It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Yankees beat the Angels by the score of 6-5 on Wednesday night to salvage their three-game set in Anaheim. The win gave New York a 4-2 record on the West Coast trip and … that’s pretty good. I would have signed up for that six days ago. Let’s recap…
- Big Inning: Ervin Santana was wild and asking for trouble, and the Yankees gave it to him in the third inning. Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer and Robinson Cano followed up with a two-run homer, all before the first out was recorded. Russell Martin (runner) and Derek Jeter (batter) pulled off a perfect hit-and-run to set things up. For the first time in the series, we could all relax and breath a little with a 5-1 lead.
- One Bad Inning: Ivan Nova managed to escape a bases loaded, no out situation in the first by only allowing one run, but he gave back the four-run lead in the fourth by allowing a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo and a two-run double to Mike Trout. Half of the eight hits Nova allowed came in that inning, but he deserves credit for locking it down after that and taking the ball into the seventh.
- Take The Lead: Raul Ibanez hit a stand-up triple over Peter Bourjos’ head off a left-handed pitcher with one out in the sixth. Think about that sentence. It’s “you can’t predict baseball” defined. Nick Swisher plated Ibanez with a sacrifice fly, giving his team the 6-5 lead that they held onto for dear life.
- Relief Ace: The unsung hero of the game was easily Cory Wade. Dude stormed out of the bullpen to strike out Howie Kendrick with men on corners to end the seventh (despite the ump’s best efforts) before chipping in a perfect eighth. Seriously, he was down 3-0 in the count to Kendrick but fought back for the strikeout. That was money right there, just a huge out.
- Closed Out: Things got a little hairy in the ninth inning, mostly because Rafael Soriano did himself no favors by walking Alberto Callaspo with one out to put the tying run on base for the meat of the order. Albert Pujols reached on an infield single, but Soriano escaped the jam by getting Torii Hunter to ground into a fielder’s choice and Trumbo to fly out routinely to left on a broken bat. It was nerve-wracking, but he took care of business. Nice job.
- Leftovers: Curtis Granderson doubled to the opposite field in the first inning, already his ninth opposite field hit of the season (he had ten last year) … Grandy and Ibanez were the only Yankees with multiple hits (two each), but everyone in the starting lineup not named Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez reached base at least once … Boone Logan allowed two dinky little ground ball hits to righties to set up that mess Wade escaped in the seventh … anytime you want to complain about Joe Girardi, remember that Mike Scioscia used Hunter as pinch-runner and Maicer Izturis as a pinch-hitter in this game … the Yankees are done with Anaheim, they don’t come back here this season. Thank goodness.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some more stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are off on Thursday and will open a three-game weekend series in Detroit on Friday night. The Tigers are calling up left-hander Casey Crosby to make his big league debut and start that game, but don’t worry, he’s not a soft-tosser. CC Sabathia will be on the bump for the good guys.