Well, that was quite a shock, wasn't it?
With the Yankees winning 3-1, this game headed to the 8th, and the usually reliable combination of Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera. Joba allowed a single to Denard Span to start the inning and then two batters later walked Joe Mauer to put two on with one out. He then struck out Justin Morneau on a nasty slider for the second out of the inning and I thought the worst was over. It wasn't. Michael Cuddyer was next and he hit a soft line drive towards first that looked like it was ticketed for Mark Teixeira's glove, but it handcuffed Tex, bounced off his glove, and everybody was safe. Bases loaded, two out, and Mo was now coming into the game.
This was one of those extremely rare outings where Mo had nothing. He walked Jim Thome to force in the Twins first run of the inning cutting the Yankees lead to 3-2. This was only the fourth time in his Hall of Fame career that Mo has walked a batter with the bases loaded. Then Jason Kubel hammered the second pitch he saw, a low and inside cutter, into the seats in right for a grand slam and the Twins led 6-3. Yankee Stadium, as well as millions of fans in front of their TVs and radios sat in stunned silence.
The Yankees did have two chances to cut into the lead or tie things up. Jorge Posada walked with two out in the eighth, but Juan Miranda, who was pinch hitting for Greg Golson, struck out to end the inning. It was a strange set of subs for the Yanks. First, they sent Nick Swisher to bat for Golson because there was a lefty on the mound, but when Twins manager Ron Gardenhire called on a righty out of the pen, Miranda took Swisher's place, because Swisher still can't swing the bat left-handed. Personally, I would have rather seen Swisher swing right-handed against a lefty than Miranda hit.
In the ninth the Yankees put the first two men on with singles by Randy Winn and Ramiro Pena, giving them three cracks at tying the game with the top of the order coming up. But Twins closer Jon Rauch settled down, and struck out Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira to close out the game. It was a brutal way to end an ugly day in the Bronx for the Yanks. Something tells me that is Joe Nathan was healthy the Yankees would have won this game.
Wasted in this whole mess was a very nice effort from Sergio Mitre, who held the Twins to just one run on four hits over five innings. The loss also ended the Yankees 12-game winning streak over the Twins.
If you're wondering how the Yankees built up their original 3-1 lead, Randy Winn turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with a two-run triple, and Teixeira drove in the Yankees third run with an RBI single in the fifth.
Today, the Yankees will open up a short two-game series against the Red Sox at the stadium. Phil Hughes looks to make it 6-0 when he takes the ball in the opener. Pitching for Boston will be right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES.