In all the hoopla surrounding the trade deadline, it’s easy to forget that the Yanks play a game tonight. We’re too busy celebrating the departure of Manny from the Red Sox or the arrival of Pudge to focus on the game, but it’s a doozy tonight.
For the first time this season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim arrive in New York. The Angels have long been a thorn in the Yanks’ side. The Yanks were just 55-61 against them during Joe Torre’s tenure. So I’m hoping they can get off on the right foot with Joe Girardi at the helm.
This, however, will be no small task. The Angels currently sport a 67-40 record, tops in the Majors by three games. They swept the Red Sox in Fenway Park this week, and the games weren’t really close. And, oh yeah, they also landed Mark Teixeira in a trade with the Braves. They are clearly the AL frontrunners right now, and this four-game set this weekend will impact the Yanks’ playoff hopes.
For the Yanks, Andy Pettitte takes the mound. The Angels are 19-7 against lefties this year. Gulp. The Angels counter with Jon Garland, 3-5 with a 4.26 ERA in his career against the Yanks. Starting this series — and Pudge’s Yankee career — out with a win would be huge for the Yanks.
Game Notes: Pudge will wear number 12. Andy Phillips, Clay Bellinger and Tony Womack plan to complain about that. I wonder if any other team has two numbers with the same last name wearing consecutive numbers on their backs. Someone get the Elias Sports Bureau on the phone….Edwar Ramirez is facing a three-game suspension for throwing at Kevin Millar. He’ll appeal. Daniel Cabrera received a six-game time-out for throwing at A-Rod.