Once again, This is what these Yankees do.
Sure, it's easy (if you're a Twins fan) to complain about Hunter Wendelstedt.
It's easy (if you're a card-carrying member of the ASGAA) to wonder if Carl Pavano should have been lifted after the sixth inning. Sure, he'd thrown only 75 pitches at that point. But he'd been in serious trouble in the fourth inning, in the fifth he'd given up a long home run to Lance Berkman, and in the sixth he'd started behind every hitter. Maybe, just maybe, in a game like this against a team like this, you take your 75 pitches and your 2-2 score and give Pavano an attaboy and you turn to your fine bullpen for the rest of the game.
Considering that Pavano couldn't retire anybody in the seventh before getting lifted -- and eventually he was charged with two more runs -- leaving him in for those four batters in the seventh doesn't look so brilliant.
There's little reason to think it would have made any difference. Because there's little reason to think the Twins would have scored again, ever. In the sixth, they'd evened the score at 2-2 on Orlando Hudson's home run. Two batters later, Delmon Young tripled, but moments later died on third base. Maybe Joe Girardi should have pulled Andy Pettitte after his sixth inning ... but like Ron Gardenhire, Girardi sent his started back out for the seventh. Unlike Gardenhire, Girardi was rewarded with a 1-2-3 inning (including two strikeouts).
In the eighth, Kerry Wood came in and blew the Twins away.
In the ninth, Mariano Rivera came in and blew the Twins away.
Pettitte, setup man, Rivera ... It's a formula that's been working for the Yankees for only about 15 years. And there's not a terribly lot that Ron Gardenhire can do about it. With only a couple of outstanding hitters in their lineup, the Twins are simply ill-equipped to come back in the late innings once they've lost a lead.
And with a number of outstanding hitters in their lineup, the Yankees are exceptionally well-equipped to have a late-innings lead.
This is just what these Yankees do. Especially against these Twins.