After being down 5-0 into the seventh inning off of a great pitching performance by Texas starter CJ Wilson, the Yankees rallied in the eighth inning and scored 6 runs off of the Rangers bullpen to win the game. Robinson Cano ignited the comeback with a solo homer in the seventh inning. Then, Brett Gardner's hustling slide into first base in the eighth continued the rally, and well, needless to say the Yankees lineup behind Gardner took things from there with big hits from Jeter, Rodriguez, Cano and Thames and two key walks by Swisher and Teixeira.
Yankees take Game 1
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We've seen the Yankees steal games from other teams before. We fanatics know that the Bombers are well equipped to stage comebacks like this when they're good and ready. But what makes this comeback so incredible and exciting, is that it was done in a playoff game against this Texas team who had so much momentum coming in the game, and on a night when Yankees ace CC Sabathia pitched like a postseason rookie, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks.
"He was definitely off today," Joe Girardi said.
"Off" is a mild interpretation of how bad CC actually seemed on the mound last night. But seeing the big 6 foot 7, 290 lb. southpaw dive into home plate to tag out a charging Nelson Cruz, on a flip-throw from Jorge Posada to end the first inning, more than made up for it. Sabathia got major backup from his relievers, particularly Dustin Moseley, who pitched 2 perfect innings and eventually picked up the win.
Of course, this was just game 1. There is still plenty of baseball to be played in this series. Bomber fanatics love to make predictions about the outcome of games and series, because our team makes it easy for us to do so. However, I'm not going to go as far as predicting a winner of this series yet, but I will say this: on a night when Sabathia nearly handed the game to Texas, you have to feel like allowing the Yankees to come back and steal it could mean that the ALCS will be the Rangers' last stop this postseason.
- CC Sabathia pitched 4 innings, allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, walked 4 and struck out 3
- Yankees combined for 6 runs on 10 hits and 4 walks; Rodriguez scored game-winning run on an RBI single by Marcus Thames in the eighth inning
- Dustin Moseley struck out 4 in two perfect innings; threw 21 of 27 pitches for strikes
- Mariano Rivera picked up his third save this postseason; he's 3-3