Wednesday night was the first ever playoff game being held at the new Yankee Stadium. It was also the first playoff game being held in the Bronx in two years.
The Yankees did not disappoint their fans one bit.
New York sent up their work-horse ace in CC Sabathia for Game One while Minnesota sent up rookie left-hander Brian Duensing.
Through the first two innings, the Yankees and Twins went scoreless as Sabathia and Duensing got off to good starts.
But in the top of the third inning, the Twins picked up a few hits off Sabathia and struck first with an RBI single from Michael Cuddyer to put the Twins up 1-0.
During the next at-bat, Sabathia and Jorge Posada got their signals mixed up and a ball got away from Posada, which allowed Joe Mauer to score and gave Minnesota a quick 2-0 lead.
The Yankee fans had that sense of "oh great, here we go again with another disappointing Game One" feeling. In the next inning, that feeling went away.
In the bottom of the third, Melky Cabrera got on with a single and brought up Derek Jeter.
Jeter took an inside fastball from Duensing and crushed it into the left field seats to tie the game at 2-2 and the Bronx crowd was back into the game and they had hope once again.
In the bottom of the fourth, Nick Swisher ripped a double down the left field line to score Robinson Cano and put the Yankees ahead 3-2. Swisher was pumping his fists in excitement as were the Yankee fans, who watched Swisher come up with key hits all season.
In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs and Jeter on base after working a walk, Alex Rodriguez got his first big hit of the series by ripping a double into the left-center field gap that scored Jeter and put the Yankees up 4-2. The double knocked Duensing out of the game and Ron Gardenhire called on Francisco Liriano.
Duensing's first playoff experience was less than memorable; pitching four-and-two-thirds innings, allowing seven hits and five runs, walked one and struck out three.
Once Sabathia got the lead, he didn't give it up and kept the Twins hitters off-balanced all game.
In the bottom of the sixth, with Rodriguez on base, Hideki Matsui took a Liriano delivering and smashed it to deep center field and the ball never stopped traveling as it went over the wall for a two-run home run and put the Yankees ahead further 6-2.
In the seventh inning, Sabathia was fighting to keep Minnesota down and he got through the first two outs, but runners were able to get on first and second before Joe Girardi finally came out to get Sabathia after throwing his 113th pitch.
Sabathia went six-and-two-thirds innings, allowed eight hits and two runs (one earned), walked none and struck out eight batters. Sabathia left to a standing ovation from the fans.
Phil Hughes came into the inning and got the final out of the seventh to keep the game at 6-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, with Jeter again on base from his second walk, Rodriguez got another important hit, a single off the right field wall to drive in Jeter and made the score 7-2. After all the criticism he's taken in the past for postseason failures, A-Rod was getting off to a great start.
In the top of the eighth, Hughes got the first out, then Phil Coke came in to throw one pitch to get the second out and Joba Chamberlain came in to throw two pitches to get the third out of the eighth inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera came in to get some pitches in and get a chance to work out any rust from the week. Rivera struck out two and got the final batter to ground out to second to end the game and hold onto the 7-2 Yankees victory.
In his first postseason start for the Yankees, Sabathia came through and got the victory. He didn't have his best stuff, but was good enough and fought hard for the win.
The Yankees had great hitting from Jeter (2-for-2, three runs, home run and two RBI), Rodriguez (2-for-4, two RBI) and Matsui (1-for-3, home run, two RBI).
Once the Yankees took the lead in the fourth inning, they had complete control of the whole game the rest of the way.
Game Two of the ALDS will be on Friday and the Yankees will send up A.J. Burnett, who will be making his first ever postseason start while the Twins will counter with Nick Blackburn.
The Yankees were very impressive in the win. They were down for a short time, but never panicked and ended up getting right back into the game, which is nothing new during 2009 with over 30 come from behind wins and 15 walk-off wins, so the Yankees know a lot about fighting to stay in a game.
Game Two will be a big game for both teams. The Yankees will need Burnett to stay sharp and throw electric stuff Friday night if they want to go up 2-0 in the series, while the Twins will be looking to send the series back to the Metrodome at 1-1 and having home field for the next two games.
Round one goes to the Yankees. One win down, 10 more to go for No. 27.