November 1, 2010 · 01:09
Rookie Madison Bumgarner became the 4th youngest player in MLB history to win a World Series game (AP Photo/Matt Campbell, Pool)
On a night that featured the appearance of two Presidents for the ceremonial first pitch’ the San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers and stand one win from their first World Series title since they played in New York’s Polo Grounds in 1954. Once again it was pitching and timely hitting that won the day for the Giants with the Giants’ pitching staff led by Madison Bumgarner shutting out the Rangers for the second time in four games leaving the potent Rangers’ lineup in a state of bewildered befuddlement. The young rookie held the heart of the Rangers’ order; Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz to 1 hit in 9 at bats and only allowed 3 hits in 8 innings work striking out 6 and walking just two. He became the fourth youngest pitcher to win a World Series game shutting down an offense that feasted on left-handed pitchers all season. He allowed just three singles and only one runner reached 2nd base for the Rangers.
Aubrey Huff homers in the top of the 3rd inning against Tommy Hunter (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Giants’ hitters had timely hits when they matter the most. They were led by journeyman Aubrey Huff who led the team in home runs in 2010. Huff plastered a pitch by Rangers’ starter Tommy Hunter deep into the right field seats in the top of the 3rd inning. The Giants added another run in the 7th inning when Andres Torres doubled to score Edgar Renteria and a final run in the top of the 8th inning when Buster Posey hit his first ever World Series off Darren O’Day to deep center.
Defense: Freddy Sanchez makes a play on a fielders’ choice (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
The Giants used closer Brian Wilson to finish the game in a non-save situation with Wilson mowing down the top of the Rangers order taking 11 pitches to get Elvis Torres to fly out and to strike out both Michael Young and Josh Hamilton to end the game leaving the Rangers perplexed and Nolan Ryan visibly bothered at the lack of hitting exhibited by the Rangers.
Former President’s George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush with Nolan Ryan during the ceremonial first pitch (Photo by Matt Campbell-Pool/Getty Images)
The Giants had 4 runs on 8 hits leaving and an error leaving 6 men on base. Edgar Renteria went 3-4 and Andres Torres 3-5 in the effort with Huff and Posey adding the home runs. Meanwhile the Rangers continued their dismal hitting with no runs on 3 hits and no errors leaving 3 stranded. Vladimir Guerrero struck out 3 times in 3 at bats against Bumgarner. They will have to solve the riddle of Giants pitching against Tim Lincecum in game 5 on Monday night.
Buster Posey looks on as his blast goes over the Center Field Fence in the 8th inning (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
With the exception of a booted ball by Juan Uribe in the 8th inning the Giants played spectacular defense, especially Second Baseman Freddy Sanchez. It was like Earl Weave said “the key to winning is pitching fundamentals and three run home runs. The Giants didn’t get the three run blast but they did get two homers while the pitching and defense took care of themselves.
Befuddled and beaten the Texas Rangers look on in the bottom of the 9th inning (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Bumgarner got the win while Tommy Hunter got the loss. Monday night the teams meet for game 5 with a pitching rematch between Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee. I expect the matchup to be good and for this to be another game of tortureball no matter which team wins as the Rangers stand at the brink of elimination and the Giants on the precipice of history.
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Tagged as 2010 world series, andres torres, aubrey huff, brian wilson, buster posey, cliff lee, darren o'day, edgar renteria, freddy sanchez, josh hamilton, juan uribe, madison bumgarner, michael young, nelson cruz, nolan ryan, san fransisco giants, texas rangers, tim lincecum, tommy hunter, vladimir guerrero
October 28, 2010 · 14:11
Freddy Sanchez flying down the baseline, Sanchez had three doubles in Game One of the World Series
Well the promised pitching duel ended as did Cliff Lee’s undefeated record in the playoffs and with it the predictions of almost everyone including me that this would be a close game. Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum struggled in the early innings giving up a run in the first inning and got out of a bases loaded situation with 1 out when Juan Uribe made a difficult double play at Third Base. He gave up a second run in the top of the 2nd inning as Cliff Lee helped himself with a double. The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the 3rd inning when Edgar Renteria reached on an error by Michael Young at 3rd base and Cliff Lee uncharacteristically hit Andres Torres to bring up Freddy Sanchez who doubled to left to score Renteria. Buster Posey singled to score Sanchez to tie the game before Lee recovered his composure to strikeout Pat Burrell and Cody Ross to get out of the inning.
Both pitchers seemed to find their groove until the top of the 5th inning when Cliff Lee was removed rather violently from the pedestal that many sports writers and fans had placed him on. I knew that he was beatable in game 5 of the ALDS when he had to gut out that game against the Rays, he got the win there but had to work hard and only lasted 6 innings. In the bottom half of the 5th in game one of the World Series Lee was shredded by the Giants. After retiring Tim Lincecum he gave a double by Torres and was driven in by Sanchez who hit his third double of the game. In game one Lee could not get his curve ball over the plate so Giants hitters patiently waited on his fastball and hammered him time and time again. Lee struck out Buster Posey for the second out and it was downhill from there. He then walked Pat Burrell and then gave up an RBI single to Cody Ross. Aubrey Huff followed with an RBI single and Lee was done. Ron Washington trotted out Darren O’Day to face Juan Uribe who hit a towering home run to left center field to clear the bases and make the score 8-2. Seven runs were charged to Lee, his worst game in his playoff career. Lincecum then got the first two batters of the 6th inning out striking out both Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz. He had a 2-0 count on Ian Kinsler but walked him and then gave up a double to his former catcher Benji Molina which scored Kinsler from 1st base and a single to Mike Moreland which hit him in the hamstring for an infield hit. Pinch hitter David Murphy singled to score Molina before Sergio Casilla relieved Lincecum and struck out Elvis Andrus to end the inning with the score 8-4 in favor of the Giants.
The score remained 8-4 until the bottom of the 8th inning when the Giants put another crooked number on the board. Edgar Renteria singled to right and went to second on an error by Vladimir Guerrero. Pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa doubled to score Renteria and the hits kept coming. Sanchez singled to right scoring Ishikawa and then took 2nd base on another error by Guerrero. Nate Schierholtz singled with two outs to drive in Sanchez to make the score 11-4. The Rangers came back in the 9th inning scoring three runs off of Giants relievers but could not complete the comeback as Brian Wilson got Ian Kinsler to fly out to end the game.
Rangers’ pitchers Darren O’Day and Cliff Lee after being battered by the Giants for Lee it was his worst outing in the playoffs and his first loss in post-season play
Cliff Lee got the loss, his first of his playoff career as the Giants worked him over good driving him from the game after 4.2 innings hitting him hard, 7 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits forcing him to throw 104 pitches in the effort. Tim Lincecum got the win going 5.2 innings giving up 4 runs on 8 hits.
Giants’ hitters acted like they were the Rangers blasting 6 doubles and a home run, three of the doubles by Freddy Sanchez, a World Series record. The Giants also scored 6 of their runs with two outs, excellent production which gave them the victory. In the end the Giants had 11 runs on 14 hits with two errors to defeat the Rangers who had 7 runs on 11 hits and committed 4 costly errors. Tonight they meet again with Matt Cain going up against C. J. Wilson.
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Tagged as andres torres, aubrey huff, benji molina, brian wilson, buster posey, c j wilson, cliff lee, cody ross, darren o'day, david murphy, edgar renteria, elvis andrus, freddy sanchez, ian kinsler, juan uribe, matt cain, michael young, mike moreland, nate schierholtz, pat burrell, ron washington, san fransisco giants, sergio casilla, texas rangers, tim lincecum, travis ishikawa, vladimir guerrero
October 23, 2010 · 16:43
Ginger Ale Celebration: Rangers celebrate after defeating the Yankees 6-1 (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers defeated the New York Yankees on Friday night in Arlington Texas. I have to say up front that I predicted the Yankees to win this series in 6 or 7 games not because of any lack of respect for the Rangers who I actually believed to be the better team but because of how well the Yankees played in the 2009 post season especially against the Angels in the ALCS when the Angels had dominated the Yankees in the regular season. That being said my first playoff prediction of this season has gone down the tubes but it really doesn’t bother me because in my heart I was pulling for the Rangers to take the American League and the World Series if the Phillies come back against the Giants this weekend to take the NL Pennant. If the Giants win the Pennant of course I will be cheering them on but I will analyze the hell out of the series and make my predictions accordingly.
Josh Hamilton and Rangers celebrate (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Yankees rolled into Arlington having escaped elimination at the “house that George built” on Wednesday night. The Rangers set the tone early against Yankees starter Phil Hughes with Elvis Andrus slamming a leadoff double and scoring on a sacrifice ground ball by Vladimir Guerrero. The score remained 1-0 until the 5th inning as both Hughes and Rangers’ starter Colby Lewis shut down the opposing lineups.
Legendary Rangers pitcher, Hall of Famer and Rangers’ President Nolan Ryan holds the AL Championship trophy up for all to see (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Yankees scored in the top of the 5th when Alex Rodriguez doubled to lead off the inning advanced to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a wild pitch which actually hit Nick Swisher. This was yet another badly blown call by an umpiring crew that leads me to scream at the top of my lungs for an increased use of replay and an “eye in the sky” umpire as part of the umpiring crew, but I digress, I will cover replay after the World Series.
Yankees in defeat (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Rangers opened things up in the bottom of the 5th scoring 4 runs against the now hapless Hughes and reliever David Robertson. Mitch Moreland singled and then advanced to third on consecutive ground outs. Hughes then intentionally walked Josh Hamilton to get to Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero gave Hughes a fine “how do you do” tattooing a double to deep center which scored both runners. That was the end for Hughes as he was relieved by Robertson. Nelson Cruz welcomed Robertson back to Texas slamming a home run to deep center. The Rangers added an insurance run in the bottom of the 7th as Michael Young doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ian Kinsler.
That was the last Yankees’ run of the season, Lewis shut the vaunted Yankee’s lineup down through eight innings and Neftali Felix put the Yankees down in order in the 9th fittingly striking out Alex Rodriguez looking.
The end of the line: Alex Rodriguez enters the dugout after striking out looking to end the series as fireworks go off above Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Rangers won the American League Pennant downing arguably the two best teams in the League to do it. The team which has bonded through great difficulty with ownership issues, as well as addiction and substance abuse issues involving both Hamilton and Manager Ron Washington. Instead of ostracizing either the team supported them both something that does not always happen. The Rangers now go to their first World Series in franchise history to face either the San Francisco Giants or Philadelphia Phillies.
One now has to wonder about the Yankees. They are showing their age and their starting pitching staff is not what it was. Their middle relievers are weak in comparison to many other teams and these weaknesses across to board were shown in gory detail in the ALCS. The Rangers scored 38 runs on 63 hits and hit .304 against Yankees pitching while the Yankees scored only 19 runs on 38 hits with a .201 average. In team pitching the Rangers had a 3.06 ERA against the Yankees while the Yankees staff had a 6.58 team ERA. Though the Yankees won two games the series was not close or even competitive. The Yankees will need to retool in a big way in the off season because the Red Sox and the Orioles will be after them as the Rays try to recover after their coming salary cuts and loss of key players. The Yankees need to figure out what they are going to do with their pitching staff as well as their bloated and non-productive lineup.
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Tagged as alcs, alex rodriguez, bad calls in 2010 mlb playoffs, blown calls, colby lewis, david robertson, ian kinsler, josh hamilton, michael young, mitch moreland, need for replay in baseball, neftali felix, nelson cruz, new york yankees, nick swisher, phil hughes, philadelphia phillies, ron washington, san fransisco giants, texas rangers, vladimir guerrero, world series
October 20, 2010 · 12:00
Josh Hamilton belts his 2nd home run of ALCS Game 4 (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
It looked like A. J. Burnett and the New York Yankees had turned the corner against the pesky Texas Rangers. Well that was until they saw what they thought might be victory disappear in a barrage of Rangers runs leaving Yankee Stadium nearly devoid of Yankees faithful for the second night running. The feeling among Yankees fans is symbolized by the reaction of their fans, they know that they are done and baring an improbable comeback the Yankees will not repeat as either American League or World Series champs.
Nails in the coffin, Nelson Cruz hits 2 run homer in top of 9th inning to give the Rangers a 10-3 lead (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The Yankees got out to an early 1-0 lead on a home run by Robinson Cano that on review should have been ruled as fan interference but was allowed without video review by the umpiring crew. Lance Berkman came up next and hammered a shot down the right field line that was initially ruled as a home run but was reviewed and disallowed passing narrowly to the right of the right field foul pole. The Rangers wasted no time getting those runs back as in the top of the 3rd inning Burnett seemed to lose his edge. David Murphy walked and took second on a wild pitch. Burnett then nailed Benji Molina in the back as Molina was attempting t bunt. Mitch Moreland then hit a sacrifice fly ball to send Murphy to third base and Molina to second. Elvis Andrus grounded out to score Murphy and was followed by Michael Young who singled to plate Molina to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Rangers’ starter Tim Hunter struggled giving up another run in the bottom of the third inning when Derek Jeter tripled and scored on Curtis Granderson’s single. Burnett held the Rangers in the top of the 4th inning and the Yankees made things very interesting in the bottom half of the inning. Hunter hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch to lead off the inning and Robinson Cano singled and advanced him to 2nd base. Hunter the struck out Nick Swisher for the first out and Lance Berkman singled to load the bases. The Rangers’ brought in Derek Holland to attempt to stop the bleeding. Holland got Brett Gardner on fielder’s choice which scored Rodriguez to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Holland then took command striking out Francisco Cervelli to end the inning.
The Rangers loaded the bases in the top of the 5th inning but did not score and Holland despite giving up a leadoff double to Jeter shut down the Yankees in the bottom half of the inning. In the 6th the wheels came off of the Yankee Express. Vladimir Guerrero singled to lead off the inning and Burnett got the following two batters out before intentionally walking David Murphy with Guerrero on second. The brought Benji Molina to the plate and the Rangers’ catcher seized the moment pounding a 3 run home run into the left field seats. Burnett got Mitch Moreland to foul out but the damage was done, the energy that had been gathering in Yankee Stadium was gone.
Derek Jeter in the Yankees dugout in the 8th (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
In the 7th inning the Yankees’ relievers were handed the task of trying to shut down the Texas assault on Gotham. David Robertson after a horrific night on Monday got the first two batters out and was relieved by Boone Logan who promptly surrendered a solo home run to Josh Hamilton to bring Joba Chamberlian into the game. Joba fared no better giving up a double to Vladimir Guerrero and walking Nelson Cruz before giving up a RBI single to Ian Kinsler before striking out David Murphy to end the inning with the Rangers ahead of the lifeless Yankees by a score of 7-3.
Holland set down the Yankees in order in the bottom of the 7th inning. In the 8th Chamberlain allowed a single to Benji Molina but got out of the inning without giving up another run. In the bottom of the the Yankees threatened again loading the bases on a series of walks by Holland, Darren O’Day and Clay Rapada before bringing in 40 year old veteran Darren Oliver who closed out the inning without giving up a run.
Benji Molina celebrates after the game (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The Yankees woes continued in the top of the 9th as the Rangers put the noose around the Yankees in game four. Sergio Mitre relieved Chamberlain and gave up a leadoff home run to none other than Josh Hamilton, his 4th homer against the Yankees in 4 games. Guerrero singled and was lifted for pinch runner Julio Borbon but Borbon’s speed would not be needed as Nelson Cruz took Mitre yard for another Rangers home run. The Yankees got a leadoff single from Brett Gardner in the top of the 9th but Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson went down in order leaving the Bronx in a state of shock for the 2nd straight night.
The Rangers scored 10 runs on 13 hits making their total 31 runs for the series on 43 hits agains an anemic 11 runs on 26 hits for the Yankees. To make matters worse for the Yankees the team lost Mark Teixeira to a season ending hamstring pull while trying to leg out a ground ball. Derek Holland got the win and the 82 million dollar bust, A. J. Burnett took the loss. The Rangers now lead the Yankees 3 games to 1 and have to have C. C. Sabathia make the performance of his life to stay alive this afternoon. That will be a tall task as the big right-hander has not done well this post-season.
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Tagged as a j burnett, alcs, alex rodriguez, benji molina, boone logan, brett gardner, c c sabathia, clay rapada, curtis granderson, darren o'day, darren oliver, david murphy, david robertson, derek holland, derek jeter, elvis andrus, francisco cervelli, ian kinsler, joba chamberlain, jorge posada, josh hamilton, lance berkman, mark teixeira, mitch moreland, nelson cruz, new york yankees, robinson cano, sergio mitre, texas rangers, tim hunter, vladimir guerrero
October 13, 2010 · 01:35
David Price looks on as the Rangers celebrate
The Tampa Bay Rays made an early exit from the playoffs in a year that many expected them to challenge for the World Series. Instead Joe Maddon’s team played their swan song on Tuesday night knowing that it is unlikely that this team will be the same next season. It was a series where the home team never won a game, so much for home-field advantage which was bad news for the Rays who had the “advantage” of playing in a stadium that the fans only show up to during the playoffs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau it is the first time that the road team has one every game of a post season series.
The difference maker: Cliff Lee mows down the Rays (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Ron Washington’s Rangers ended a playoff drought that stretched back to 1961 when the Senators came to Washington as an expansion team and until Tuesday was the only MLB franchise that had never won a playoff series. The legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan the new owner of the Rangers sat in the stands savoring the moment as Washington and his team celebrated on the field while the Tampa fans filed out of the stadium. The mood in Tampa was totally different than in Atlanta on Monday when the Braves lost their series to the Giants and both teams and grateful Braves fans saluted retiring manager Bobby Cox. If there was no joy in Mudville when the Mighty Casey struck out there was less in the Trop as B.J. Upton popped out to left center to end the game and season for the Rays.
Rangers celebrate their first playoff series win (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Key was pitching, in particular Cliff Lee who as he was in the playoffs last year with the Phillies absolutely dominated the Rays for the second time in 5 games. Lee fanned 11 Rays in a six hit and one run complete game victory and lowered his post season ERA to 1.12. The win continued a post season where pitching has been the dominant force in every series.
Aggressive base running: Elvis Andrus scores in the 1st inning
The Rangers used some aggressive base running to set the Rays on their heels early in the game and continued that aggressiveness the entire game. Elvis Andrus got a leadoff single and stole second base. He then scored on a ground ball out by Josh Hamilton alertly coming all the way around from second as the pitcher David Price taking the throw at first failed to check the runner. The Rays got that run back in the bottom of the 3rd inning combining consecutive singles by Sean Rodriguez, Jason Bartlett and Ben Zobrist to get on the board.
The Rangers took the lead in the top of the 4th inning when Nelson Cruz alertly scored on Ray’s catcher Kelly Shoppach’s throwing error to third which sailed high and right over the outstretched arm of Evan Longoria. The scored again in the 6th inning to make the score 3-1 using aggressive heads up base running this time by Vladimir Guerrero to get the run. With Guerrero at second base and Nelson Cruz on first Ian Kinsler hit a ground ball to first base. First baseman Carlos Pena threw to second to get the force but the throw back from second was late getting to Price who was covering. Guerrero’s dash to the plate surprised Price who threw just late to Kelly Shoppach at the plate as Guerrero slid around the tag for the run. The Rangers added two insurance runs off or Rays Closer Rafael Soriano when Ian Kinsler hit his third home run of the series a two run shot to make the score 5-1.
The win was a triumph for the scrappy Rangers and a bitter disappointment for the Rays and the 12 disciples in Tampa that are their die-hard fans. The team will be certainly broken up was the payroll is slashed by a huge amount leaving free agents like Carl Crawford up for grabs. The Rangers move on the face the Yankees in the ALCS and this could be a much more interesting series than that played by the Yankees against their perpetual piñata the Minnesota Twins.
Tomorrow or Thursday I should have my LCS picks out, I went four for four in the Divisional series so I hope to repeat my success with the same degree as I did last year.
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Tagged as atlanta braves, b j upton, ben zobrist, bobby cox, Carl Crawford, carlos pena, cliff lee, david price, elias sports bureau, elvis andrus, evan longoria, home field advantage, ian kinsler, jason bartlett, joe maddon, josh hamilton, kelly shoppach, minnesota twins, mudville, nelson cruz, new york yankees, nolan ryan, rafael soriano, san fransisco giants, sean rodriguez, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, the mighty casey, tropicana field, turner field, vladimir guerrero, washington senators
October 10, 2010 · 20:32
Derek Holland watches Even Longoria after Longoria hit a two run homer in the top of the 5th inning Sunday
The Tampa Bay Rays after losing the first two games of their series against the Texas Rangers at the Trop have come back to even the series at two as they won game four of the series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rays had excellent pitching from Wade Davis and the bullpen quartet of Randy Choate, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano which limited the usually hot hitting Rangers to just 2 runs on 8 hits. The Rays were lifted by the clutch hitting of Evan Longoria who broke out of his slump with a 2 run homer in the 5th inning off of Rangers’ starter Eric Holland. Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton add RBI doubles and the Rays were aided by an error by Ian Kinsler which allowed Carlos Pena to score in the 2nd inning. The Rangers offense was hamstrung by their inability to drive in runs when they needed them the biggest chance having the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th with two outs but not scoring when Vladimir Guerrero struck out swinging to end the inning.
The teams will now go back to Tampa and Tropicana Field for the finale of their series on Tuesday evening. The Rays have the momentum; the Texas bench looked defeated on Sunday afternoon. However, the Rangers will start Cliff Lee who held the Rays to one hit and a run in 7 innings work against the Rays in Game one. Lee will face David Price who gave up 4 earned runs including two home runs against the Rangers in game one. Momentum goes to the Rays, but the pitching edge goes to the Rangers. This one is anybody’s series to lose. I picked the Rangers to win the series and still stand by that because of Cliff Lee. We’ll see if I am right on Tuesday night.
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Tagged as b j upton, carlos pena, cliff lee, david price, derek holland, evan longoria, grant balfour, ian kinsler, joaquin benoit, rafael soriano, randy choate, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, tropicana field, vladimir guerrero, wade davis
October 18, 2009 · 23:10
Last night the Yankees and the Angels placed an epic game in the New Yankee Stadium. It was the kind of game that only can happen in baseball because of its nature. The drama kept me glued to the television once I returned from patient visits during my on-call duty earlier in the evening. I have seen these types of games before and when they get to extra innings they take on a life of their own.
The weather conditions in New York were terrible. If it was the regular season the game would have been postponed. With temperatures which started at 47 degrees they dropped into the lower 40s as the game went on with a stiff wind and mist and drizzle, which turned worse as the rain became steady with the wind blowing rain into player’s faces as they attempted to catch fly balls. The conditions were some of the worst that I have ever watched with the exception of the 2005 home opener for the Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park where the temperature was 38 degrees at game time with a 25-40 knot wind coming out of left center. Thank God for global warming or we would have really frozen our asses off that night.
The Yankees got out to a 2-0 lead with one of the runs coming off of a Derek Jeter home run in the 3rd. In the top of the 5th the Angels tied the game using some small ball as well as a wild pitch which scored the tying run. The game would remain knotted at 2 each another 6 innings until the 11th inning. With the weather getting worse and both teams beginning to scrape the bottom of their bullpens the Angels scored when Chone Figgins singled to drive in Gary Matthews Junior with 1 out. The Yankees gave the intentional walk to Bobby Abreu to load the bases and Tory Hunter grounded into a double play to end the inning. Had Hunter gotten a hit the Angels might well have gone back to Anaheim with a split in the City.
In the bottom of the 11th with the Angels leading 3-3 Alex Ramirez led off for the Yankees. Angels pitcher Brian Fuentes got ahead of Rodriguez quickly and with a 0-2 count served up a fastball low and outside that Rodriguez lined into the right field bleachers about 18 inches over the outstretched glove of Tory Hunter. Fuentes got out of the inning but blew the save. The 12th inning saw the Angels with another chance to move ahead but could not get a runner across the plate. The Yankees now left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th allowing the Angels another shot at them. They got runners to second and third but Vladimir Guerrero grounded out to the pitcher. Once again a great scoring opportunity was lost.
In the bottom of the 13th the Yankees got their leadoff hitter, Jerry Hairston on base and he was advanced on a sacrifice grounder. The Angels intentionally walked Robinson Cano to set up a chance at a double play. Melky Cabrera hit a ground ball to Angels 2nd Baseman Maicer Izturis who attempted to get the runner at second but threw the ball away skipping it past Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins who could not get the ball to make the play at the plate which allowed Hairston to score the winning run. The game was a marathon lasting over 5 hours and will go down as a memorable game.
The hero of the game was Alex Rodriguez. His 11th inning home run kept the Yankees in the game and was his third home run in clutch situations this post season.
I picked the Angles in 6 figuring a split in New York. I have the feeling that this series could quickly go south for the Halo’s if they are unable to get things back together in Anaheim. Though I picked the Angels, largely due to the “X” factor of Nick Adenhart, the Yankees in my view are the best team in baseball, something that I have said for months. They are playing with an attitude and there is not a player on the team who is not hungry to bring the World Series Championship back to New York. Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia are shedding their reputations as players who “choke” in the playoffs. The Yankees are for real and I do not know if the Angels can come back. It is true that they have owned the Yankees in Anaheim this year but these Yankees do not look like they will be at all intimidated by what happened in the regular season in Anaheim.
More commentary in the coming days my friends, so until then stay safe, be blessed and take care.
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Tagged as alex rodriguez, anaheim angels, anaheim stadium, bobby abreu, brian fuentes, chone figgins, derek jeter, erick aybar, gary mathews jr, harbor park, jerry hairston, maicer izturis, melky cabrera, new yankee stadium, new york yankees, nick adenhart, norfolk tides, robinson cano, tory hunter, vladimir guerrero