Yanks take game, series, AL East, home field advantage, and best MLB record


Thanks to reader AB for sending in the photo

After taking the first two games of the series from the Red Sox, all the Yankees needed yesterday was to avoid a blowout. Even with a loss they would still have been a win or Red Sox loss away from clinching the division and home field advantage. Sure, they would have lost the season series, but after starting out 0-8, finishing 8-10 would have been acceptable. They gave that extra effort, though, downing the Sox to even the season series and take the AL East division title.

The Sox, surely wanting to avoid the sweep, made life tough on Pettitte for the first three innings. They created some high-pressure situations by putting nine men on base, including two separate bases loaded situations. The Sox managed just two runs in those frames. That came back to bite them later, as Pettitte settled down and allowed just one baserunner during innings four through six.

Through the first five innings, the Yankees could not solve Paul Byrd. The soft-tossing righty scattered five hits over those frames, walking none. He did make a few mistakes, including a first-pitch homer to Melky Cabrera and a double to Swisher. The latter was erased when Nick Swisher supposedly left early on a tag-up play. The ump sure enjoyed showboating his call when the Sox appealed, but replay showed that he was wrong, wrong, wrong. It surely was not Tim Welke’s finest moment. (But don’t think that it will cost him any playoff games.)

Pettitte held down the Red Sox just long enough for the offense to strike. In a way, it was redemption for the run in the first. Pettitte had retired the first two batters in the first before loading the bases and allowing a run. Paul Burd retired the first two batters in the sixth before Mark Teixeira singled and A-Rod capped a 10-pitch at-bat with one of his own. That ended Byrd’s day. He led, but the go-ahead runs were on base.

Three pitches later Takashi Saito uncorked a pitch that bounced in the dirt and all the way to the backstop. That put the go-ahead run in scoring position, and Hideki Matsui wouldn’t let that go to waste. J.D. Drew made a nice stop on Matsui’s liner to right, but he was just a half second behind and the ball bounced up into his mitt. Both runners scored and the Yankees had taken the lead.

With Hughes having pitched the last two games, the game was left to Brian Bruney. The beleaguered reliever came out for the seventh looking to shake his poor September. While he threw a first-pitch ball to each batter in the seventh, those were the only ones. He ended up throwing 9 of 12 pitches for strikes, setting down the Red Sox — including their 1-2 hitters — in order. He also came out and got the first two batters in the eighth, ending with 21 pitches, 14 strikes. That’s what the Yankees are looking for from Bruney. He’ll have another week to prove he’s ready to make the postseason roster.

Teixeira added an insurance run with a home run off Dan Bard in the eighth, and from there it was all Mariano. Like Saturday it got a bit rough, with two runners reaching base — though one was on a Robinson Cano error. Not that it mattered. Mo got two weak grounders to end the game, clinching the division, home field, and best record in baseball for the Yankees. They now have 100 wins for the first time since 2004.

It sounds like the Yankees had themselves quite a celebration after the game, spraying champagne and some light beer all over themselves, reporters, and anyone who happen to be in the clubhouse. They still do have a baseball game tomorrow, though. I’d expect to see a complete-scrub lineup — it’ll be nice to see Juan Miranda get a start or two this week.

On a more serious note, A.J. Burnett returned home to Arkansas after the celebration to be with his father, Bill, who will undergo triple bypass surgery today. A.J., iron man that he is, still expects to be back for his start on Tuesday.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Bruney’s performance was a pleasant surprise.

  2. Dela G says:

    i would buy an AL East Champion T-shirt, but that thing will be useless come november i believe

  3. Thomas A. Anderson says:

    Hope we all appreciate how special making the playoffs is.

    We all (understandably) took it for granted and last year we got a cold, sobering dose of reality. I’m 24 and that was the first time I could ever remember the Yanks not being in the postseason in some form or fashion.

    So winning the AL East this year combined with just how coheisive this team has become and how much they genuinely like each other makes it all the more special. Throw in a crap load of walkoff hits and the emergence of Phil, Frankie C., Gritt Gardner, and all of the other young players we have, we as fans should really appreciate where the organization is now and realize how special all this is.

    That said let’s hope that NY crushes all those that stand in their way come October.

  4. Salty Buggah says:

    Watching some assorted online videos, I can tell Teixeira was really excited. He screaming like crazy.

  5. Tom Zig says:

    Best Wishes to AJ Burnett and his family

    • Bob Stone says:

      I wish them well too. Fortunately, it is a fairly routine operation these days. My father had bypass surgery at age 77 and was up about and better than ever in a matter of days.

    • Jeffrey says:

      Agreed, I hope his dad gets well soon. My dad had the same procedure done a month ago so I can relate. Its too bad the surgery isn’t being done after the playoffs. It can be stressful and the Yankees need AJ to be focused on his last start, the one in the ALDS, and those after that in October.

      • Bob Stone says:

        The surgery is definitely stressful and distracting. But at least we don’t need AJ at his best until the playoffs. Hopefully by then, his dad will be in A-one shape and watching AJ win some games on TV.

  6. steve (different one) says:

    the yankees will never win in that bandbox!!

  7. DreDog says:

    Can someone call the lineup?
    Just for sh*ts & giggles.

  8. Bob Stone says:

    This was such a great day, especially clinching against the BoSox and evening our record against them after going 0-8.

    This could be (Im still not sure) the best Yankees squad since 1998 (maybe since 2001) and that’s saying a lot. I especially like the fact that you rarely feel they are out of a game when behind, even in late innings.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the C, D, E and F line-ups win some games this week. When you’re hot, you’re hot.

    Let’s hope they continue this high level of play throughout the play-offs.

  9. hoosierdaddy says:

    i dont think the yankees have enough grit.. and cano is lazy.. hahahahahaha..

  10. Salty Buggah says:

    Guzman probably was very happy today. He’s been bouncing around AAA all year and for a a couple of years but now he got to party with the Yankees for winning a Division. And he will get a WS ring when/if we win too. Lucky SOB.

  11. Tom Zig says:

    Remember when people were saying that the Yankees don’t have a home field advantage anymore?

  12. Johnnyboy says:

    Any chance we get to see a player manage a game, soon?

  13. Tom Zig says:

    Now that the games have even less meaning than before, do you think we can manage to win 4 more games?

    If we can win 104 games we’ll have the 2nd most wins during the Steinbrenner era. Which would be good enough to be tied for 6th overall in franchise history.

  14. JMK aka The Overshare says:

    I hate not having DOTF.

  15. Bob Stone says:

    There’s very even handed story in the Boston Globe by Nick Cafardo about the Yankees season and clinching the AL East:

    It’s a good read.

  16. Dela G says:

    hahahaha check out edwar ramirez on the far right in this foto.

    He looks like an old man there

  17. yankees=warriors says:

    Is IPK still with the team? Couldn’t find him or Hughes in any of the celebration pictures or videoes!

  18. steve s says:

    Here’s top ten things to root for in last 6 games:

    1) Tex: 40 HR’s (to win HR crown) and 90 extra base hits;
    2) CC- 20 wins and 200 K’s;
    3) 243 team HR’s (242 is team record from 2004; currently have 235);
    4) 1267 team pitching K’s (1266 is Yankee and AL record from 2001; currently have 1213);
    5) Arod: 30 HR’s; 100 RBI’s;
    6) Cano: 50 doubles;
    7) Jeter: 210+ hits; 110+ runs scored (only did it 2 times before in same season; 215 hits would be 2nd best in career; 20 HR’s would be nice but probably out of reach);
    8) 104 wins (would be 2nd most in last 47 years tying 63 squad);
    9) Twins overtaking Tigers (or at least Verlander havng to pitch last day of season);
    10) No injuries.

  19. Pags Pasqua says:

    Checking Tex’s stats I was surprised to find that he has only played in ONE postseason series. Tex went 7 for 15, scoring 4 runs and driving in 1 for the Angels in last year’s ALDS. In game four he watched helplessly as Jed Lowrie’s walk off single rolled between him and 2B Howie Kendrick. He left the field at Fenway as the BooSux celebrated an ALDS win. Tex still has that horrible taste of loss in his mouth. So – why shouldn’t he celebrate? I’m sure it felt great for him to jack a mile-high homer, catch the final out on first base and then watch Boston leave their dugout dejected. Let’s hope he has more opportunities to celebrate real soon.

  20. crapulent says:

    A Sox-fan friend said to me “Yeah, it’s easy for them to win in that Stadium.”

    Oh because we play baseball there and you don’t? We play baseball at Yankee Stadium and the Sox come and play cricket. No wonder why we win. Maybe you boys should bring your bats. Actually, bringing your balls would help too.

    • Your friend has to be fucking kidding, right? He’s a fan of a team that plays at FENWAY FUCKING PARK.

    • Pete says:

      I don’t even get into those discussions anymore. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

      $200 million payroll, bandbox ballpark, yet if we bow out in the first round we’re the biggest choking chokers in the history of choking.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      A Sox-fan friend said to me “Yeah, it’s easy for them to win in that Stadium.”

      Um, just wondering, but if you think that’s true, wouldn’t that make it all the more important for you (the Sux) to secure home field advantage, instead of saying you’re cool w/ winning the WC?

      Especially considering as how your team went 39-42 on the road, including 2-7 in “that Stadium”?

    • Pags Pasqua says:

      Its never the bloody Red Sox’s fault! Its always the umpires, the bandbox, the steroids, etc… Why can’t they just admit their team is inferior this year, their pitching is suspect, their big hitters are end-of-the-season chokers, and they lost the most important free-agent signings of the year to the Yankees. I hope we meet them in the ALCS so we can smoke some more homers out of our bandbox. Let the jealous jerks bellyache all they want. Our ballpark still has that “new stadium” aroma. Their archaic tunnels smell like urine.

  21. AB says:

    did anyone see Melky, Cano and Molina drenching Arod in Champagne and chanting “la princesa! la princesa! la princesa!” or “the princess” in english. Is “the Princess” Arod’s nickname in the clubhouse??

  22. [...] Yanks settled almost every playoff issue yesterday when they clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Red Sox and the Angels have [...]

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