Brian Bruney walked off the mound with two outs in the eighth inning and was surprised at what he saw and heard. Much of the crowd was on its feet. "Special," he called the reaction.
It's not a scene that has played out often in 2009 for Bruney, who has struggled while coming back from two stints on the disabled list. But after replacing Andy Pettitte to start the seventh, Bruney looked as good as he has all season in yesterday's 4-2 win over Boston, pitching a perfect 12/3 innings and picking up a strikeout on a 97-mph fastball.
With two outs in the eighth, Joe Girardi called for lefty Phil Coke to face David Ortiz, and Bruney left to cheers. "That to me, that's been my moment in baseball until now," Bruney said. "It was just an awesome feeling. I think they've been through it with me. New York fans aren't like any other fans. They feel baseball. They feel it with you. I think when I struggled, I feel like they struggled."
Bruney, probably still a long shot to make the ALDS roster if the Yankees go with 10 pitchers, explained why he didn't acknowledge the crowd. "I would have loved to have looked up and given a thank you,'' he said, "but honestly, I had tears in my eyes and couldn't do it."
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Swisher was right
With the Red Sox holding a 2-1 lead, Nick Swisher led off the fifth with a double and seemingly advanced to third on Robinson Cano's fly to fairly shallow center. But the Red Sox appealed that he left second too soon, and umpire Tim Welke agreed, calling an incredulous Swisher out.
But TV replays clearly indicated that Swisher had tagged up properly. His right foot was on the base, his left foot was extended in front of him and his upper body was leaning toward third, and his right foot still was in contact with second base when the ball hit centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury's glove.
It appeared on TV as though Swisher checked out the replay in the clubhouse, returned to the railing in the dugout and yelled out at Welke: "Wrong!''
Posada sits again, is OK
Jorge Posada, a late scratch Saturday because of a sore trapezius muscle - a lingering effect from the brawl with Toronto Sept. 15 - sat out a second straight game. "It's fine, it's fine," he said. "I could have played today, so it's just a matter of really getting the soreness out."
Johnny Damon sat out because of the wet field and to give Brett Gardner a chance to play. David Robertson, out since Sept. 5 with elbow tightness, likely will get in Tuesday night's game against the Royals. "He felt great [Saturday],'' Girardi said.
The Yankees (100-56, season-high 44 games over .500) have won five straight, all against the Angels and Red Sox, either of whom they could face in the ALCS. They are 62-24 since June 23, when they trailed the Red Sox by five games, and 49-19 since the All-Star break, when they trailed Boston by three . . . Mark Teixeira hit his 38th home run to move within one of American League leader Carlos Peña, who has been out for the season since breaking two fingers when he was hit by a CC Sabathia pitch Sept. 7. Teixeira leads the league with 120 RBIs. Teixeira's towering drive appeared to surprise Red Sox rightfielder J.D. Drew, who froze in his tracks as the drive left the bat, then began to drift back slowly before watching it clear the rightfield fence . . . Beginning May 13, Teixeira has 31 home runs and 103 RBIs in 122 games, going 154-for-485 (.318). He has a .602 slugging percentage and .397 on-base percentage in that span for a 1.000 OPS . . . Beginning with the June 24 game, when the Yankees began the hot streak that resulted in the AL East title, Alex Rodriguez is hitting .323 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in 79 games.