Just when you thought it was safe to bring in Justin Speier, he reverts to 2008 form. He allowed three eighth inning runs as the Angels dropped their first game in the new Yankee Stadium by a score of 7-4.
Anthony Ortega provided the Angels with a quality start, lasting 6.1 innings while allowing three earned runs. A fourth run came home on Bobby Abreu’s misplay of Derek Jeter’s fourth inning RBI single. Ortega allowed 10 baserunners, while striking out two, but he gave the Angels a chance to win, and that’s the best they can hope for. Scot Shields completed the seventh before Mike Scioscia turned to the surprisingly effective Speier in the 8th, who promptly turned back into a pumpkin. After retiring the first batter he faced, he allowed the next five hitters to reach (one on an intentional walk), and by the time he was done, the Yankees had turned a tie game into a three run advantage.
At the plate, Howie Kendrick shrugged off yesterday’s ofer and reached base three times, twice via the hit and once via the walk. He also stole two bases. Mike Napoli and Chone Figgins both delivered two hits, and both were caught stealing once. Napoli, however, did homer (his fourth) in his first at bat. Kendry Morales went cold again, going 0-4wi with three strike outs after his recent hot streak.
Thoughts on the game:
* Justin Speier’s ERA went up about three points, which isn’t really an indication of how he’s been pitching on the season. But he clearly didn’t have it tonight.
* Ortega’s quality start was a nice surprise, but the Angels really need to win games when either he or Matt Palmer give them the chance, because they probably aren’t going to give the team many chances in 2009. This team really needs John Lackey and Ervin Santana back. Sheesh, they need Dustin Mosely back. I can’t believe I’m writing that.
* Nothing against Jeff Mathis, but I’ll take the defensive deficiencies from Napoli in exchange for his far superior bat.