"It's just one game." "You need 10 more wins." "That's a good Minnesota team over there." "We're not getting cocky."
These are all thoughts overheard in the clubhouse after the Yankees beat the Twins in Game 1 of the ALDS. Overheard? Heck, they were said to me and into my microphone after the game.
Yes, these are the Yankees. For them, winning in October is a rite of autumn. After stinking up the joint in September with a dreadful (if you're not the Mets) 12-15 record, they surged back to the winner's circle for the first game of the Major League Baseball Playoffs.
And they did it in typical come-from-behind fashion. Down 3-0, the Bronx Bombers rallied for four runs in the 6th and two more in the 7th. The game-winning blow was a monstrous two-run homer by Mark Teixeira that curved just inside the foul pole in right field.
"Our lineup is so deep, there's no reason to give up," Tex said after the game.
"We never believe we are out of it," Captain Derek Jeter added. And quote machine Nick Swisher put in his two cents with, "Heck No! We always believe we can win late."
The Yankees led the majors in come-from-behind wins in 2009 and did it again this year with 48 victories (now 49), using the same recipe for success.
This concept must be dizzying to the Twins, who can't seem to solve the Yankees mystique. Minnesota has been knocked out of the playoffs by the Bronx Bombers three times in the last decade. And if Yogi Berra was on this road trip he might say, "de ja vu, all over again."
Now it's on to Game 2 in the Twin Cities. Andy Pettitte, the winningest pitcher in post-season history, tries to give his team an insurmountable 2-0 series lead. And if he does, the post-game comments will likely sound eerily the same.
Let me take a stab at one of them -- "We can't get complacent ... got to win Game 3 back in New York!"