Mark Teixeira launches two-run bomb, Yanks lead again

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The battle of the bullpens has begun, and it’s not looking good for the Twins.

Minnesota right-hander Jesse Crain served up a single to Nick Swisher with one out in the top of the seventh inning and surrendered a towering two-run homer to Mark Teixeira a few pitches later, giving the Yankees a 6-4 lead.  Teixeira may be in pain because of a month-long battle with a bruised right thumb, but he hasn’t shown any sign of that yet in this young series.

Crain then allowed a single to Alex Rodriguez before finally being pulled in favor of Brian Fuentes, who retired Robinson Cano and Marcus Thames to end the threat.

The Yankees reached into the bullpen for the bottom of the seventh, matching Boone Logan against the top of the Twins’ lineup.  Logan, with an impressive 2.93 regular-season ERA, shut down Orlando Hudson and Denard Span.  But he gave up a two-out single to Joe Mauer and Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, known for being quick with the trigger, pulled the left-handed reliever from the game.

Yankees righty David Robertson issued a walk to Delmon Young but struck out big left-hander Jim Thome to close out the seventh.  The Yankees lead 6-4.  We’re headed to the eighth.

Jack Morris and Alan Trammell make the Hall of Fame on the Modern Era ballot

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The Modern Era ballot was revealed last month. The results have been announced on Sunday night. Jack Morris and Alan Trammell will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next summer.

Morris, now 62, pitched parts of 18 seasons in the majors, 14 of which were spent with the Tigers. He played on four championship teams: the 1984 Tigers, the 1991 Twins, and the 1992-93 Blue Jays. While his regular season stats weren’t terribly impressive beyond his 254 wins, Morris has always had a decent amount of Hall of Fame support due to his postseason performances. Morris shut the Braves out over 10 innings in Game 7 of the ’91 World Series. That being said, his postseason ERA of 3.80 isn’t far off his regular season ERA of 3.90. If you ask me, Morris doesn’t pass muster for the Hall of Fame. He now has the highest career ERA of any pitcher in the Hall.

Trammel, now 59, had been unjustly kept out of the Hall of Fame despite a terrific career. He hit .285/.352/.415 across parts of 20 seasons from 1977-96, all with the Tigers. He was regarded as a tremendous defender and made a memorable combination up the middle with Lou Whitaker, who also played with the Tigers from 1977-95. According to Baseball Reference, Trammell racked up 70.4 Wins Above Replacement during his career, which is slightly more than Hall of Famer Barry Larkin (70.2) and as much as Hall of Famer Ron Santo (70.4).

Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant, and Marvin Miller were not elected to the Hall of Fame. Miller continuing to be shut out is a travesty. Craig has written at length here about Miller’s exclusion.