Sunday, October 18, 2009
NEW YORK—Alex Rodriguez rescued the Yankees with a home run in the 11th inning and Maicer Izturis committed a game-ending throwing error in the 13th as the Yankees defeated the Angels, 4-3, in an instant classic on Saturday in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
This game was not particularly pretty to watch, but it was a great example of the type of prolonged tension and drama that postseason baseball can provide.
After four innings, with a 2-0 lead and A.J. Burnett cruising, it seemed like it’d end up being an easy Yankee victory. Then Burnett gave up two in the fifth and it was all tied up. Burnett was overall very good though, allowing just two runs in 6.1 innings.
Neither team scored again as the game went into the 11th. The Yankee pen after Burnett was effective, as Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes got the ball to Mariano Rivera, who retired 7 of the 8 batters he faced. Alfredo Aceves relieved Mo in the 11th, and gave up a run that put the Angels up 3-2. That brought in Brian Fuentes to try and close out the game against Alex Rodriguez, pinch runner #1 Freddie Guzman, and pinch runner #2 TSBG. Rodriguez took two called strikes, then on 0-2 lined a fastball up in the strike zone towards the short porch in RF. Bobby Abreu leaped but couldn’t catch it, and the game was tied.
Quite frankly, the Yankees may have won all of their postseason games so far, but they’ve pretty much hit like crap. If not for great pitching and Alex Rodriguez, they probably wouldn’t even be playing right now. Thankfully, they’ve had both.
In the top of the 13th, Robinson Cano’s second error of the game almost cost the Yankees the lead, as it led to the Angels getting two runners on with one out. David Robertson was able to retire Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero to preserve the tie and pick up Cano. In the bottom of the 13th, Jerry Hairston Jr. led off with a single in his first postseason and was bunted over to second by TSBG. The Angels elected to walk Cano, then the Izturis error gave the Yankees a win.
There were things that were annoying about this game, but I’ll post about that tomorrow. For now, we should probably just enjoy a win that the Yankees probably didn’t deserve.
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