Five Things: Tex's steal sparks Yanks

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
10:20
PM ET
Here are five things you need to know from the (champagne-soaked) Yankees clubhouse:

1. Mark Teixeira saw O's first baseman Mark Reynolds playing off the bag when Teixeira was on first base in the fifth, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

"It was on me," he said. "I thought we needed a spark."

[+] EnlargeMark Teixeira
Elsa/Getty ImagesMark Teixeira's first stolen base since July was a big one for the ALCS-bound Bombers.
Teixeira, not one to be confused with Rickey Henderson, took off and stole second on Matt Wieters. It was Teixeira's first steal since early July. He had just three total in the regular season.

But it might have saved the Yanks' season. Raul Ibanez followed with an RBI single through the infield that drove in Teixeira. If Teixeira were still at first, Ibanez's grounder could have easily been a double play.

"That fired me up," said Ibanez, who started at DH on Friday.

Ibanez finished the series hitting .444 (4-for-9) with 10 total bases. He had three crucial RBIs -- all of which either tied a game or gave the Yankees a lead. The veteran did not want to speculate about his role in the ALCS when asked about it on Friday.

"I'm just here to help the team win," he said.

2. Plenty of New Yorkers were down on Curtis Granderson coming into Game 5. The Yankees center fielder entered play Friday 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts in the ALDS.

However, Granderson says he never got down on himself.

"You've just got to keep working and understand that things can turn in a matter of a swing or a game or a pitch or whatever it happens to be," Granderson said.

For Granderson, things turned with one swing in the seventh inning. He drilled Troy Patton's 81 mph slider into the right-field seats to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead. The insurance run turned out to be a crucial one when the Orioles got a run in in the eighth and loaded the bases with one out before CC Sabathia wiggled out of the jam.

Granderson finished the series 3-for-19 but says he's taking a positive attitude into the ALCS.

"I'm just going to stay confident and aggressive," he said.

3. Derek Jeter said the bone bruise on his left foot he suffered on Wednesday didn't bother him much in Game 5. And it showed.

Jeter made a fantastic play on a slow bouncer in the eighth, nailing J.J. Hardy at first to end the inning and help Sabathia get out of a bases-loaded jam.

"I felt fine," said Jeter, who embraced Joan Steinbrenner, the widow of George Steinbrenner, in the Yankees clubhouse after the game.

The captain's Yankees now face off with the Tigers, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in 2011. Understandably, Jeter hadn't started thinking about Detroit on Friday. He'd been consumed with the Orioles for the past week.

He did say, however, that there was no revenge factor at play.

"I don't care who we're playing, you want to win. You can't think about last year," Jeter said. "That's like saying the Yankees beat Detroit in 1965, you know what I mean? You can't think about that."

4. The Yanks enter the ALCS with some of their regulars mired in rough cold streaks. Granderson busted out with a homer on Friday but finished the series hitting .158 (3-for-19). Robinson Cano was brutal, going 2-for-22 with three strikeouts, though he did drive in four runs. Nick Swisher hit .111 (2-for-18) with five K's and Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-16 with nine K's.

When someone pointed out the frigid numbers of some of the New York regulars to Swisher, the normally bubbly right fielder bristled.

"You're making this about individual numbers," he said. "It's all about wins and losses."

5. A day after suffering an elbow contusion courtesy of a collision with a bat shard, Joba Chamberlain insisted he was OK to pitch.

Chamberlain iced his arm on Thursday night and tested it before Friday's game. He said he was available, if needed, in Game 5 and expected to be ready to pitch on Saturday night in Game 1 of the ALCS.

Chamberlain got hurt on Thursday night when a shard of Wieters' bat hit his elbow. X-rays came back negative.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146