Yankees Sweep Twins, Red Sox On Deck
Mike Mussina won his thirteen game of the year as the Yankees extended their home winning streak to 10 games by besting Glenn Perkins and the Twins 5-1. In the process New York stretched their home winning streak to 10 games.
Minnesota gift wrapped this win for the Yankees with a crucial mental error in the fifth inning. Second baseman Alexi Casilla took a throw to force a runner out at second base and started running off the field thinking it was the third out instead of turning the double play and getting out of the inning.
The next batter, Justin Christian, promptly doubled home two runs and the Yankees never looked back. New York is now eleven games over .500 and trail the first place Rays by 3.5 games, and Boston by just 3. This sets up a three game show-down with the second place Red Sox beginning Friday the 25th.
Friday’s match up features Josh Beckett vs. Joba Chamberlain. Beckett pitched a complete game in a loss to the Angels and Chamberlain pitched six good innings versus the A’s and got a no decision.
Andy Pettitte takes the ball for the Yankees versus Tim Wakefield on Saturday. In their last outings Pettitte pitched very effectively and beat the A’s while Wakefield lost to Angels. Wakefield has a no decision in his only start versus New York this year.
Jon Lester will pitch in game three on Sunday. The Yankees have not announced who they will start. Lester has pitched well and is 4-1 this year at Fenway. His last effort was against the Mariners where he held them scoreless for 7 1/3 innings.
The Yankees added Richie Sexton to their roster as a much needed weapon against left handed pitching, which they have struggled against. It will be interesting to see how he fits in. Jorge Posada elected not to have season ending surgery on his throwing shoulder, opting to do rehab instead. New York is hoping that Johnny Damon’s injury woes are over.
Over-all health will be a critical issue for the Yankees as hope to continue their winning ways. They need all of their bats. The pitching has been solid in every way, so it looks like they will be in the race for the long haul.
By Andrew Tonge
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