Yankees-Rays: Nick Swisher’s Sweet Walk-Off Wins It 3-2; Magic Number Is 15

September 9, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The walk-off win just never gets old in the Bronx.

Johnny Damon. Robinson Cano. Melky Cabrera. Alex Rodriguez. Jorge Posada. Hideki Matsui.

These are all Yankees who have hit a walk-off home run or hit in 2009.

After Tuesday night’s game, you can now add Nick Swisher’s name to the list.

Tuesday night’s game between the Yankees and Rays didn’t have the brand-name pitching like Monday did; it was rookie David Price for the Rays and Chad Gaudin for the Yankees.

Both pitchers can get a lot of strikeouts. They also can walk a lot of batters and tend to have their ERA’s shoot up near five.

Price and Gaudin gave quality efforts for their teams and, like the first game, it resembled a playoff-like pitching environment.

For the Rays, Price went six innings, allowed three hits and two runs, walked two, struck out six, and did not factor into the decision.

For the Yankees, Gaudin also pitched six innings, allowed six hits and one run, walked two, struck out six, and also did not factor into the decision.

For guys who have been wild and walking a lot of batters, both Price and Gaudin gave their teams quality outings. On this night, it would be a battle of the bullpens.

The Yankees sent up Damaso Marte, Brian Bruney, and Phil Coke, who each got an out to get through the seventh.

Lance Cormier and Randy Choate got through the seventh and eighth innings for the Rays.

The Yankees put in Phil Hughes. On the very first pitch he threw, a straight fastball over the plate, Jason Bartlett drilled it into the left field seats for a game-tying home run. Yankee Stadium was in a quiet shock because Hughes has been so dominant.

Following a Carl Crawford single, Hughes shook off the two hits and got through the eighth with the game still tied 2-2.

Mariano Rivera came in for the Yankees and pitched a scoreless ninth.

Dan Wheeler came in the ninth for the Rays. He got Alex Rodriguez to ground out to short.

Up next was Swisher, who already had a home run earlier in the game, his 25th of the season.

Swisher took a 1-0 fastball and drilled it into the right field seats for the 13th walk-off win for the Yankees and Swisher’s 26th home run in 2009 for a 3-2 Yankees win.

And as expected, A.J. Burnett delivered the pie in the face celebration to Swisher for the walk-off win, also the 13th of the season.

The Yankees go to 90-50 and stay nine games ahead of the Red Sox, who won 10-0 over the Orioles.

The Rays fall to 72-67 and have lost this series on the road. Their playoff chances are also beginning to decline as well with each loss in September.

Swisher has now added himself to the list of ninth inning heroics for the Yankees in 2009. Before Tuesday night, Swisher had only hit three home runs at Yankee Stadium, as opposed to 21 on the road.

Swisher nailed two home runs, one from each side of the plate, and if he is finding his home run groove at home, it couldn’t have come at a better time so close to the end of the season.

Just a funny note, I heard John Sterling’s home run call for Swisher in the ninth. “It was a Swish-a-licious shot.” 

The Yankees have reduced their magic number for the A.L. East crown on Tuesday to 15.

On Wednesday night in the series finale, the Yankees will send up Joba Chamberlain to face Rays rookie pitcher Jeff Niemann.

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