Minnesota and New York both had their chances today. David Phelps and Yohan Pino did their jobs as well as could reasonably be expected, combining for thirteen innings of work and allowing just two runs combined. Each pitcher gave up three hits and two walks.
The Yankees scored first. Ichiro reached on a fielder's choice, stole second (he was out but the play wasn't challenged), moved up to third on a wild pitch from Pino, and then scored on a Francisco Cervelli single. Unfortunately for Cervelli, that's not the play that Yankee fans will remember.
Josh Willingham led off the seventh with a solo homer off the facing of the second deck to tie the game at 1-1. The Twins then wasted back-to-back singles to lead off the eighth, but that was the best chance for either team to score until the bottom of the eleventh.
In the interim, the Twins bullpen performed very well. Matt Guerrier worked around two base runners to put up a zero. Casey Fien put down a perfect eighth. Glen Perkins came on in a non-save situation and did the same, striking out Ichiro and Alfonso Soriano. Jared Burton gave up a two-out single to Derek Jeter but nothing more. Brian Duensing dropped another goose egg in the eleventh.
Chris Colabello picked up a start on Friday night for the first time since his call up and he came up with a home run. In the bottom of the eleventh he came in to pinch hit for Chris Parmelee and led off the frame with a double. Kendrys Morales' weak chopper to third moved Colabello up, and with one out Matt Thornton intentionally walked Willingham to get to Oswaldo Arcia and set up the double play. Instead, Thornton nailed Arcia with a fastball in the small of the back to load the bases.
The win came but it wasn't entirely earned. Trevor Plouffe chopped it weakly to Thorton who went home for the force out, and Cervelli turned and threw to get Plouffe at first for the double play. Except he airmailed it into foul territory behind first base. Hammer scored, Twins win.
- Gardy was ejected early for arguing that David Phelps should have been called with a balk. Phelps attempted to pick off Sam Fuld in the bottom of the third, and right away microphones picked up calls for the balk. When Phelps tried to get Fuld again, Gardy became more vocal and Marty Foster couldn't handle it. The fact was that Phelps was balking, but Foster had a thin skin. You can watch the video here to judge for yourself. You can hear a good deal of the conversation, especially between Gardenhire and Marsh. You almost wish Dick and Bert would be quiet so we could listen.
- Arcia was hit for the third time in the series today. I don't buy into the retaliation nonsense, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a Yankee or two get hit tomorrow.
- Glen Perkins made Alfonso Soriano look ancient in the top of the ninth. Perk dropped in a slider for strike one looking, and then went after Soriano with a trio of high fastballs. Soriano went after all three, quite predictably. There's no doubt that he's a shadow of the hitter he used to be, but the old man got schooled.
- Chris Parmelee made a fantastic play diving to his right at first in the sixth.
- Parmelee's hot streak has come to a definitive end, having gone 0-for-9 in his last two games.
- Guerrier's ERA is lower than Perkins'.
Win Expectancy Graph
Giving Derek Jeter second base from the final game played in the Metrodome - the bar was set high with the chair made out of broken bats for Mariano Rivera last year and this just seems lazy