New York Yankees defeat Minnesota Twins, 6-1

Mission 28 is on schedule.

The Yankees completed the second part of their four-step plan to repeat as World Series champions, advancing to the American League Championship Series with a 6-1 trouncing of the Twins at the Stadium Saturday night.

"This is it, man," a champagne-soaked Nick Swisher said. "The first one is getting in the playoffs, the second step was winning the first series, so we're on to step three right now. We're in a great situation."

Phil Hughes ...

The radar gun read 92, 93 mph for most of the night, yet the fastball had the kind of indefinable late life that had Twins' hitters reacting as if it were 96, 97 mph. Sometimes it seemed to take forever for Phil Hughes to get to this moment, but finally, here he was in his first postseason start, and once again he was the can't-miss kid.

He is still only 24 but seems older, maybe because he was just 19 in the spring of 2006 when he showed up in big-league camp in Tampa ...