For six or nine times a year, depending on the schedule, I root for the Angels. This week, they aren’t disappointing. Joe Saunders staved off the Red Sox, and the Angels downed Boston for the second night in a row.
Doing some very simple baseball math leads me to conclude that, yes, the Yanks, once 14 games out, are now sitting now just five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. That’s pretty freakin’ exciting. The Yanks, as I noted earlier, have six games left against the Red Sox, and basically, they control their own October fate at this point. Win and they’re in. It’s that simple.
Meanwhile, up in Canada, exciting happenings. Let’s start with the end. Joba Chamberlain made his big league debut, and it was pretty. While his control wasn’t as perfect as it had been in the Minors, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk that up to nerves. Sporting a high-90s fastball and an utterly devastating and majestically beautiful 90-mph slider, Joba pitched 2 innings in his debut. He gave up 1 hit and 2 walks and struck out 2. The game ended on a double-play ball. Joba even had the guts to shake off Jorge Posada three times on one pitch. He’s 21, folks.
This game also shows that the Blue Jays really have their priorities screwed up. Over two months ago, A-Rod humorously called for a pop-up in Toronto as he was running the bases. Debate the sportsmanship all you want, but realize that this happened in May. It’s August. Yet still the Blue Jays insist on throwing at A-Rod twice.
So in the 7th, Roger Clemens may or may not have retaliated, and he got tossed. He may land a suspension for this move too. Considering that Posada set up for this pitch outside, that it was 7-0 Yankees, and that Clemens was working on his best outing in a month, it’s hard to believe he was aiming intentionally for Alex Rios. But who knows? Hopefully, these two teams can leave this silliness behind them. Chien-Ming Wang isn’t exactly the head-hunting type anyway.
While I’m still unimpressed with Jim Brower — couldn’t Brian Bruney do that? — I am officially apologizing for advocating that dumb trade of Eric Gagne for Melky Cabrera. I’ve changed my mind. I love Melky. And I love Robinson Cano even more. That’s all.