Let's get right to the Yankees-Twins ALDS Game 3, 'Kudos & Wet Willies.' The Yankees did not mess around with Minnesota, so I won't mess around here, either.
Kudos to ...
- The sweep: Polishing off Minnesota in three was absolutely perfect, since it meant CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte only had to pitch once, and the Yankees will have a rested rotation for the ALDS.
- Phil Hughes: First career postseason start? Maybe worn down a little from the most regular-season innings of his career? Fuhgeddaboudit! Hughes was fantastic in seven shutout innings. Four hits, one walk and absolutely no chance for the Twins. He used all of his pitches, but mostly just pounded the strike and dared Minnesota to hit his fastball. They couldn't. Hughes and Andy Pettitte keep pitching like this they will make me look bad. And that's fine.
- Marcus Thames: Thames two-run fourth-inning home run off Brian Duensing was the 'sorry, Twinkies, you have no chance' blow in the game. Everything after that was pretty much just waiting for Mariano Rivera to get the inevitable final out.
- Boone Logan and David Robertson: Terrific job cleaning up Kerry Wood's eighth-inning mess. They slammed the door emphatically when Wood had given the Twins just the smallest glimmer of hope.
- Others who deserve mention: Big hit for Mark Teixeira in the second inning, two hits for Nick Swisher, two for Derek Jeter, a great first-inning at-bat from Brett Gardner that resulted in a sac fly to score a run and base-hit for Curtis Granderson to put his average for the series at .455.
- The Tampa Bay Rays: Tossed them in here simply for beating Texas Saturday to extend their series at least one more day. The longer that series goes the better for the Yankees.
- Kerry Wood: Not good Saturday night at all. Had no clue where the ball was going, and surrendered three hits and a walk while facing five hitters in the eighth inning. One great ALDS performance in Game 2, but had to be rescued from himself in the first and third games. Wood has been phenomenal since coming to the Yankees from Cleveland, and the Yankees can't afford for him to fall apart now.
- TBS: I love listening to Ernie Johnson in studio during NBA games. The guy is just not a baseball play-by-play guy, though. Ron Darling is OK, but John Smoltz is terrible.