By Jon Lane
The Yankees have rallied to win games 48 times this season, 14 via the walk-off hit, the team’s most since doing it 17 times in 1943. Joe Girardi feels that belief system was born during the memorable May series against the Twins, when three of the first four games were won on the Yankees’ final at-bat.
“I think there’s that feeling that you can always do it, because we’ve done it so many times,” Girardi said. “When guys have confidence, they’re different players. There’s no doubt about it. When you have success in situations, guys learn how to relax. The more success you have, the more you relax. That’s what allows guys to do that.”
Brett Gardner – that X-Factor – was once again in the middle of it. Not since Homer Bush in 1998 have the Yankees been able to deploy such a weapon.
“It’s just another way that you know you can win a game,” Girardi said. “It’s a great element to have as a manager. In these close games there’s always a spot where you look for him to be able to do it.”
Good for Ian Kennedy, a good guy who’s had some tough luck and is coming back from surgery to remove an aneurysm. Kennedy pitched three perfect innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Durham in the International League finals Wednesday, striking out six.