Monday, October 10, 2005

Halos Advance to ALCS

The Angels dispatched the New York Yankees 5-3 on Monday night to win the Divisional Series 3 games to 2 and advance to the American League Championship Series. It was a strange game that saw Angel starter Bartolo Colon leave in the 2nd inning with a shoulder injury and rookie Ervin Santana step-up to pitch 5 1/3 innings of 2-run ball to earn his first post-season victory.

Colon did not look that bad, despite what Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver thought. He was definitely trying to 'pitch' rather than overpower hitters but was not getting the called strikes he would have needed to be successful. So the Angels did the prudent thing and pulled Colon in favor of the rookie who beared a strong resemblence to a 2002 rookie by the name of Frankie Rodriguez who went a long way towards eliminating the Yankees that year. By now the Yankees and their obnoxious fan base have got to really be sick of Angel rookies.

The New Yorkers have a pretty good rookie themselves in second baseman Robinson Cano but he made a critical baserunning mistake in the fifth inning to snuff a Yankee rally. After beaning A-Rod, Santana walked Giambi and faced runners at first and second with no-one out. The moronic duo of Buck & McCarver were both "stunned" that the Angels were not getting someone warmed up in the bullpen. Surely had Rodriguez and Giambi advanced to third and second the bullpen would have swung into action but credit Scioscia for knowing that constantly warming-up pitchers can put as much stress on them as actually entering a game. The Angels now have both Scot Shields and Brendan Donnelly rested and ready for game one of the ALCS and with Paul Byrd likely to start, I can guarantee you they will both likley see action on Tuesday night. But back to tonight's game....Santana bounced back in the fifth by getting Sheffield and Matsui to pop-up which brought the rookie Cano up with two on and two out. Santana struck him out but the final strike was in the dirt and Molina appeared to throw the ball away down the first base line. That would have brought up Bernie Williams with the bases loaded but Cano was called out for not running within the first-base lines and therefore interfering with Molina's throw down to Erstad. At first glance this looked like a generous call for the Angels but upon further review Cano was clearly outside the lines while scampering down to first. Erstad had set-up on the inside of the first base bag while Molina threw to the opposite side. Had Cano run within the base lines then Erstad likely can make the play therefore the call by the umpire was spot-on.

Randy Johnson rebounded from his lousy game 3 performance with 4.1 innings of scoreless relief but by then the damage had already been done. The Halo hitters got to Yankee starter Mike Mussina for three runs in the second and two more in the third. Trailing 2-0, the Angels got on the board with a Garrett Anderson solo home-run to right field. After Bengie Molina and Darin Erstad reached base, Adam Kennedy skied a fly ball to deep right-center where Bubba Crosby and Sheffield collided on the warning track. The ball seemed to bounce off of Sheffield's glove and both Erstad and Molina scored with Kennedy winding-up on third with a triple.

Game Notes

* The Yankees out-hit the Angels 11-9 but were outscored 5-3.
* Four Yankee hitters accounted for all eleven of their hits (Jeter - 3, Giambi - 3, Sheffield - 3, Crosby - 2).
* It has been 10 years since the Angels infamous 1995 collapse which was culminated with a loss in a one-game playoff to Seattle. The starting pitcher for the Mariners in that game was Randy Johnson. Tonight we finally got some revenge on Johnson. One more name to scratch off our list.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tonight we finally got some revenge on Johnson. One more name to scratch off our list."

Ooo! I do like that. ;)

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