Yankees-Angles: Mark Teixeira Helps Yankees Win 5-3 in Playoff-Like Atmosphere

September 15, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The Yankees most likely will be a playoff team come October. It also looks like so will the Angels.

When they squared off on Monday night, it could have been looking into the future of a potential playoff matchup with a playoff atmosphere in the Bronx. Monday night’s game was a makeup from a rain-out of May 3.

The Yankees were up against Jered Weaver, who has been one of the Angels most consistent pitchers on the staff and has been very good in the past against the Yankees. More than likely, Weaver will be the number two starter for the Angels in the playoffs.

The Yankees put Joba Chamberlain on the mound, and he was on an innings limit because of his “Joba Rules” limit for 2009, so he was only expected to go around four innings on Monday night.

The Angels struck first with a solo home run by Vladimir Guerrero in the top of the second inning, giving Los Angeles a quick 1-0 lead. The home run was only the 14th of the season for Guerrero, as he has spent time on the disabled list and is showing signs of getting older and being injury-prone.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees answered with a solo home run by Nick Swisher, his 27th home run of the season, and tied the game 1-1.

In the four innings Chamberlain pitched, the home run allowed to Guerrero was the only significant damage he allowed. He allowed four hits, the one run, walked none and struck out two and threw only 67 pitches, 41 for strikes.

Joba looked much better in this outing and if allowed, probably could have gone a little longer if they really needed to. Alfredo Aceves relieved Chamberlain in the fifth.

The Angels re-took the lead in the top of the fifth inning when Chone Figgins grounded out to second, scoring Erick Aybar and making the score 2-1.

The Angels didn’t stay in the lead for long, because the Yankees were swinging the bats well and getting to Weaver.

Mark Teixeira ripped the a Weaver pitch to dead center field for a two-run triple and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. When Teixeira hit the ball, he pointed to catcher Jeff Mathis, saying he interfered with the swing, but no call was made.

When the replay was shown, it looked as if Mathis stuck his glove out a little too far, but even so, the Yankees still scored and took the lead.

Aceves continued to pitch for the Yankees and pitched well. He pitched two-and-one-third innings, allowed two hits and one run, walked two and struck out two and left the game with the lead.

Phil Coke relieved Aceves with runners on, but Coke was able to get the final two batters of the seventh inning and preserved the 3-2 lead.

In the top of the eighth inning, Phil Hughes came into the game, but he was not sharp at all. He allowed two hits and walked a Torii Hunter to load the bases for Kendry Morales, who has been a great hitter for the Angels in 2009.

Hughes was able to get Morales to hit into a double play, but Bobby Abreu came around to score to tie the game at 3-3. Hughes got the final and kept the game tied at 3-3. It wasn’t Hughes sharpest performance and he bent a little, but did not break for the Yankees under extreme pressure, which was even more impressive.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Yankee offense was ready to swing away at Weaver, who was still in the game.

Teixeira hit a ground-rule double to right-center and Alex Rodriguez walked, all with one out, bringing up Hideki Matsui. Angels manager Mike Scoscia decided to pull Weaver and replace him with left-hander Darren Oliver.

Joe Girardi stuck with Matsui at the plate, but put in Brett Gardner at second to run for Teixeira, giving the Yankees a speed element on the bases.

Girardi also decided to take an even bigger gamble and had both runners attempt a double-steal on Mike Napoli, who was put in to replace Mathis. Gardner got a good jump, and Napoli’s throw went under Chone Figgins’ glove and into the outfield, which allowed Gardner to score and put the Yankees ahead 4-3 and moved Rodriguez over to third.

Matsui struck out, but Robinson Cano singled to center to score Rodriguez to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead and a nice cushion in the ninth inning.

Mariano Rivera came into the ninth and buzz-sawed through the Angels hitters in the ninth to hold onto the 5-3 victory for the Yankees. It was Rivera’s 40th save of the season.

Weaver took the loss for the Angels, but still gave them depth on Monday night, going seven-and-one-third innings, allowed eight hits, five runs, walked four and struck out two and his record dropped to 15-6. Weaver is a very good pitcher, but the Yankees were patient and allowed Weaver to make mistakes and they capitalized on them.

Despite the shaky inning, Hughes ended up picking up the win and improved his record to 7-3.

The Yankees improve to 93-52 and are 7 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East. They also reduce their magic number to clinch the division to 12.

The Yankees have always had problems with the Angels in the past (2-4 against the Angels in 2009), but on Monday night, they fought them and beat them at their own game and in the end, the result was in favor of the Yankees.

If the Yankees somehow had to face the Angels in the postseason and used this type of play against them, the Yankees might change their fortunes against the team that has been a thorn in their sides for the past seven years.

This was also a very impressive victory for the Yankees because Monday night had the feel of a playoff-type atmosphere with the two teams headed to October baseball and the Yankees showed they were ready to step up and play well in a big game.

Tomorrow doesn’t get any easier as the Yankees will have the Blue Jays come in and they will be up against Roy Halladay, who last time was pitching against the Yankees, held them down to one hit in a complete game shutout.

However, the last time the Yankees faced Halladay at Yankee Stadium on July 4, they roughed him up for nine hits and five runs and hit three home runs off Halladay in a 6-5 extra innings victory.

Read more New York Yankees news on BleacherReport.com

readers comments

Yankee Tickets

Yankee Tickets

Shop Yankee

Shop Yankee