And sure enough, Haren was pretty good himself. On a night when the Angels needed some length from their starter after Jered Weaver had to exit in the first inning in the previous game, Haren gave them seven quality innings, holding the Yankees to the one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts to no walks. The Yankees looked like they might be ready to get to him after the fourth inning, when Raul Ibanez doubled down the right field line and then came around to score on a n RBI single from Nick Swisher but, other than that, just about every ball they hit hard found the glove of an Angels’ defender it seemed like.
On the other side of the pitching matchup, Andy Pettitte turned in another solid performance that won’t look nearly so good in the box score. After Trout’s single got the Scrappers on the board in the bottom of the third, Pettitte got Maicer Izturis to put the ball on the ground, and Eric Chavez was able to cut Trout down trying to score to keep that run from scoring and giving Pettitte two outs and a chance to really limit the damage. Unfortunately the next batter was Albert Pujols, who lived up to the billing of being in scoring position as soon as he steps into the box with his eighth home run of the season. Mark Trumbo added another home run in the sixth inning, a monster shot off of the rocks in center field, to push the Angels’ lead to 4-1. Pettitte went on to finish seven innings anyway and, all things considered, allowing four runs over seven innings wouldn’t be too bad considering how hot the Angels have been of late. Pettitte came out to start the eighth inning, however, only to be lifted for Cody Eppley after Pujols led off with a single (which, incidentally, I really don’t understand the logic of. If you’re going to try to squeeze another inning out of Pettitte, what’s the point of taking him out of the game just because one of the best hitters who’s ever lived hit a single off of him? Not that it mattered, I just don’t really see the logic at all. /endsubrant), and was charged with an extra run when Pujols came around to score Anaheim’s fifth run of the night.
The Yankees would ultimately bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Robinson Cano with two outs in the ninth inning, but Cano would strike out on three straight pitches, the last one being a wicked looking fastball up and away that Robbie just flailed helplessly at. Oh well, it is what it is. I can understand why other people find these games frustrating, but I personally find them very easy to get over. The Angels are one of the hottest teamss in baseball right now, and they made a flat out ridiculous number of truly great defensive plays tonight to take a healthy number of runs away from the Yankees. That’s just not going to happen very often, and when it happens to come on top of a good pitching performance by one of the better starters in the game and a good night at the plate by Pujols all in the same game, you just can’t expect that you’re going to find a way to win that night. That’s why they play 162 games, and tomorrow this is just another 1/162 of the season.
Nick Swisher: It won’t show up in the box score because of the ridiculous defense the Angels’ outfield played tonight, but Swisher was absolutely smoking the ball in this game. In addition to the RBI single, Swish flat out smoked three balls that wound up being caught by Trout/Bourjos, including one to the wall in left center field that Trout leaped to catch while running at full speed towards the fence. Just unreal.
Derek Jeter: The Captain is starting to cool down after his scorching start, but he went 2-4 with a walk tonight.
Alex Rodriguez: All he does is get one base. 3-4 with three singles tonight, and also got hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth to give Cano a chance to tie the game.
None: There are some people I could pick out of the box score here to be sure, but I’m just not going to do that tonight. Like I said, the Angels made crazy play after crazy play in the field tonight, and even having half of them not quite get made probably could have left the Yankees on the other side of the ledger in this one. It’s frustrating when so many well hit balls find gloves, but you just have to remind yourself that that’s not going to happen most of the time, and that there’s not much anyone can do differently when the balls you smoke are turning into outs left and right.
The Yankees will try to get out of California with one more win when they finish up this series with the Angels tomorrow night in the final 10:00 start time for a while. Thursday can not get here fast enough, amirite?