"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

A Grand Finale

Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira finished what Curtis Granderson started. (Photo Credit / Michael Heiman - Getty Images)

Some of the Yankees’ most memorable moments at home over the past 15 years have occurred in the month of May. In 1998, David Wells’ perfect game against the Twins and the brawl against the Orioles sparked by Armando Benitez’s plunking of Tino Martinez took place May 17 and 19, respectively. In 2002, Jason Giambi’s 14th-inning game-winning grand slam in the rain, also against the Twins occurred on May 17.

Here we are in 2011. The Yankees had only won four home games this month. “Consistently inconsistent” would probably be the best description for their play. The pressing trend has been the team’s inability to hit with runners in scoring position. They were too reliant upon the home run.

Speaking of home runs, this series against the Blue Jays was billed as a duel between the Majors’ top two home run hitters: Jose Bautista of the Jays and Curtis Granderson of the Yankees. Bautista won Round 1 Monday night. Granderson won Round 2 on Tuesday. Granderson keyed the Yankees’ comeback from a 4-1 deficit with a leadoff double in the eighth inning, leading the “Thank you for taking Ricky Romero out of the game” charge. He later scored on Robinson Canó’s RBI double. With two outs in the ninth, Granderson singled to drive in Chris Dickerson, tying the game at 4-4. Minutes later, he scored the game-winning run on Mark Teixeira’s single.

Granderson went 4-for-5 on the night, bringing his current line to .275/.347/.618. He has been the Yankees’ best all-around player this season, and a top-5 player in the American League. Granderson remains second in home runs to Bautista, is fourth in RBI, second in runs scored, third in slugging percentage, and fourth in OPS.

The Yankees’ last four runs were all scored with two out. They went 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position over the last two innings, 4-for-4 with two out and runners in scoring position. This is the stuff that builds a team’s self-belief. Late-inning comebacks like this helped carry the team to a World Series title two years ago.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, though. We don’t yet know the identity of this Yankee team, or where they’re going to end up. For one night, here’s what we do know: Curtis Granderson’s efforts led to another pie at Yankee Stadium III. They made a winner out of CC Sabathia, who delivered the Yankees’ first complete game in 341 starts.

And they put the Yankees in first place.


1 Just Fair   ~  May 24, 2011 11:44 pm

Thank you for leading with this nice pic of Curtis. I loved him with the Tigers and always thought to myself how good he'd look in Pinstripes. He's as solid as they come as a person and player. He's going to sleep well tonight. And CC The Big Fella sure shut 'em down after a few shaky innings. Great Win. I am going to ignore the mostly shit hitting regulars.

2 Chyll Will   ~  May 25, 2011 12:09 am

Robinson Can&oacuteā€™s RBI double? Whodat?

3 Boatzilla   ~  May 25, 2011 12:34 am

One of the most gratifying moments of that game is the Posada story. Girardi gave him a chance to come through at crucial juncture and he DELIVERED.

If he hadn't, it would not have been so bad, almost kind of expected. But fact that he delivered in a big way, could be a huge lift for his confidence and the team's confidence and morale.

Have they turned the corner?

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 25, 2011 2:02 am

[3] Not yet..but they may be ON the corner.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iOG_ZSEMUs

5 OldYanksFan   ~  May 25, 2011 7:46 am

OK... just so people can't say I'm not fair...
Derek Jeter is having a BETTER year then Hanley Ramirez!!!

A great Win last night.
4 RBI with 2 outs and RISP!
Hope we haven't used up our quota for the year!

We really need to get Swish back on track.
There is nothing about his periopherals to explain his current funk, other the a lot less HR/FB.
You can see him pressing at the plate. 1st pitch swinging. Swinging at anything close. He is NOT waiting for his pitch. He is an important part of our offense. When he hits, we gave a much deeper team.

6 Will Weiss   ~  May 25, 2011 9:03 am

[2] Left out a character on the HTML for the accent mark over the "O" in Cano's last name. Sorry about that.

7 Will Weiss   ~  May 25, 2011 9:05 am

[5] Great point ... You can derive a lot from the box score. Swisher only saw 8 pitches in his four AB. This is a guy who, on average, would see between 5 and 8 pitches per at-bat. A sure sign he's pressing.

8 Will Weiss   ~  May 25, 2011 9:06 am

[3] And yes ... It should have been a single w/E-9 with the Bautista boot, but it was nice to see Posada not try to launch one into the seats and turn on an inside fastball.

The other thing revealed: how spoiled we've been all these years with Mariano Rivera. The Frank Franciscos of the world ... yikes.

9 ColoYank   ~  May 25, 2011 9:23 am

One thing I and the official scorer noticed was that Posada did not hesitate rounding first. I thought single/E9 too, at first, but then when I saw the replay, I could understand the ruling. Small enough point, I guess.

10 Normando   ~  May 25, 2011 10:00 am

[4] Love this album. Even though I've got it loaded on my work computer, I haven't listened to it in a while. About to remedy that.

11 Chyll Will   ~  May 25, 2011 11:53 am

[4] Good one... more empirical than what I was thinking...

12 Chyll Will   ~  May 25, 2011 11:58 am

[7] A lot of guys are pressing it seems. What's (or who's) freaking these guys out ferchrissakes; they are not quite a loose bunch...

13 Crazy8Rick   ~  May 25, 2011 3:35 pm

CC is so much the man. A complete game! DANG! The bullpen had the night off. Was Cashman right about Soriano????

14 Chyll Will   ~  May 25, 2011 3:54 pm

[13] Probably, but he had a helluva way of communicating his thoughts, huh?

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver