10/09/2004 9:19 PM ET
Game balls: Rating Game 4
Sierra, A-Rod come through to advance Yankees
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, Twinkies, as the boys from Minnesota are so often called, and subway cars, in honor of New York City traffic's mass transit system -- for performances in this year's American League Division Series.
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
Here's a look at how things shaped up in the Yankees' clinching, 6-5 victory in Game 4.
Five subway cars: Empty car, all the seats to yourself
Four subway cars: Smooth ride, even got a nap
Three subway cars: Had to stand, but life is good
Two subway cars: Got my jacket caught in the door
One subway car: Overslept; hot, crowded car; splitting headache
Alex Rodriguez: Doubled twice in the final three innings, stole third base in the 11th, then scored the winning run on a wild pitch. Aggressive, smart play by A-Rod that earned the Yankees an ALCS berth.
Ruben Sierra: A lot of things could have happened when Sierra came to the plate with two on and one out on the eighth, but Sierra delivered the best-case scenario of all for the Yankees. His three-run home run tied up what seemed to be a game heading in the Twins' direction.
Mariano Rivera: Turned in a Mariano Rivera-type outing, which is the highest praise you can give to a reliever.
Derek Jeter: Struck out four times. That's not a normal night for Jeter, for those scoring at home.
Javier Vazquez: Gave up a couple pf early sacrifice flies, but those were the least of his worries. In the fifth, he gave up Henry Blanco's solo home run and a couple of two-out base hits, then hit a batter and served up Lew Ford's two-run double. A rough day for the Yankees' starter.
Jorge Posada: Went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and stranded five runners. Not exactly a performance worthy of the highlight reel.
Five Twinkies: Mom packed the best lunch -- ever
Four Twinkies: You're all that, and a glass of milk
Three Twinkies: Now you're starting to eat like a man
Two Twinkies: You call this a snack?
One Twinkie: No creamy filling; must be a mistake at the Twinkie factory
Joe Nathan: Once the Twins' cushy lead was dismantled, they needed Nathan to hold the Yankees at bay, and he delivered. Nathan turned in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work, striking out three batters along the way.
Johan Santana: What his outing lacked in length, it made up for in quality. Santana turned in five strong innings, allowing one run on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Henry Blanco: Really hadn't been pulling his weight thus far in the Division Series, but came through with a solo home run in the fifth inning of Game 4.
Juan Rincon: When you're brought in to preserve a 5-1 lead, you probably shouldn't give up four earned runs. Rincon did just that -- and quickly, by the way. This was a bad time for the right-hander to fall apart.
Kyle Lohse: Lohse's rough year had a rough ending. His wild pitch in the 11th inning Saturday night allowed Alex Rodriguez to score from third. That turned out to be the deciding run in the Twins' final game of the season.
Anthony Castrovince is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.