Yanks rally, crumble, rally again in 6-5 win

Game 152 Spillover Thread III
The return of Godzilla

For half the game, everything went well. The Yankees put up four runs and Chad Gaudin was cruising. Even two outs into the bottom of the fifth, the Yanks looked poised to win their first game in Anaheim this season. But from that point on almost nothing went the Yankees’ way. Gaudin couldn’t finish the fifth, Aceves almost blew the lead in the sixth, and a pair of errors cost the Yankees the lead in the eighth. But a short rally in the ninth put them back on top again, and Mariano Rivera closed the door.

The game started off as a few have recently: the Yanks put a few men on in the first, but failed to score. Ervin Santana kept dropping breaking balls and off-speed pitches, and the Yanks just couldn’t get a feel for him. It was more of the same in the second. Robinson Cano doubled to lead off, but Santana struck out two Yanks to strand him. But then came the third.

Santana, while getting swings and misses on breaking balls out of the zone, was nonetheless missing the zone. A-Rod took advantage of this, working a 3-0 count following a Teixeira single. Then came the BP fastball, and there it went, way out to dead center. It gave the Yanks their first lead of the series, and Posada would add to that with a two-run homer two batters later. Hideki Matsui struck in the fifth, and the Yanks offense had put them on top 5-0.

On the other side of the ball, Chad Gaudin had it going. It took him only nine pitches to retire the Angels in the first, and while the second was a bit longer he still allowed just one hit. A hit, a walk, and six outs later, the Yanks had a decent lead heading into the second half of the game. And that’s when Gaudin broke down.

It wasn’t the first time Gaudin lost it before the end of the fifth. Girardi pulled him with two outs in the fifth in Oakland, Gaudin’s first start in pinstripes, with the bases loaded. On that night he allowed no runs, and Al Aceves came on to finish the inning without damage. The latter was true again this time. Aceves came in and got Torii Hunter swinging to end the frame, but not before Gaudin allowed a homer, a double, a walk, and a single, putting the Angels on the board for the first time.

Aceves then had his own set of troubles in the sixth. Four of the first five hitters in the inning singled, allowing one run to score and loading the bases with one out. Maicer Izturis popped out, but Aceves couldn’t sneak one past the patient Abreu. Bobby didn’t even take the bat off his shoulder, and the Yanks lead was cut to one. Only a diving stop by and perfect throw to first from Alex Rodriguez saved the lead.

That would be the end of the Yanks’ pitching problems for the evening, though Phil Hughes did escape a mini-jam in the seventh, and pitched pretty well in eighth. It was the defense that failed the team. Howie Kendrick smoked an outside pitch, but right at Robinson Cano. The ball just got away from him, a play that unfolded so fast that the replay couldn’t really capture it. That was the first error.

On an 0-1 count, Kendrick took off for second. Jorge pulled the throw a bit and it went into center field, moving Kendrick to third with none out. There seemed little chance the Yanks could escape without blowing the lead. Hughes got Figgins to pop out weakly, but Izturis punched one into right to tie the game. Just three innings after the Yankees were flying high, they found themselves back at the drawing board.

Thankfully, the drawing board is often a productive place for the Yanks. Brett Gardner started off the ninth with a single, and then he was off to the races. While he was safe by the call, replay showed that he strayed a bit off the bag with the tag on him. Oh well. After the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks needed a break. Jeter ended up walking, and then Johnny Damon bunted the runners over.

Not wanting to face Mark Teixeira with runners on second and third, Mike Scioscia walked him to get to A-Rod. That didn’t work, as Alex lined one into center, just deep enough to score Gardner. That put the game in Mo’s hands, and while Juan Rivera’s at bat was tense, it ended with a great release: a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play. One pitch later and the Yanks were celebrating a playoff berth, though they had locked that up a bit earlier when Texas lost to Oakland.

The Yankees got swept at Fenway in the first half and came back to go two out of three in the second half. They got swept in Anaheim before the All-Star Break, and now have a chance to go two out of three with a win today. A.J. Burnett starts against Scott Kazmir. It’s an afternoon affair, an odd 3:30 start.

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Game 152 Spillover Thread III
The return of Godzilla
  • JGS

    um…6-5 win, not 5-4

  • Dela G

    this seriously has to be the best win the yankees have had since they finally defeated the red sox in the 9th try. This was the second time they had to get a monkey off their back this season (beating boston, beating the angels in LA)

    I really can’t even sleep and i have class in less than 7 hours.

    • Salty Buggah

      heh, I have 23 pages to read from Plato’s Republic and some Spanish homework and then class at 10 so I hope I cant sleep yet.

      • pat

        Ahh, the Republic is the shit.

        • Salty Buggah

          yea but Im like the slowest reader ever

          • pat

            Oh then that sucks. Plato is quite verbose and dense.

            • Salty Buggah

              Those adjectives are the exact same words the professor used to describe it…weird

              • pat

                Took a whole course based on Plato. Shit was rough, you have to read it sentence by sentence and chew on each one for a while to figure out what he means. Once you figure out his language and his sentence structure it gets a lot easier to understand. You might even start to enjoy it, I kinda did.

                • Salty Buggah

                  Hope so but this excerpt is for my International Children’s Literature class.

                • pat

                  Damn, no wonder our country sucks. I was slogging through cave allegories as a senior in college while its considered children’s literature throughout the world!

                • Salty Buggah

                  Nah, this part talking about what literature to present to children and the history of childrens’ lit and thats what we’re discussing in class (like I read a whole lot on folklores and fairy tales)

                • Makavelli

                  What school are you guys going to? Undergrad?

  • Salty Buggah

    3:30? Looks like I’ll be watching from class.

  • Chris

    Incidentally, the magic # for home-field adv. is also 6 since both BOS & the LAA have 61 losses. We may just clinch both on the same day, hopefully this weekend.

    • pete c.

      Who’s in the 6 uni on the front page? It can’t be Torre cause he’s hugging Arod.

  • Tom Zig

    The MLB.com standings say the Red Sox are eliminated from the Division… odd

  • Free Mike Vick

    LOL @ Phil Hughes having as many wins as Joba Chamberlain does this season.

    • Bo

      Tough to get wins when they have him starting games and going 3 innings.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I am as happy now as I was when the Jets beat the Patriots.

    Hughe huge win. Win tomorrow and we’d actually win a series in Anaheim…but I probably don’t want to push my luck *too* much….right?

    • Tom Zig

      so much for optimism

      • http://imgur.com/NMNVd.jpg Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

        -42 :P

    • whozat

      Angels like to swing the bats. I’d hope that this would play in AJ’s hands, if he’ll just challenge them.

  • Sleepy Carl

    It seems impossible to not like Gardner for his sheer and utter display of grit time after time.

    • whozat

      I have no problem liking him if he’s getting on base 35% of the time or more and playing plus defense.

  • Salty Buggah
    • http://martelli.mlblogs.com/melky%20c.jpg Drew
    • pat

      Hahah come on Salty, 2009 Playoffs?. That’s weak we’re not settling for teh playoffs. Save your loot for a 2009 World Series Champions set to hit stores late October.

      • http://martelli.mlblogs.com/melky%20c.jpg Drew

        My thoughts exactly.

      • Salty Buggah

        I want both but I need another hoodie for now (its freezing here in Denver this week)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Yo quiero this t-shirt: http://i38.tinypic.com/2myrlvc.jpg

      SICK.

  • http://martelli.mlblogs.com/melky%20c.jpg Drew

    Looking at the replay, Al’s Sac-Fly probably would have dropped if Hunter wasn’t playing in. He ripped that thing.

    No postgame sucks… I was hoping PeteAbe would post some audio.

    • http://161st-and-river.com o’Realy

      Pabe has checked out – he’s not gonna show much. I really hate that the last two My9 games have been ones that would’ve had sweet postgame shows though

  • BigBlueAL

    Really fun game tonight. Not so much fun watching Girardi handle the bullpen during the game but in the end the Yankees pulled out a real nice win and have hopefully set it up where they can clinch the division at home vs the Red Sox.

    • http://161st-and-river.com o’Realy

      honestly, i thought that scioscia managed his way out of this game, not joe. i would’ve made the same decisions girardi did, but the hit and run call by sciocia (yes, i know i’m not spelling his name correctly) in the 9th was just dumb. and walking tex was a bad idea too given arod’s numbers vs oliver.

      • Bo

        Scioscia doesnt have guys named Hughes/Rivera in the pen.

        Managing when Fuentes is your closer is kinda hard.

  • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

    Great game. Was hoping the RAB folks would throw a curveball and use a Roy White pic for the magic number but I got no gripes with the actual choice.

  • Tom Zig

    Gaudin is pitching well, but he goes from awesome to the suck in the blink of an eye, usually around the 5th inning. Does he just tire easily? Or do people begin to figure him out?

    • ShuutoHeat

      He seemed to have completely lost the zone tonight, which I imagine is the worst thing that can happen for a pitcher that relies so much on pitches that “move”.

  • DreDog

    I couldn’t stay up for the win, but hot damn if I wasn’t excited watching the news this morning.

    Something tells me more than one playoff game this year will have Philly with the win and Mo with the save. As long as one is in the WS, I’m ok with that.

    • Accent Shallow

      I’d prefer if Hughes getting the win didn’t entail him blowing the save.

      (not that last night was his fault, apparently)

  • Makavelli

    So Gaudin can pitch about 4 innings tops but then doesn’t have the pitches to get through a line up more than twice or so…and Joba, depending on the day, can barely get through 3 innings…or even once through the line up these days…

    I guess if we combine the two of them we can get a rough 7 innings in the second round of the playoffs for Game 4…

    You accompany an ineffective Aceves and we have Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS style game all over again lol

    • CountryClub

      At least Gaudin gives you 4 or 5 quality innings. Lately, when Joba leaves the game, the Yanks are down 3…or 6 runs.

  • CountryClub

    Maybe it was a big topic in the game threads, but I’m surprised you didnt mention Swisher running past the HR in the 5th. It was funny and sad at the same time.

  • MatyRuggz

    The wheels do seem to come off of Gaudin’s cart after 3-4 innings every time out. Still he has electric stuff, wouldn’t he be a candidate to develop into a top-notch reliever if we stuck him in the ‘pen for the playoffs and into next year? This is when you should put a struggling starter with “stuff” in the ‘pen, when he’s proven that he cannot be consistent as a starter. Phil and Joba still have a shot of being top-of-the rotation starters, but i think i’d rather try developing Gaudin into a shut-down reliever rather than a mediocre 5th starter at this point in his career. Dude’s been in the league for years now.

    • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

      If we didn’t have such a desperate need for a 4th starter, I’d say Gaudin could be a great complement to Aceves. Or, better yet, let him try out the 8th inning role when the Yanks move Hughes back into the rotation next season…

      • Bo

        He had a 5 ERA in SD. This is an average pitcher here. Some guys find something though when playing for a first place team. Maybe he has.

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    I really had to try hard last night not to scream when Posada threw Willits out. One of the top 10 highlights of the season, IMO.

  • Bo

    It was nice of Girardi to let Aceves out of his prison cell. But maybe he should be getting a little more work. He shouldnt be the 5th starter caddy.

  • mos

    My favorite part of the night? I’m not a New Yorker, so I was forced to watch the Angels feed through MLB Extra Innings. Normally, this is a pain in the ass*, but the Angels’s announcers are actually pretty good. They don’t rag on the opponents like some do, and they always sound excited with every swing of the bat.

    However, in the third they had a guest in the booth with them, and he called A-Rod “A-Fraud, oops, I mean A-Rod”. The next pitch ended up on the other side of the wall in center. Beautiful. (The camera just happened to be in the booth when the guy said “A-Fraud”, and you could tell the announcers were uncomfortable. They didn’t approve, and he lamely tried to back away from it after the homer.)

    *I don’t know if you guys who get to watch YES for every game know how good you have it. Living in TX, I’m stuck with whichever station MLB Extra Innings is carrying, and if YES isn’t an option, it’s usually really bad. Say what you want about Michael Kay and crew, but they’re *way* better than most. They’re extremely knowledgeable about the Yankees, and always know a lot about their opponents, too. They’re also very respectful to the other team. Not so in other markets, like, say, the Rays. Man, those announcers are just dicks towards anybody and everybody not in a Rays uniform. I’d rather watch Joe Morgan and Jon Miller before most small- and medium- market teams’ broadcast.

    • ev

      I was wondering if anyone was going to bring this up. That A-Fraud comment was completely unprofessional and uncalled for. I’m glad Arod showed him where he could stick that comment.

      Even though that was their radio broadcaster, I don’t appreciate the Angels’ announcers at all. Their main playcaller has a voice that will make you reach for the mute button and, while they cant compare to “the Hawk” in Chicago, there is definitely discernible bias in their announcing.

  • Dan

    Gaudin had Figgins struck out in the 5th for the 3rd out of that inning and no runs across. Of course, the umpire didn’t see it that way, although Michael Kay accused him of flinching. The ball was maybe on inch off the outside corner and Posada did a great framing job. It’s called a strike 90%+ of the time, I’d wager.

    Anyway, Gaudin then blew up, allowing HR, double, double? and not finishing the 5th which he entered with a 5-0 lead. I feared when he didn’t get the call that it would open the door for the Angels.