Friday, October 23, 2009

Angels Hold Off The Yankees And The ALCS Heads To New York City...LA 7 NYY 6

The California LA Angels scored four runs off AJ Burnett before he recorded a single out but the Yankees, as they do so often, made it verrrry interesting. With a four run plush leather cushion through six innings, Halo starter John Lackey was cruising...until the seventh inning. It was then that the Yankee bats awakened with a six spot. Could they record nine more outs and keep their World Series appointment with that team from Philadelphia? Torii Hunter, the Halo's centerfielder, said this...

"Everybody thought we were down," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said.

They weren't, that's for sure. The Angels scored three in the bottom of that seventh inning to go ahead by a score of 7-6. The top of the ninth was a real postseason nailbiter. Johnny Damon started the inning off with Brian Fuentes on the mound. He hit a scorched line drive right at first baseman Kendry Morales. One out. Next up was Teixeira, who popped up on one pitch. Two outs, one to go. The score was 7-6 Halos and they were within one out of winning the game and sending the series back to the Big Apple. AROD strode to the plate with the bases empty, devoid of runners...and Angel's manager Mike Sciosia intentionally walked him. Yes, the tying run was on first base. AROD was immediately replaced by pinch runner Freddy Guzman. Man on first, two outs. One pitch could end it. But nooooo. Guzman never even took a big enough lead off first to hint at a steal. He watched the battle between Fuentes and Matsui that resulted in a walk. First and second, STILL two outs. Fuentes hit Cano with a pitch and the nervous Yankee Stadium buzz became a capital letter BUZZ. Nick Swisher approached the plate in a one run, two out, bases loaded situation. The following is from Sports Illustrated dot com, with my thanks. Remember, the bases were loaded and the game was on the line...

"So they (Fuentes and Swisher) battled -- the hard-hat closer and the lunch-box hitter ... a chopper that was just inches foul ... another foul ... a change-up way outside ... another foul ... a high fastball ... an outside fastball. And then the count was 3-2, and the tension had hit its crescendo, and Fuentes simply threw the challenge pitch, his best fastball (91 mph) right down the heart of the plate. Swisher swung and hit a pop-up to shallow left. Angels shortstop Erick Aybar ranged back and caught it."

Phew, wow, holy you know what. This was playoff baseball the way it was meant to be, uncertain until the final pitch. Now, the two teams travel east and the Angels will have to take two games from none other than Andy Pettitte and the so far untouchable CC Sabathia. It's highly doubtful but it will be fun watching them try. This also gives to National League champion Philadelphia Phillies a chance to rest their aching bones for a few days as Saturday's contest might lead to a Sunday game seven battle. We'll see but on the scale of WOWness, not much could beat last night's drama. FOX must be thoroughly thrilled by their viewing numbers even though I haven't seen them yet. I'll pass them on to you when I do.

I hope you enjoy your getaway Friday as we await game six at the new Yankee Stadium Saturday night. Rain might be a factor as it's supposed to begin raining here in north central Connecticut late tonight (Friday). I don't know how long it will last but I'll have the full weather outlook in my Saturday morning post. Promise.

Click on this post's title for full coverage of last night's game and as always, BE WELL. See you...soon.

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