Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yankees 4; Angels 3

Just an atrocious way to end a game that the Yankees tried to give away. I don't even know what to say after this one. Time and time again the Angels had chances to take control, and time and time again they refused to cash in. For some reason, the Angels have not come to the ALCS prepared to play, and it has cost them the first two games of the season. They wasted an excellent effort from Joe Saunders and Kevin Jepsen, and now they head back to Anaheim with a must win game on Monday afternoon.

The Yankees got the scoring started in the second inning. Nick Swisher worked a two out walk, and Robinson Cano tripled him home. Derek Jeter's third inning homer gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. The Angels got both runs back in the fifth inning. Maicer Izturis led the inning off with a ground rule double, and Erick Aybar singled him home. After Chone Figgins was hit by a pitch, and Torii Hunter walked, Yankees starter A.J. Burnett threw a wild pitch that scored Aybar to tie the game.

The bullpens battled it out into extra innings, with Joe Girardi burning through his best pitchers early, while the Angels went to the 10th with some of their best arms unused. In the 11th inning, Gary Matthews walked to lead off the inning. After Aybar bunted him to second, Chone Figgins singled him home to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. Mike Scioscia called upon closer Brian Fuentes to end the game, but he surrendered a lead off home run to Alex Rodriguez that tied the game. It came on an 0-2 pitch, but in Fuentes' defense, the ball barely cleared the wall in right field, and would have been a routine fly ball in every single professional ball park in the country. Only in the joke of a ball park they built in the Bronx would that be a home run. Yankee Stadium is really an embarrassment to baseball.

The Angels left the go ahead run in scoring position in both the 11th and 12th innings, failing to get the big hit time and time again. In the bottom of the 13th, Jerry Hairston, Jr. led the inning off with a base hit. He was sacrificed to second. The Angels intentionally walked Cano to get to Melky Cabrera. Cabrera hit a grounder to second that should have been the second out, but Izturis felt the need to try to get the out at second, even though there was no chance at turning a double play. Predictably, he threw it away, and Chone Figgins botched the back-up. Hairston scored, and now the Angels find themselves at death's door.

Thoughts on the game:
  • I'm not sure I have many. I'm numb at this point. Aside from Joe Saunders, who got himself out of jam after jam, not one player on the Angels played like they wanted to win this game. A team that relied on getting the job done in crucial situations has not gotten it done in those situations against the Yankees.
  • Yankee Stadium is a joke. Blame Fuentes all you want for making a bad pitch to A-Rod, and he certainly made a bad pitch, but there isn't a professional baseball stadium in the country were that's a home run. I've played on softball fields where that wouldn't have gone out. The new Yankee Stadium is an embarrassment to baseball. If they wanted to play on a Little League field, they should have moved the team to Williamsport.
  • We won't know if the series is over until Tuesday evening. The Angels have to win games three and four. Even if they lose game five they aren't dead, but they have to even the series up at some point What scares me isn't the idea that Jered Weaver won't get it done. I have the utmost confidence in him. But this marks the sixth straight ALCS loss for the Angels, and the biggest problem in all of those games has been the offense. I think they can handle Andy Pettite. He's not all that. But they've got to get it done Monday, or the series is over.
  • There were all kinds of other weird things in this game that may or may not be worth mentioning. A strange call at second base on a routine double play ball where Erick Aybar didn't touch the base and didn't get the neighborhood call. Robinson Cano's multiple erros. None of those had an impact on the game, so I'm not going to delve into them.


Tony said...

Whine Whine Whine. If it's so easy to get a HR in Yankee Stadium, why haven't the Angles hit any? Apparently they aren't good enough to hit HRs on a little league field.

James said...

Tony - were you at the game or were you one of the many who stayed home or left early? I'm just saying.

This thing ain't over.