Fans cheer Swisher double play

Nick Swisher had to pause for a second.

He had just hit into a double play to end the eighth inning and the home fans cheered wildly. Was there a fan on the field? Was there a fight in the stands? Swisher didn't know why two outs off his bat would yield loud cheers from the home fans.

Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher

#33 RF

New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM142
  • HR23

  • RBI84

  • R78

  • OBP.374

  • AVG.261

Then it hit him.

"I was like, I've never been cheered for grounding into a double play at home and then the next thing you know I look up at the bullpen and I'm like, 'oh, that's right,'" Swisher said.

Yes, his double play meant Mariano Rivera had his chance to set the all-time saves record Monday at Yankee Stadium, which he would do with a perfect ninth in the Yankees' 6-4 win against the Twins.

"I'm not trying to make an out, but that's all I can really say, greatest double play of my life," Swisher said.

The Yankees led 6-4 entering the bottom of the eighth inning with the middle of their lineup coming up. Mark Teixeira singled to lead off the inning and after Alex Rodriguez popped up for the first out, there were some cheers from the fans, but not at the level that would overtake the Stadium for Swisher.

After Robinson Cano singled, it brought up Swisher, who finished 2-for-5 on the day. On an 0-2 pitch, he hit the ball right back to pitcher Lester Oliveros, who started the double play to end the inning and bring on the cheers.

"I didn't think I'd ever hear the day where people cheered for us to make outs like you heard in the [eighth] inning," Manager Joe Girardi said. "It's hard to fathom but obviously the people who came to the game today, it wasn't a scheduled day, they got a treat and it's been a real honor to be around Mo."

Rivera, warming in the bullpen, knew why the fans cheered.

"It's unbelievable because I wanted to pitch but I don't want my teammates to do bad for me to pitch. When I saw that I was like these fans are crazy," Rivera said. "We need to score some runs. At the same time, I appreciated it also because they wanted me to pitch and at least they wanted to give me the opportunity to pitch.

"I'll be honest, I was happy too when Swisher hit into the double play because I had the opportunity. When I heard the fans cheering for the double play I'm like 'oh my God, the fans are into it.' I thank God for that."

As Swisher walked to his locker after the game, he screamed out to the room, "Greatest double play of my life!" He had no qualms that his outs led to a historic day at Yankee Stadium on Monday.

"It's just a great day and I'm so happy that I could witness something like that," Swisher said.