On Friday, the Evil Empire may have entered the Big A like this:
But on Sunday afternoon, they left like this:
Being swept by my Angels didn’t exactly destroy the Yankees, but I’m sure it had to be frustrating. Considering the Yankees had taken 2 of 3 (with game 4 postponed due to rain) in their first meeting with the Angels back at the end of April, the Yankees may have even felt a bit more confident coming into Anaheim this weekend. Or maybe not.
JETER: He is here.
GIRARDI: What makes you think so?
JETER: A tremor in the force.
GIRARDI: Surely he must be dead by now.
JETER: Don’t underestimate the Rally Monkey. Seriously, Joe. Don’t.
Since the Rally Monkey doesn’t appear unless the Angels are trailing in later innings, he had a relatively quiet weekend although TMZ did spot him tossing back a few cold ones in a cantina on Tatooine. And he thought his disguise would fool the paparazzi.
The Yankees’ pitching was the biggest issue of the series. CC Sabathia fared better than Chamberlain or Pettitte did before him. His only real trouble came in the 4th inning when the Angels were able to score 4 runs. He lasted almost a full 7 innings and the Angels were only able to score 1 additional run. True to form, the Yankees battled right up to the end, but could not take advantage of loaded bases or a Kendry Morales error. And credit must be given to John Lackey for giving up only 2 runs in 7 spectacular innings against the most lethal bats in the AL.
The Yankees combined for 31 hits in the series and were still swept. That has to hurt. But it’s got to make the Angels feel better after their ugly series with the Rangers. The Angels had a total of 37 hits but were able to outscore the Yankees in the series, 29-18. That significant difference was a combination of great base running and solid defense. The Angels were also able to make the absolute most of errors made by the Yankees. And with a team like the Yankees, if they’re going to hand you additional outs, you must capitalize or take a loss because they’re going to hit and they’re going to hit homers. That’s pretty much a given. Luckily, Mark Teixeira gave his former teammates minimal trouble this weekend.
Tex didn’t have his usual big-gun bat going on and for that, I am most grateful. I thought the chorus of boos that greeted him at every plate appearance was silly. He & A-Rod dealt with the boos like this:
Mark’s not a bad guy. He’s just not a west coast guy and that’s okay. For the most part, we all knew that. I appreciate what he did for us last year and I wish him the best. (Except in the post-season. Kinda like his last post-season.)
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend for Angels fans and a real bummer for Yankees fans. After Sunday’s game, Jane Heller (Confessions of a She-Fan) was overheard saying, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Damn those freakin’ Halos.”
At least once in a while, a member of the Evil Empire will recognize the “evil” of their ways and decide it’s time to play for the good guys.
The force is strong with this one.
Baseball…pleasing people the world over.
It’s Friday and the Angels are about to face the Yankees. How does it get any better? None other than “Greg Brady” sings the National Anthem. Groovy.
Then the first inning started. Derek Jeter’s first-pitch double quickly turned into a 3-0 Yankee lead. Not so groovy. Somewhere, “Carol Brady” could be heard saying, “Oh, Mike (Scioscia)!” I was watching the game through the patio door while I sorted through boxes of crap for Saturday’s yard sale. Suddenly, the door slid open and my husband thrust his arm out, his hand wrapped tightly around my rally monkey’s neck. “Do you want to sell this?” he asked. Apparently I married a comedian. “No, but what kind of Harley do you have?” I asked him. “A Heritage, why?” he responded. “Oh, I just want to make sure I got it right in my Ebay listing.” He must learn not to mess with me or my monkey.
I wasn’t in a panic but I will admit I was a bit concerned. I was convinced Joe Saunders was due for a solid start but it didn’t look like that was happening. By the 4th inning, I was done sorting through stuff (and had vowed never to walk into a Target store or tune into QVC again) and went inside to really watch the game. The Angels were down 4-1. Juan Rivera had scored back in the 2nd off of Gary Matthews, Jr.’s 1000th career hit but now I felt like the Angels needed my undivided attention. The Yankees scored another run and I knew they didn’t need me as much as they needed Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero. Then came the 5th inning.
Joe Saunders may have had his troubles in the early innings, but Joba Chamberlain saved his meltdown for the 5th. Trailing 5-1, Chone Figgins led off with a single. He stole second (of course) and scored on Bobby Abreu’s single. Juan Rivera was on after a bad throw to first by A-Rod that pulled Mark Teixeira off the bag. That left 2 on when Kendry Morales launched one over the center field wall to tie the game.
THAT finally quieted down the Yankee fans who had infiltrated my Big A in droves. But the fun wasn’t over yet. The Angels scored 2 more in the 6th and the Yankees responded with 1 of their own in the top of the 7th before Darren Oliver came in to get the final out and leave the bases full of pinstripes.
The phone rang in the bottom of the 7th after Derek Jeter dropped a pop-up. It was my friend who couldn’t believe what she’d just seen. It just so happens that Jeter is the only Yankee that I like. (Oh, besides Jose Molina…’cause once an Angel…you know the rest.) So, I actually felt bad for him…for about a millisecond! Little Erick Aybar’s 3 run homer was a thing of beauty and meant I could breathe just a bit easier in the 9th. Just a bit, though, because in their usual fashion, the Yankees did not go quietly and had 2 on when Brian Fuentes came in to get his 25th (MLB leading) save.
I don’t know what it is about the Yankees that seems to bring out the best in the Angels. It’s just a crazy phenomenon that can’t be explained. I’m certainly not going to get cocky. Torii’s out, Vlady’s out and tonight we saw Juan Rivera leave the game after hurting his leg after a misstep at first base. But like I mentioned in a recent post, with the Angels, you truly never know where the game-changing hits or defensive plays will come from. One thing I do know? If anyone can cool off the red-hot Yankees it’s my Angels.
Oh, and if anyone needs a microwave, drum set, coffee table or Harley Davidson Heritage, the sale starts at 8:00AM. Don’t worry about my rally monkey. He’s in protective custody.
Baseball…the pause that refreshes.