NEW YORK – Ultimately, Curtis Granderson's gorgeous running catch in the seventh inning did not factor in the Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Twins. At the time, the Twins led by two runs and Justin Morneau would have made it three had Granderson not made a long run to chase down the drive in deep left center.
Later, the Twins put the game away with two runs in the eighth. Nevertheless, Granderson's catch might be the Yankees' best of the season so far.
“That was quite a catch,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I wasn't so sure he was going to get to it myself. But he did a tremendous job and he got a tremendous jump on the ball, and ran a long, long way. You're playing Morneau to pull a little bit and he hits it in the left-center gap. It's a really, really great play. You hope that kind of saves you and you come back and win, but we weren't able to.”
Indeed, Granderson's grab was a sight to behold, the product of his sheer athleticism and taking a perfect route to the ball.
“On a ball like that, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line,” left fielder Brett Gardner said. “If he runs, if he zig zags a little bit or wavers off course a little bit, he probably doesn't get to it. I don't know, and obviously I didn't have an overhead view of it, but in order for him to cover that much ground and catch up to that ball, he probably was pretty close to a straight line.”
With Granderson shaded toward right field -- playing Morneau to pull -- Gardner said the center fielder needed a perfect jump to even have a chance at the ball.
“There might be a lot of guys that get to it but not necessarily run a good route and be there on time,” he said. “It was a great play, a really good play. I wasn't sure that either of us was going to get to it. I kind of let him know at the last minute to go ahead and take it because I wasn't going to be able to get it. And he made a great play.”
It wasn't a bad day for Granderson, who in the first inning hit a homer in the first inning, his third of the season. Granderson's shot followed Derek Jeter's leadoff homer. It was the first time the Yankees led off a game with homers since Sept. 23, 2005 against the Blue Jays, when Jeter and Robinson Cano pulled off the feat.
For the Yankees, it was just the sixth time in history they've started a game with back-to-back homers.
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