The Yankees played small ball tonight, beating the invaders from Los Angeles of Anaheim by the score of 5-3. Actually, the Yanks played small ball, big ball and everything-in-between ball, juggling all elements of the game perfectly.
It was a pleasure to watch the Angels go down to defeat for a change – from Torii losing his shoe on a failed catch…
…to Scioscia having to pull Weaver, who pitched well but not well enough.
Aside from the homer he allowed to Guerrero in the first, Joba was very effective over his four innings, not walking a batter – hopefully a confidence boost for him. Aceves was his usual workmanlike self. Coke ended the seventh on Izturis‘ grounder to Jeter, whose brilliant play only added to his highlights reel for ’09. Hughes loaded the bases in the eighth – I guess he’s human after all – but got Morales to ground into a DP and limited the damage to one run.
Speaking of Morales, my Extra Innings package wouldn’t give me the YES feed, so I was stuck with the Angels announcers. I had to laugh when Gubicza said, “Kendry has made the Angels forget all about Mark Teixeira.”
Excuse me? Morales was 1-4 in tonight’s game and grounded into that DP I mentioned. Here’s what Teixeira did: he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and was sparkling on defense. Nice try, Gubie.
Nick Swisher played big ball, going deep in the third. But it was Girardi’s small ball move in the bottom of the eighth that raised eyebrows.
After Tex doubled, he sent Gardner to pinch run for him. At first, I thought the move was really screwy.
“Hey,” I said to my husband. “What if this game goes into extras and we need Tex’s bat?”
“Speed kills,” he said. “Gardner will steal and score the go-ahead run, and Mo will close it out.”
Which is exactly what happened. Gardner stole and came home on Napoli’s errant pickoff attempt, and Mo notched his 40th save to reduce the Yankees’ magic number to 12. I’ve decided that Joe is a genius and my husband is psychic.
I asked him to predict how the Yankees will do on Tuesday night when Mitre takes on Halladay.
“Doc shut us out last time,” I said. “Will he do it again?”
“Tell me!” I begged.
“Sorry, but I charge by the hour,” he said. “No money up front? No prediction.”
Well, that hardly seemed fair. So I came back with:
“No prediction? No dinner.”
That got his attention.
“The Yankees will win,” he said, taking the safe route.
You heard it here first.