It was over within minutes of the first gaffe, a baserunning blunder by Vlad Guerrero where he got caught off of first base on a shallow fly to right field. Suddenly, Joe Saunders couldn’t get the same strike calls as Andy Pettitte – who really was great, by the way – and a few walks led to a Johnny Damon liner that put the Yankees ahead for good. However, I still thought the Angels had a chance with Mariano Rivera out there for a six out save. Los Angeles extended Mariano in the eighth inning and got a run to cut the lead to 3 – 2. If the Angels and Scott Kazmir could have gotten a very quick 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth, I would have bet on the Angels to force a game seven. Instead, two errors on consecutive bunts finished off whatever life was in the Angels. Rivera, now rested, easily dispatched three batters in the ninth and the Yankees are heading to the World Series.
Tomorrow or Wednesday, we’ll take a few minutes to break it down – but long and short, the two best teams in each league are meeting to decide it all. And that’s cool. To make the Indians feel worse, it’ll be Cliff Lee against C.C. Sabathia in the opener on Wednesday night…
Mike Scioscia was generally complimentary of the Yankees, but he did bag MLB for catering to Fox TV wishes and adding a number of off days between the end of the season and the playoffs, between each round of the playoffs, and even adding off days within the playoffs. He’s right, you know. The Yankees and Angels, after playing 162 games in 180 days during the regular season, only played eight games in the last 20. Suddenly the fall classic is forced into playing World Series games in November. [ESPN]
Steve Phillips didn’t survive his latest sex scandal and now will have to hope for a book deal after he completes a recovery program at a treatment facility for an undisclosed problem. ESPN fired the Baseball Tonight analyst because his reputation was “irreparably damaged.” [ESPN]
Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves are discussing a three-year deal that would replace his one-year $12 million option for 2010. Hudson looked good following Tommy John surgery and is potentially a free agent. [ESPN]
Two very patient hitters of the 70s and 80s celebrate today – Toby Harrah (1948) ad Mike Hargrove (1949). Others celebrating include: Frank Selee (1859), William (Kid) Gleason (1866), Lee Tannehill (1880), Harry Camnitz (1884), Snuffy Stirnweis (1918), Elio Chacon (1936), Steve Rogers (1949), Wayne Garland (1950), Mark Sweeney (1969), and Francisco Liriano (1983)