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Birthday Baseball (An Occasional Series): Game 27 – July 12, 2009

By now our readers know the story… I am looking back to see how the Yankees performed on my birthday each year since I’ve been born and then telling the story of what took place on that summer day.

As always, whenever I do research like this, my first two stops are always Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference.

Let’s head back to 2009…


On Sunday, July 12, 2009, the Yankees saw themselves in California finishing up a three game series against the Angels before heading off to the All-Star break.

The Yankees had lost the first two games of this series, but had their new ace, C.C. Sabathia, on the mound. He would be pitching against John Lackey.

On the season, the Yankees were 51-37, the Angels 49-37.

This looked to be a game against evenly matched teams.


The visiting Yankees sent out the following line-up:

Brett Gardner – CF

Derek Jeter – SS

Mark Teixeira – 1B

Alex Rodriguez – 3B

Hideki Matsui – DH

Robinson Cano – @2B

Erik Hinske – RF

Melky Cabrera – LF

Jose Molina – C

The Angels countered with the following:

Chone Figgins – 3B

Maicer Izturis – SS

Bobby Abreu – RF

Mike Napoli – DH

Gary Matthews – CF

Howie Kendrick – 3B

Brandon Wood – 1B

Rob Quinlan – LF

Jeff Mathis – C


The first inning, for the Yankees was a quiet one. They went down in order.

The Angels, in their half, managed two singles off C.C. Sabathia, but a double play ended the frame without any runs scoring.

In the Yankees’ second, HIdeki Matsui walked, but that was the extent of their offense.

The Angels went down in order.

The Yankees started the scoring in the third inning. A Melky Cabrera walk was followed, an out later, by a Brett Gardner single that sent him to third. Cabrera scored on a Derek Jeter ground out. The Yankees led 1-0.

In the third, the Angels again failed to score.

But, after the Yankees failed to score in their half of the fourth inning, the wheels came off.

Maicer Izturis singled to start the inning. He scored on a Bobby Abreu double. Mike Napoli grounded out sending Abreu to third. Gary Matthews then walked.

Howie Kendrick then hit an RBI double to give the Angels a 2-1 lead. Following this, Matthews scored on a ground out and Kendrick scored on a Robb Quinlan single. As the frame closed, the Angels led 4-1.

It stayed that way for a while…

The Yankees scored a run in their half of the seventh inning. This inning was their first big chance to get back in the game. Melky Cabrera led off with a double. He scored on a Jorge Posada single. That made it 4-2. Brett Gardner then reached on an error. Derek Jeter followed with a single to load the bases with no outs!

But Mark Teixeira struck out and A-Rod grounded into a double play to end the threat.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Chone Figins (who always seemed to kill the Yankees) tripled. He scored on a base hit by Maicer Izturis. It was now 5-2 in favor of the home team.

In the top of the 8th, the Yankees again loaded the based with no outs. Justin Speier was now pitching for the Angels. Matsui walked. Cano singled, Hinske was hit by a pitch…

Melky Cabrera then singled to make the score 5-3.

Darren Oliver replaced Speier on the mound…

Jorge Posada hit a sacrifice fly, making it 5-4.

…and Nick Swisher lined into an inning-ending double play.

And that was as close as they’d get.

In a frustrating heartbreaker, the Yankees lost 5-4.


Next we head to 2013. (There were no games on July 12 in 2010, 2011, or 2012)

In our next game, the Yankees will be at home to face the Minnesota Twins.


Yankees Record on July 12 (in this series – since 1968): 19-7

(There were no games played on July 12 in 1971, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006.)

Hideki Matsui on July 12 (to date): 2 for 9 (.222), double, strikeout, 3 walks

Derek Jeter on July 12 (to date): 10 for 29 (.344), 5 runs, 5 RBI, 5 SO, 2 BB, home run

Mariano Rivera on July 12 (to date): 3 innings, no runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 1 save, 1 blown save (0.00)

Don Mattingly on July 12 (in his career on July 12): 12 for 31 (.387), 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, SO

Graig Nettles (as a Yankee on July 12): 33 AB, 7 hits (.212), 1 run, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks. 1 RBI (I had hoped that my favorite player would have done better on my birthday.)


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