Yankees-Angels, ALCS: CC Sabathia Silences Angels In 4-1 Game One Win

October 17, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

It was a cold and damp Friday night.

There was rain in the forecast and it felt like a December football game in the winter rather than an October baseball game in the fall.

But that wasn’t going to stop the Yankees and the Angels from playing in front of almost 50,000 fans at Yankee Stadium for Game One of the American League Championship Series.

The Yankees were sending up their ace in CC Sabathia, who was 0-2 in the regular season against Los Angeles while the Angels were sending up their ace in John Lackey, who has had past success against the Yankees.

The Yankees got to work early in the bottom of the first inning with a single by Derek Jeter and a double by Johnny Damon.

With one out and runners on second and third, Alex Rodriguez drove the ball to center for a sacrifice fly to score Jeter and the Yankees were up 1-0.

With two outs and Damon on second, Hideki Matsui popped the ball up, which most thought would be caught by either Chone Figgins or Erick Aybar. But neither one of them could find the ball and the ball ended up dropping between them in the infield, which allowed Damon to score and the Yankees went up 2-0.

Sabathia was doing a good job keeping the Angels off the base-paths, but in the top of the fourth inning, Kendry Morales hit an RBI single to left to drive in Vladimir Guerrero and cut the lead to 2-1.

But, the run scored off Sabathia was all the Angels hitters would get, while the Yankees weren’t done with Lackey.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, with Damon and Rodriguez on, Matsui hit a double to left and Juan Rivera slipped momentarily but recovered to throw the ball in. Damon scored easily, but Rodriguez ran through third base coach Rob Thomson’s stop sign and plowed into Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, who tagged out A-Rod.

Some questioned why A-Rod went past third to score, but he must have thought Rivera wouldn’t recover the ball and his balance that quickly, but even so, the Yankees were now up 3-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jeter singled up the middle to drive in Melky Cabrera and advanced to second on Torii Hunter’s fielding error and the Yankees were now ahead 4-1.

The RBI single by Jeter was the last pitch thrown for Lackey, who looked off from his game.

Lackey lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowed nine hits, four runs (two earned), walked three and struck out three.

Whether it was the layoff between outings or the cold weather, Lackey looked anything but an ace for the Angels on Friday night.

While Lackey struggled, Sabathia continued to dominate the Angels hitters, simply not allowing the Angels speed and running game to ever come into play in Game One.

In the bottom of the sixth, Hunter attempted a bunt, but Sabathia quickly fired the ball to Mark Teixeira and was called out on a bang-bang play, which lead to Hunter jumping up and down in frustration and Angels manager Mike Scioscia coming out to argue the call. Multiple replays on FOX showed it was a very close call with Teixeira’s foot being on the bag or not.

But, the call stood and Hunter was out.

In the eighth inning, Sabathia was still standing and dominating the Angels hitters. It was still cold in the eighth, but Sabathia was getting stronger and got through the inning.

Sabathia lasted eight strong innings, allowed four hits, one run, walked one and struck out seven. On that cold night in October, Sabathia stood alone as the dominant warrior the Yankees paid the big money to come through in games like this.

In the top of the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera came in to get another postseason save for the Yankees.

In an odd occurrence, Hunter drew a lead-off walk and Rivera looked off in his first appearance since Sunday.

Next up was Guerrero, and Rivera got back to being his old self as he struck out Guerrero on a high fastball for the first out.

Juan Rivera was next and Mariano got him to fly out to Nick Swisher for the second out.

Morales was the final out as he flied out to Brett Gardner and the Yankees took Game One with the 4-1 win.

Sabathia got the win, his second of the 2009 postseason. So much for the 0-2 record in 2009 against the Angels in the regular season.

What was important for the Yankees in this game is the Yankees relied on situational hitting to score all their runs rather than rely on the home run ball like they did in the Twins series.

Not one home run was hit in Game One.

Key hitters for the Yankees were Jeter (2-for-4, RBI), Rodriguez (1-for-2, RBI, walk), Matsui  (2-for-3, 2 RBI), and Damon, who went 1-for-12 in the Twins series, went 2-for-5 with two runs.

Damon’s strong game was a good sign that he will pick up his hitting after a lousy ALDS.

Robinson Cano, however, is only hitting .133 and must be more productive as he went 0-for-3. However, Cano made an outstanding play in the field when Howie Kendrick hit the ball to Cano’s left, and he dove to stop it, popped up and threw out Kendrick to save a possible first and third with one out situation for Sabathia. While his offense hasn’t picked up yet, Cano’s defense remains strong.

The Yankees played a very strong game and relied on strong solid pitching from Sabathia and key situational hits from Jeter, A-Rod, and Matsui to get their runs in. However, the Yankees must do a better job getting in base runners as the Yankees left a total of 15 runners on base.

The Yankees will send up A.J. Burnett to pitch Game Two and he will look to continue his strong pitching with Jose Molina likely starting and catching Burnett behind the plate while the Angels will counter with Joe Saunders, who has yet to pitch a game in the playoffs for the Angels.

Game Two of the ALCS is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:57 p.m., but so is a lot of rain in the Bronx. If tomorrow is rained out, then Game Two will be re-scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

For Yankees Universe, four games down, seven to go until World Series Championship number 27.

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  1. rodney on July 29th, 2014 2:13 am



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