October 17, 2009 - 7:53 PM
NEW YORK -- Better hurry up and get this one in. Lots of green blobs on the radar to the south and southwest of us here. Shoulda been a day game and this would be no issue. OK, enough about that for now. The lineups:
Angels: Figgins, 3b; Abreu, rf; Hunter, cf; Guerrero, dh; Morales, 1b; Rivera, lf; Izturis, 2b; Napoli, c; Aybar, ss....Saunders, p
Yankees: Jeter, ss; Damon, lf; Teixeira, 1b; Mr. Kate Hudson, 3b; Matsui, dh; Swisher, rf; Cano, 2b; Cabrera, cf; Molina, c....Burnett, p
End-1st: No score. The Angels stranded a two-out double after Figgins struck out to fall to 0 for 17 in the postseason. The Yankees went down 1-2-3 although Damon's high drive to right fell just short of the wall. Just like Cano's last night, a ball that was surely outta here most nights this year died on the track. It was 47 degrees at the first pitch, two degrees warmer than last night.
End-2nd: Yankees take a 1-0 lead as Swisher works a two-out walk on a full-count pitch (Saunders was not happy with Laz Diaz behind the plate) and Cano pulled an RBI triple to right-center on an 0-2 pitch. Great piece of hitting. More sloppy D by the Angels as Izturis dropped the relay in short right and might have had a shot at Cano at third.
End-3rd: Jeter takes a 2-0 fastball that was up and away and sends it up and away the other way to right for a 2-0 Yankees lead (gets high-five from ARod, left). His sixth career LCS home run, 19th career postseason home run. That passes Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle who had 18. Of course, they didn't have the division series either and Mantle didn't have the LCS. Jeter cut it through the wind without a lot of loft. Jeter is also third on the all-time postseason list with 19 HRs; Manny Ramirez has 29, Bernie Williams 22.
Mid-5th (halfway home): The Angels tie it 2-2 in a loooooooooooong half-inning that doesn't help our chances if, in fact, it's going to rain at some point soon. An RBI single by Aybar drove in first run and he scored the second on a wild pitch (right) with the crowd roaring on a 1-2 delivery to Guerrero. The fans were up for lots of two-strike pitches in that inning. I covered a ton of games at the old place the last 10 years and this one is pretty close in terms of noise intensity. Not there yet. But close. Burnett has thrown 90 pitches (60 strikes) in five innings. He threw 33 in that inning alone.
End-5th: The Yankees opened with singles by Cabrera and Molina but did not score. Jeter hit into a double play -- or did he? -- and Damon struck out. The replay (again) showed Jeter clearly safe as the ball was nowhere near the glove of Kendry Morales and Jeter's foot was on the bag. Bill Miller on the blown call at first. The umpires continue to be brutal. Look for more on that topic in Sunday's Inside Baseball column. Gotta have a Donn Denkinger type of faux pas in our future in the World Series the way this month is going.
Mid-7th: It remains 2-2 and Burnett left with one out after Cano bobbled a routine grounder to second for an error. Phil Coke is on and we could all use an oven here to get some heat. Burnett threw 114 pitches, 75 strikes. CC Sabathia threw 113 last night. The Angels eventually loaded the bases but Joba Chamberlain got Vlad Guerrero with a wicked slider and pumped his fast across the white linee on the way back to the dugout. that might have been the Angels' best chance.
Mid-8th: A stunning error by Jeter on a sure DP ball to end the inning didn't cost the Yankees. With runners at first and second, Phil Hughes struck out pinch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. Mariano Rivera then retired Aybar on a first-pitch grounder. Angels went for it in that inning by pinch-hitting Matthews and running Reggie Willets and didn't get rewarded.
End-8th: Yanks go down 1-2-3 and it's tied going to the ninth. Guess what? At 11:07 with two out, it started raining. Remember, the latest forecast was heavy heavy stuff around midnight or so? Will we be done in time?
12:15 a.m. update: Obviously, we've had to focus on stuff for the print edition. But that baby is in bed through 10 innings and this baby is still going. The Angels took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 11th on an RBI single by Figgins, who snapped an 0-for-18 slump by lashing one to left off Alfredo Aceves. But the Yankees just tied it in the bottom of the inning as A-Rod drove an 0-2 pitch from Brian Fuentes the other way over the wall in right to tie it again at 3-3. Crazy game. We're going to the 12th. And the rain is getting harder and harder. MLB officials must be absolutely croaking.
Going to the 13th: David Robertson got out of a two-on, two-out jam by striking out Matthews. In the bottom of the 12nd, the Yankees loaded the bases for A-Rod but there was no heroics in back-to-back innings as he flied out to center.
An A-Rod note: The good folks at baseball-reference.com point out that A-Rod's home run in the 11th was just the third in history that tied a postseason game. The others were by Houston's Billy Hatcher in the 14th inning of their 16-inning loss to the Mets in Game Six of the 1986 NLCS and by Cleveland's Albert Belle in the 11th inning of their 13-inning win over Boston in Game One of the 1995 ALDS. I was in the house for that one as well; Belle flexed his biceps from the dugout at Sox manager Kevin Kennedy, who wanted his bat checked for cork.
Yankees win: Jerry Hairston scores in the bottom of the 13th on a foolish Izturis throwing error to produce a 4-3 final. Many press box denizens who had wakeup calls scheduled in the next four hours are thrilled.
(Photos: Associated Press)