ALCS Game 6: Angels 2, Yankees 5

Girardi brought Mo out to start the eighth inning and he immediately gave up a bloop single to Figgins. Abreu sent a grounder to first and Mark Teixeira made a great dive to pick it up and get Abreu at first. Hunter followed with a hard liner up the middle, but Cano was positioned perfectly to grab the ball and throw the Halos outfielder out at first. Mo battled against Guerrero who knocked a RBI single into right, bringing the Angels within one. Mo then got Kendry Morales to ground out to Cano to end the inning.

The Yankees added some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. Los Angeles sent Scott Kazmir to the mound and he promptly walked Cano. Swisher laid down a nice sac bunt and was called safe when Kendrick could not hold on to Morales’ throw. Melky dropped a bunt towards Kazmir who proceeded to make a throw that looped over the head of the Angels first baseman, forcing many of us to recall the days of Chuck Knoblauch. Cano crossed the plate and the Yankees regained their two run edge. After a ground out by Jeter, Kazmir walked Damon to load the bases with one out. Teixeira drove a ball to the deepest part of the park, bringing in Gardner from third and sending Kazmir to the dugout. Weaver came out and walked A-Rod, once again loading the bases.

In the top of the ninth Mo came back out and got Kendrick to ground out to Teixeira for the first out. He then got Rivera to pop out to right. Gary Matthew Jr. came in to pinch hit for Napoli as the Yankees only needed one more out to clinch a trip to the World Series. Matthews struck out swinging and Frank Sinatra mingled with the cheers of the biggest crowd to see a game at the new stadium. A new stadium that is getting ready to see its first World Series.

Bronx Cheers:
Posada: The Yankee backstop had a horrible game at the plate. He was 0-5 and left 10 runners on base, grounding into two double plays.

Matsui: Hideki also struggled at the plate, going 0-4, however, he only stranded one runner.

RISP/LOB: Despite putting together a couple solid offensive innings, the Yankees had a lot of missed opportunities. They were 2-8 with runners in scoring position and left twelve base runners on.

Curtain Calls:
Pettitte: Andy was solid, going 6.1 innings and giving up just one run on seven hits. He struck out six and walked one.

A-Rod: Alex went 2-2 and walked three times picking up an RBI.

Damon: Johnny went 2-4 with two RBIs.

Bullpen: Joba came out and got two outs in the seventh. Mo was tapped for the two inning save and gave up just one run on two hits, striking out the last batter he faced.

ALCS Notes:

  • Andy Pettitte picked up his 16th postseason win, making him the winningest pitcher in postseason history.
  • Rivera has saved more wins for Pettitte than any other starter/closer pair in history, so it was only fitting that this was how Game 6 ended.
  • The Angels had eight errors in six games. So much for being fundamentally sound?
  • The last time Mo allowed an earned run at home during the playoffs was October 22, 2000. It was Game 2 against the Mets.
  • This is the Yankees 40th World Series appearance, as they search for their 27th Championship.
  • CC won the ALCS MVP award. As I have made very apparent, I love CC, so I was particularly excited that he won the MVP award. CC won three games with a 1.19 ERA and 20 strikeouts. Alex Rodriguez definitely would have been deserving of the MVP as well, I think CC gets the nod partly because of his work on short rest. Either way, the Yankees have to be thrilled that the two players who were treated as failures in the postseason were equally worthy of that award.
  • There were no homeruns hit at Yankees Stadium in Game 1 or 6.

In the On Deck Circle:
The Yankees get a couple days off before they take on their next opponent. Game 1 will take place on Wednesday in the Bronx at 7:57pm. In an interesting twist, which I am sure has the city of Cleveland groaning, former Indians CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee will take the mound. As I mentioned earlier, CC has been incredible this postseason, winning three games with an ERA of 1.19 and 20 Ks. Cliff Lee has been having a solid postseason as well. He has two wins and an ERA of 0.74. He also has 20 Ks and gave up only 14 hits over three games. The Yankees were 1-2 against the Phillies this season but hold the edge in interleague play, 11-10. For now, however, it is time to celebrate another chance at another World Series!

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help.