Unfortunately, the ALCS is far from over…
If I learned anything in 2004, it is to never take anything for granted. At the moment, the Yankees lead the Los Angeles Angels 3 games to 1 in the 2009 American League Championship Series. However, they are losing tonight, so far, as they’ve been dominated by Angels starter John Lackey.
The Angels started the game very abruptly by scoring 4 runs with no outs in the bottom of the first inning. A.J. Burnett was able to keep his pitches down, but they were too far over the plate and the Angel hitters were teeing off him. After the 4 runs were scored, Burnett settled down and has not allowed any runs through six innings.
At the present time, the Angels still lead 4-0 in the top of the 7th inning. However, the Yankees have loaded the bases, and the tying run is at home plate for the first time in the game.
The Yankees have had their opportunities to chip away at the Angels’ lead, however, Lackey has successfully managed to avoid any damage. The 7th is looking like more of the same as Johnny Damon just flied out so there are two outs with the bases still loaded. John Lackey just exited the game so perhaps the Yankees can get a rally going against the Angels bullpen.
For the record, Robinson Cano has looked dreadful at the plate tonight…
If the Angels hang on for the win, the Yankees will head to New York with a 3-2 series advantage. They play Game 6 on Saturday night in the Bronx (Joe Saunders versus Andy Pettitte).
If there is a positive to a potential Yankees loss tonight, it’s that they’ll have the chance to close it out at Yankee Stadium.
Nevertheless, Mark Teixeira just came through with a huge double to bring the Yankees within one run, 4-3. So, perhaps a little champagne spilled on Angel Stadium turf is not out of the question.
The downside to an Angels win in Games 5 and 6 is that Game 7 is ‘winner take all’. In that situation, of course, anything can happen…and it often does! I am hopeful that the series will be decided before then, but it is up to hitters like Cano to come through.
Hideki Matsui just tied the game with a single to score Mark Teixeira from second.
Speaking of Matsui, it is going to be hard to see him leave after the season. Time and again, he has delivered the clutch hit for the Yanks. His numbers aren’t flashy, but he quietly delivers, day in and day out. If he does leave the Yankees, I’d like to see him come to San Francisco but that would really depend upon the health of his knees.
Redemption for Cano. He just delivered a triple to score two runs to give the Yanks a 6-4 lead. Swisher just flied out to end the inning but it was a hugely successful one for the Yanks as they scored 6 runs with 2 outs. A tremendous performance by John Lackey…wasted…and I am okay with that! J
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies sit back and wait. Will they hop on the New Jersey Turnpike for the drive to New York or will they head to Philly International for the cross-country trip to continue their terrorism of the Los Angeles/Orange County Area? Time will tell, but I like the Yanks’ chances…at the moment. Phillies-Angels is simply too much red! We need a nice mixture of red, white, and blue! Yeah, blue baby!
Damaso Marte? Seriously? The Yanks lead is down to one, 6-5.
Phil Hughes is on now, but he just walked a batter so there are runners at the corner.
Ugh! The Angels just tied the game on a hit by Vladimir Guerrero. Joe Girardi’s decision to go with Damaso Marte to relieve A.J. Burnett was a huge mistake.
Kendry Morales singled to score Vlad the Great…bummer…the Angels have a 7-6 lead.
Jered Weaver, who started the inning, just struck out Derek Jeter to end the top of the 8th. The Yanks have three outs left. The game will be in the hands of Alex Rodriguez, assuming that the bullpen holds the Angels in the 8th.
Here we are in the 9th inning. Bases loaded but two outs. The ice cold Nick Swisher at the plate. 7-6 Angels. This is Nick’s defining moment. Two fouls, two strikes. Personality or not, this is the moment that he can prove he is a Yankee. This is definitely a tense moment. Is the game over or does it go to the Bronx for Game 6? The count is full at 3-2. Ugh! The suspense! So much for that, a popout ends it. Off to New York we go. Note to Cashman, look for a new right fielder…