For eight innings, it looked like the Yankees were headed to their sixth straight home loss. Until a little nifty rally in the bottom of the ninth changed that. The Yankees were able to defeat the pesky Minnesota Twins last night, 5-4 on an amazing display of grit.

Everywhere you read — ESPN, other bloggers, and NY-area newspapers, you’ll get different write-ups, but the end result is the same.

  • Phil Hughes was not good — again. He allowed 10 base runners, but fortunately, only 3 scored. He allowed two homers. Both to Justin Morneau.
  • Wally Bell, the home plate umpire needs Lasik surgery.
  • Because of bullet #2 above, Johnny Damon was ejected arguing balls/strikes. That, ironically, was the catalyst for victory.
  • Derek Jeter hit a solo shot in the 5th inning.4-1 Yankees.
  • Brett Gardner hit the first inside-the-park homer in Stadium history. 4-2 Yanks.
  • Joe Nathan was up in the ninth. That usually means lights out (a la Mariano Rivera). But not last night.

Here’s what happened in the ninth inning:

  1. Brett Gardner hit a triple.
  2. Mark Teixeira hit a single, bringing home Gardner. 4-3 Yankees.
  3. A-Rod drew his fourth walk of the night. Tex to second base.
  4. Matsui struck out swinging.
  5. Swisher grounded out to first, but advanced both runners. Ramiro Pena went to pinch run for A-Rod.
  6. Cano was intentionally walked, loading up the bases.
  7. Cabrera singled into the gap between left-center, scoring Tex and Pena.
  8. Game over.

Every Yankee had a hit except Damon, A-Rod (4 walks, so I’ll take that anyday), Matsui and Cano. The Yankees continue to strike out too much. Last night it was  7 strikeouts. 10 bases on balls, I’ll take. But they left 7 runners on base before the ninth. This is a recurring issue that needs to stop.

I neglected to mention the bullpen. After Phil Hughes left the fifth inning, Jon Albaladejo came in and kept the Twins scoreless. Phil Coke came in for a situational at-bat against Justin Mauer and allowed a home run. Luckly this was the only run allowed by the bullpen. After Coke’s outing, Brett Tomko came in for .2 innings and Edwar Ramirez came in for 1.1 innings and both did their jobs then Jose Veras pitched .1 of an inning, earning the win. While this bullpen platoon was effective tonight, I doubt it will happen every single night.

One thing I must note is that Carlos Gomez is an idiot. He twice ran on the fair side of the first base line, nearly on the grass, and the second time, almost injuring Tex in a way that looked like he was ripping off Tex’s arm. A shouting match ensued and Ron Gardenhire and Joe Girardi had words. With Joba pitching today, I’d watch out.

Today’s game is 1:05 with Joba on the mound against the Twin’s Blackburn. Let’s root for the Yanks to get their fourth straigh victory!