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In what could be interpreted as a salary dump, the Yankees traded relief pitcher Brian Bruney to the Washington Nationals for a player-to-be-named-later.  My guess is that the Yankees will end up taking a younger relief pitcher from the Nats farm system and throw him into Double-A or Triple-A.

This was a good move.  Bruney was hot sometimes and cold others and oft-injured.  He wasn’t worth keeping around for any price.  Seemed like a good guy, but this is a bizness….

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I don’t think anyone expected this.

And by this I’m talking about two things: Cliff Lee’s pitching gem, and the Yankee bats whimpering throughout the night.

Cliff Lee, facing his former teammate, CC Sabathia, was brilliant last night, pitching a complete game one-run victory over the vaunted Yankees lineup. He struck out Jeter on a high fastball to start off the game and ended with 10 strikeouts on the night.

CC on the other hand labored at times, loaded the bases, and allowed two runs, both solo homers to Chase Utley. In between laboring, CC was brilliant and matched Lee at times. It just happened Lee was better.

The only brilliant spot in the Yankees’ offense was Derek Jeter’s offense. He went 3 for 4, with a double, and two singles. He also averted the possibility of the Yankees’ only shutout in Game 1 history by scoring in the bottom of the 9th off an error by Rollins that Mark Teixeira hit towards.

Tex and A-Rod struck out five times. This is something we cannot afford. This cannot happen in the next four games we need to win to get number twenty-seven.

Once CC exited in the seventh inning, the bullpen imploded. Phil Hughes walked the only two batters he faced and wasn’t man enough to stay in the clubhouse for the reporters. Damaso Marte followed Hughes and pitched slightly better. Then came Dave Robertson who allowed a hit and walked one. He finished the eighth to let Brian Bruney in. Bruney, in his first postseason appearance, was pathetic. Bruney allowed three hits and two runs in 1/3 of an inning, then Phil Coke came in finish the frame.

Simply put, the Yankees cannot keep doing this. If they do, this will be a quick series.

It’s AJ Burnett on the mound, with “Who’s Your Daddy?” Pedro Martinez on the opposite end. We all know who we’re rooting for.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings Tuesday night, securing the opportunity to lose to the Yankees in the first round.  The Twins made an extremely remarkable come back in September – on Sept. 6, they were 68-68 and 7 games back of the Tigers.  By Saturday October 3, the Tigers lost 3 straight and the Twins won 3 straight to tie it up at 85-76.  With both teams winning on Sunday, a one-game playoff was required at Minnesota’s Metrodome.

With 5 straight wins and a 19-8 record in the last month, the Twins are a hot team – but let’s not forget the fact that the Bombers were 7-0 against the Twins this season.  I still see the Yankees winning the series in 4 games.

It was announced Tuesday that Jose Molina will start Game 2 of the series – as AJ Burnett’s catcher.  Despite #1 catcher Jorge Posada’s obvious disappointment, this was the right decision.  As ESPN pointed out, with Posada as the catcher, Burnett has struck out 79 of 434 batters and allowed opponents a BA of .270.  With Molina as the catcher, Burnett has struck out 77 of 288 batters and opposing batters have a .221 BA.

Burnett was 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA in his first season as a Yankee.  He has postseason experience as a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins World Series Championship team.

Brian Bruney will not be on the ALDS roster according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN’s Twitter account.  No word on how this information was compiled.  The opens up a spot for David Robertson ;-).  The official roster will most likely be announced sometime Wednesday before the game.

Game 1 intros should start somewhere around 5:45 and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:07 Wednesday.  All games in the series will be broadcast on TBS.

The Yankees have looked pretty good the last two days, beating the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Friday night in 10 innings, and 9-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The Yankees started the game and finished the game with home runs.  Captain Derek Jeter hit a lead-off homer to center to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead after their first batter.  Johnny Damon then made it 2-0 with a homer to right in the third inning.  Seven innings later, in the bottom of the tenth, Robinson Cano also homered to center, a three-run shot that won the game for the Bronx Bombers.

CC Sabathia lasted seven innings, holding the White Sox to 2 runs on 8 hits and 1 BB while earning 10 K’s.  Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera and Brian Bruney each pitched a perfect inning to hold the Sox scoreless after they generated 2 runs in the seventh to tie the game.

The game was exciting to watch and was a great prelude to Saturday afternoon’s game.

In his first appearance in 8 games, Sergio Mitre threw a great game before leaving in the seventh inning after getting beaned in the pitching arm by a line-drive hit.  Mitre was perfect through 4 1/3 innings before a tough-to-field hit got by Mark Teixeira at first.

On the previous play, Alex Rodriguez had made a great play at third to keep the perfect game alive.  Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.  Mitre ended up going 6 1/3 innings, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, 0 runs and 2 strikeouts.  Chad Gaudin came on in relief, pitching the final 2 2/3, holding the Sox to 1 walk and had 4 strikeouts.

The Yankee offense mostly came from a 4-run 2nd inning and a 4-run fourth inning.  Jerry Hariston, Jr., and Johnny Damon each doubled in two runs in the second to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.  Two innings later, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher each had RBI singles, while Hideki Matsui doubled in a run and Robinson Cano sacrificed a run in to build the lead to 8-0.

Cano then added an RBI single in the 6th and Rodriguez hit the only home run of the night, a solo shot to right.

Last night was a night to remember as the Yankees had a hit and run fest in Fenway Park. Hideki Matsui homered twice and had a career-high seven RBIs, Alex Rodriguez had four hits in a 20-11.

The Yankees scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, six in the fifth, three in the sixth, one in the seventh and four in the ninth.

Matsui hit three-run homers in the fifth and ninth, giving him 21 for the year, and drove in a run with a groundout in the seventh.

Rodriguez went 4 for 4 after getting just five hits in his previous 25 at-bats. Mark Teixeira and Melky Cabrera had three hits apiece and Teixeira drove in three runs. Derek Jeter went 3 for 6 for his fourth three-hit performance in the last five games and is batting .543 in his last 11 games.

The Yankees led 12-1 before the Red Sox scored three in the bottom of the fifth off Andy Pettitte (10-6).

Jeter doubled in the first, Teixeira walked, Rodriguez singled and Jorge Posada hit a two-run single. In the first, Johnny Damon fouled a ball off his right knee,and left the game in the bottom half with a bruised knee.

Eric Hinske cam in to replace Damon and contributed offensively by doubling in a run in the second before a two-run double by Teixeira and an RBI single by Rodriguez.

Behind stellar offense, Pettitte just needed to keep the Sox at bay. He pitched five innings, allowing 7 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), while walking two and striking out four.

An oversight on this offensive fireworks was the disastrous showing of the bullpen. Brian Bruney pitched 1.1 innings but walked 3 and allowed one hit. Damaso Marte came in for the first time in months for .2 of a inning and struck out one, so he was the minor bright spot. Sergio Mitre was awful in the bottom of the ninth, allowing two home runs to let the Sox bring up their score to 11. This cannot happen on a regular night, but Girardi was probably liberal because of the Yankees’ lead in runs.

Today it’s AJ Burnett against Tazawa at 4:10 p.m.  No matter what happens, the Yankees will leave Beantown with at least a 5.5 game lead, which is still pretty comfortable.

Go Yank-eeees!

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