Sunday, September 11, 2011
ANAHEIM—A little sunshine helped the Yankees to a desperately needed victory, as Mark Teixeira saw a key fly ball misplayed by Peter Bourjos en route to a 6-5 victory over the Angels at Angel Stadium on Sunday.
Batting in the seventh inning with New York down by a run, Teixeira sent a drive to center field that popped in and out of Bourjos’ glove as the outfielder squinted into a high blue sky, allowing Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter to charge home with the tying and go-ahead runs.
The miscue helped the Yankees finally get back into their winning mode after having lost four consecutive games in three different cities as they play out a taxing September stretch.
I suppose this means I can watch the replay.
So, in order for the Yankees to win this game they needed:
1) An error on a fairly routine fly ball by one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. It would have been a game-tying sacrifice fly instead of a go-ahead two-run error.
2) Freddy Garcia pitching out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth without allowing a run. That the last out of the inning was a routine grounder to Nun-E that actually got converted into an out makes it all the more remarkable.
3) Rafael Soriano pitching out of a first-and-third, one-out jam to preserve a one-run lead. Yeah, that Rafael Soriano.
4) Six defensive innings at catcher by the worst defensive catcher in the history of pro baseball.
Seems about right to me. I don’t know if the odds of all those things happening are worse than the odds of A.J. Burnett beating the Red Sox, but it’s got to be in the ballpark.
We also saw the debut of the catcher closer. I always knew it took a special pitcher to pitch the 7th, or 8th, or 9th. I had no idea that it took a special catcher to catch those innings. It was a cool deal for Austin Romine though, as he got to make his MLB debut against his brother’s team with his parents in the stands. As far as I can tell from reading accounts of the game, Jesus Montero didn’t embarrass himself behind the plate, so that was good too. The decision to pull Montero after six innings was a curious one, but given the family circumstances for Romine it makes a bit more sense in hindsight.
And I would never have believed it, but as oscar gamble’s afro (the poster, not his actual afro) noted, by winning today the Yankees won the season series with the Angels 5-4. I would never have guessed that.
I still hope we don’t see them again in 2011, or see them laying down for Boston in the ALDS.
Speaking of Boston, the Yankees have finally picked up a game on a team that’s lost something like ten games in a row. Yay!
Next entry: Down The Stretch They Come