Yankees’ postseason experience shines in Game 1 of ALDS

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira hits a two-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of Game 1 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Andy King (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

The Yankees entered the playoffs losers of eight of their last 11 games. But no matter how much they’ve struggled or how many chinks in the armor they may have shown, this is still their time of year.

For five innings Wednesday night, the Yankees were making Twins’ starter Francisco Liriano look like Cy Young. They trailed 3-0 in the top of the sixth, but after Nick Swisher struck out swinging to start the inning, Mark Teixeira doubled to deep left, Alex Rodriguez walked and then Teixeira scored on a Robinson Cano single to right.

After Marcus Thames struck out, Jorge Posada lined a single to right to score A-Rod and move Cano to second. Curtis Granderson delivered the big blow by tripling off the wall in deep right center to score Cano and Posada to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.

They never trailed after that.

The Twins scratched across a run in their half of the inning, but Teixeira blasted a 355-foot home run in the top of 7th to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead. After allowing two base runners to reach in the ninth, Mariano Rivera got Jim Thome to pop out to third to end the game and give New York a 6-4 victory.

This is the time of year when the Yankees are never out of any game. They may have showed their age throughout the regular season, but there’s no replacement for postseason experience. When the stakes are high, this is when the Bombers are at their best.

Of course, this is still a team that’s going to struggle to win it all. Their pitching is a major concern and Joe Girardi’s stomach must have been in knots watching his ace C.C. Sabathia struggle in the early innings last night before finally settling in. He’s supposed to be the rock of the rotation and if he struggles, then the Yanks are doomed.

Game 2 is set for tonight at 6:07PM ET, as Andy Pettitte will take on former Yankee Carl Pavano.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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