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Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Swisher misplay in right leads to game-tying runs

If he could go back, Nick Swisher would’ve done it all different. There wouldn’t have been the half-slide, half-tumble attempt to catch Delmon Young's bloop to right field that ended up tying the game in the eighth inning.

Swisher would’ve taken the cautious route.

“In hindsight, obviously I wish I would’ve kept the ball in front of me, “ Swisher said. “But you live and you learn.”

Swisher’s aggressive route cost the Yankees as Young’s bloop got by the Yankees left fielder and became a bases-clearing double in the Yankees 5-4 loss to the Twins in extra innings Tuesday night.

With the Yankees leading the Twins 4-1 with the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth, Young blooped a pitch from David Robertson into right field. First baseman Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano both ran after the ball, but it was hit too deep for them to catch.

In came Swisher, playing in a no-doubles defense, trying to make a sliding catch. About halfway into his slide, though, he realized that he wasn’t going to make the catch and pulled up abruptly as the ball landed, trying to grab at the bouncing ball with his free hand as he went by it and going into a forward tumble. Cano quickly picked up the ball in the outfield and fired home, but Joe Mauer beat the throw to the game.

With a 3-2 count, Mauer was able to go on the pitch, but Swisher said that didn’t factor into the play.

“I wasn’t worried about him, I was trying to make the catch,” Swisher said. “I wasn’t really paying attention to him at the time and you replay your play in your mind and all you want to do is keep that ball in front of you. For me, I made a mistake and we paid for it.”

Manager Joe Girardi seemed to defer blame from Swisher, saying the count worked against his right fielder and Young earned his bases.

“I thought it was a base hit,” Girardi said. “It was a well-placed ball. I knew it was a base hit when it left the bat. You can’t assume three runs are gonna score but I knew it was a base hit."