano are the scheduled starters, and it now appears as though the Twins might go down without ever throwing their best starter (Scott Baker).

  1. krb1961 - Oct 10, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    As a diehard Yankee fan for over 30 years, I want to say that the Twins-Yankees match-up has given me the most fun in quite a while. Of course I don’t want the Twins to win, but I’m also glad that they were able to hang in there in both games. There are so many people who hate the Yankees because of their payroll and that Yankee fans are believed to be arrogant. The bottom line is that most of us aren’t as arrogant as people would think. We love our Yankees, but don’t necessarily like all of them. We’re not all drooling over A-Rod or Jeter, we like them because of the excitement that they bring to the field, we celebrate when they win and cry when they lose and I can tell you that over 30 years there has been a lot of crying as well as a lot of happy screams. There have been times that I’ve wanted to throw the TV out of the window, but was right back there for the next game. Sure the Yankees have a lot of money to spend on “talent”, but ask anyone who plays any sport you may draft or spend money on “talent” only to find that the talent falls apart in the game either because they get injured or just don’t fit in. The Yankee fans don’t like arrogance, just ask A-Rod, we’ve been there too times before. Arrogance doesn’t win games nor does it fill the stadium seats, it’s talent that does. The Yankee fans keep coming back because of the love of the game and our team. If it was all about the money we surely would have left 8 years ago since that was the last time we won a World Series. So for all those Yankee haters, I say go fill your oown stadiums and support your own teams whether they’re good or bad and who knows maybe you just might make a Yankee dynasty. Ask any old time NY Dodger’s fan and they’ll tell you they weren’t called “Da Bums” for nothing, yet the fans showed up any way. GO Yankees in 2009!!!!!

  2. BIGBRUCE11047 - Oct 10, 2009 at 4:42 AM

    Alex Rodriguez is finally showing his true playoff colors. When Joe Girardi rested Rodriguez he created a monster. This Yankee team might be rated in the top-five of Yankee greats. The Minnesota Twins needs to regroup and rebuild. Every closer has had their share of problems this season and Rivera and Nathan joined that group last night. It’ll be the Yankees in a sweep.

  3. Steelguy425 - Oct 10, 2009 at 6:24 AM

    You ought to be a writer. Good job here. Tonights game 2 of this ALDS series will go down in history as being won by the Yankees with an asterisk. Everyone but the umpire saw Mauer’s ball in play by a foot.
    It is calls like that coupled with your statements about the arrogance of some players that makes non Yankee fans react to your team the way they do. I am a White Sox fan but when my team is out of the show, I root for any central division team. The Twins are a well coached and well managed team year in and year out. I know my team cannot figure out a way to beat them. The last two games have been good. Let’s see how the Yanks do in the rollerdome.

  4. manhattanbill - Oct 10, 2009 at 6:41 AM

    Rollerdome shmollerdome; the Twins are toast.

  5. Tom - Oct 10, 2009 at 7:41 AM

    The call on Mauer was brutal. Sure, if he had gotten a double, maybe the Twins could have moved him over to third and then scored him on a grounder or sac fly. But, the Twins did have the bases loaded with no outs, and didn’t score. They also left a ton of runners on base.
    Nathan was terrible. How about his pickoff throw into center field? They dodged a bullet on the Damon line drive.
    And kudos to A-Rod for getting the monkey off his back. That home run was impressive. He seems a lot more relaxed in this lineup.

  6. Jay - Oct 10, 2009 at 8:33 AM

    Sorry but blaming the umpire for the outcome of the game is nonsense. The Twins had many opportunities to score more runs and they didn’t. Yeah Mauer got rooked, but he got on base anyway and the Twins had the BASES LOADED WITH NOBODY OUT and couldn’t get one run across the plate. The entire night they left 17 runners on base.
    And let’s not forget that if Joe Nathan doesn’t pull a choke job like he did in the ninth, there wouldn’t even be a discussion about a blown call by an umpire. The Twins gave one away and those two bombs by A-Rod and Tex were daggers to the heart. This series is over and Twins have nobody to blame but themselves.

  7. Rich Niggli - Oct 10, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    You want to talk arrogance? Just take a look at your whitesox manager and how about mr bleach blond who does the catching? I dont think i have to mention any names, These two definatley rank right up there with the best. It will be nice to see the yankees put the rollerdome to sleep for the last time.

  8. brian - Oct 10, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    Is krb1961 really a Yankee fan. His comments were pathetic!!I think he is a Mets fan!

  9. Brian - Oct 10, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    Don”t be a hypocrite!!

  10. terry - Oct 10, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    krb1961 is a douchebag, blown calls are part of baseball, if you’re going to say stupid things like that then the white sox 2005 world series win should have an asterick due to pierzynski’s blown call in the alcs.

  11. terry - Oct 10, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    my bad not krb1961, that was directed at steelguy425.

  12. chad - Oct 10, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    I am a diehard Twins fan, and your comment exactly echos what I said last night after the game. The Twins blew this game, due to Nathan’s choke job and to leaving so many runners on base. They always seem to blow it against the Yankees. Maybe one day they’ll figure out how to beat those guys.

  13. Dan - Oct 10, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    I think the league wants the Yanks to win for revenue reasons. That ref watched it with his own eyes and made his call anyway. He saw it just as good as anyone else in the nation. Smells fishy.

  14. Ken Robitaille - Oct 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    Chad, you’ve got class. I really mean that. No excuses for the bad calls, no calls for instant replays, just plain old fashioned missed opportunities, which is baseball. The twins didn’t win because they didn’t execute, period. You are a bright spot on these kind of blogs

  15. cusacb - Oct 10, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Not everyone hates the Yankees – I am Canadian and my parents and grandparents are die-hard Yankee fans – I even have Thmy tennis shoes on with the NYY logo! The Yankees are going to win the World Series this year and it will be exciting!!

  16. White - Oct 10, 2009 at 8:17 PM

    i fully agree with what u said. I, too, am a Yankee fan–have been for over 40 years. Win or lose! They didn’t always have deep pockets but always had a winning attitude and what is wrong with that? I don’t care if the whole world hates the Yanks, I’ll always be a fan!

  17. John - Oct 11, 2009 at 4:44 AM

    Dan, first off let me ask are you really a baseball fan or just someone who dislikes the Yankees? The reason is last I checked the term “ref” is used in basketball, football & boxing, not baseball, but I’m sure you meant to say ump, no? Secondly if the league and the “ref’s” want the Yankees to win for revenue purposes surely the Twins must be in on it as well for even with that one blown call Minnesota basically gave that game to NY with Nathan throwing a meatball to A-Rod in the ninth allowing him to tie the game with one swing as well as loading the bases (after the blown call by the “ref” mind you) with no outs and failing to score. Conspriracy theorists unite!!! 😉

  18. bh0673 - Oct 11, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    My hat is off to you, you hit the nail right on the head.

  19. katec - Oct 11, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    If you have not noticed, the Minnesota Twins have wonderful fans and know that team knows we love them and we keep coming back! I think we will miss out Dome……look what happened to the Denver team!!

  20. SHOE INSERTS - Jan 29, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Being small is not a crime, if everybody else around you is taller, it is obvious you would like to to look taller as well.

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