I won’t lie: I was afraid that this was going to be one of those games against an unknown or otherwise crappy pitcher where the Yanks can’t manage more than one or two runs. However, not even Sidney Ponson is that bad, apparently. The Yanks hit him hard and early, ending up with an 8-2 win.
Ben summed up the game well, so there’s no need to repeat material here. The only Pavano-related tidbit I can offer is that he was letting a lot of pitches sail early in the game. I suppose it’s one of those side effects of being out for a year and a half, and it did subside a bit as the game moved along.
Posada’s ground rule double was the biggest WPA shift in the game, moving the Yanks 13.2% closer to victory. It also came along with the game’s highest Leverage Index, so I suppose that was the most important at bat of the game.
For a different perspective, check out Aaron Gleeman’s recap. For the most part, I agree: the Twins played terrible defense and made some costly errors (Mike Cuddyer trying to advance from second on a grounder to short comes to mind, as well as Kubel’s misplay of Jorge’s aforementioned double). I initially took issue with his claim that the ump was squeezing Ponson, particularly on the walk to Giambi, but then I realized that the losing team’s fans tend to think they’re being squeezed. I do it all the time when the Yanks are down. When they’re up like last night, though, I tend not notice less and less.
Pettitte gets his shot at redemption tonight against Boof Bonser. Please, no jokes about his name.