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Updated: May 26th, 2010 9:39pm
Gardenhire steamed about Yankees' stall, calls on baseball for change

Gardenhire steamed about Yankees' stall, calls on baseball for change

by Tom Pelissero
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire made clear he didn't think it cost his team the game, but he remained steamed shortly after Wednesday's 3-2 loss about the stall tactic that helped New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera get ready to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning.

Nick Swisher gave the Yankees the lead with a two-out home run in the top of the ninth, leaving Rivera limited time to warm up. So, Girardi sent starting pitcher Andy Pettitte back out for the bottom half, let him go through his warm-up routine and then walked to the mound to summon Rivera as Gardenhire had a verbal exchange with crew chief Brian O'Nora, who was working behind the plate.

Rivera proceeded to close the door by inducing three consecutive groundouts, recording his 10th save.

Asked if he ever thought Pettitte actually would throw a pitch in the ninth, Gardenhire said, "No, he wasn't going to throw a pitch. That was kind of tired, to tell you the truth. You don't know normally get that long between innings to do all that, but we know what's going on there.

"That's a situation major league baseball needs to take care of when stuff like that happens. You don't have a guy ready in the bullpen, if your starter goes out there, he should have to face a hitter. That's just the way it should be. If you don't get a guy up, that's the way it should be, unless the other team makes a change."

"But that's not what lost the game for us. That's stuff that just gets old right there."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Ron Gardenhire