Good afternoon Yankees enthusiasts! Welcome to another Saturday of Bombers baseball!
I'm Chris Mascaro and I'll be bringing you all of this afternoon's live game action, as the Yankees (51-35), the second place team in the AL East (one game behind the Red Sox), take on the Angels (47-37) in the middle game of a three-game set from Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Angels are a half-game behind Texas for first place in the AL West.
This is the penultimate game before the All Star break. After tomorrow, the Yankees won't play again until Friday, when they begin a 10-game homestand against Detroit.
The Yankees are 7-3 in July and 13-3 since June 24, but last night their eight-game road winning streak was snapped with a 10-6 loss to the Angels despite taking a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. It was their 15th loss in their last 20 games in Anaheim.
Said Derek Jeter, who dropped a fly ball in the seventh (his fourth error of the season): "We gave them extra outs. The extra outs killed us. When you're playing that team, you can only give them three outs an inning. They took advantage of a couple of mistakes and scored a lot of runs. They're not going to beat themselves. They put pressure on the defense and they pitch well."
Alex Rodriguez homered to put the Yanks up 5-1 in the fifth (his 15th of the season), but two three-run shots by Kendry Morales (in the fifth off Joba) and Erick Aybar (in the seventh off Bruney) did the Yankees in. Brian Fuentes picked up his major league-leading 25th save (Mariano Rivera is second with 23).
This afternoon the Yankees turn to veteran lefty Andy Pettitte (8-4, 4.53), pictured above, who is 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA on the road this season. His eight wins are tied with CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett for the team lead.
In his last start, Monday afternoon at home against Toronto, Pettitte allowed six runs in 6+ innings in a 7-6 loss. He is 6-5 with a 3.79 ERA in 14 starts at Angel Stadium, and he allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings against them at Yankee Stadium on May 1 but did not receive a decision. Here are the Angels' numbers against Pettitte, a collective .318 average (led by catcher Mike Napoli, who is 5-for-7 off the lefty). The Angels are 14-10 in games started by lefties this season.
Taking the hill for the Angels is their staff ace Jered Weaver (9-3, 3.15). Weaver, brother of former Yankee Jeff Weaver, has won six of his last seven decisions, including Monday in Texas, when he struck out nine and allowed four runs (three earned) in seven innings in a 9-4 win. He is 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA at home, where opponents bat just .197 against him. He is also 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA in day games.
Weaver is 3-1 with a 6.11 ERA in five career starts agaisnt the Yankees. He allowed four runs in six innings against them on May 1, but like Pettitte, he did not receive a decision. Here are the Yankees career numbers against him, a collective .244 average (led by Alex Rodriguez, who is 4-for-11 with three homers off the righty).
Finally, here are today's starting lineups:
1. Jeter, SS
2. Damon, LF
3. Teixeira, 1B
4. Rodriguez, 3B
5. Matsui, DH
6. Posada, C
7. Cano, 2B
8. Hinske, RF
9. Gardner, CF
1. Figgins, DH
2. Aybar, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. Napoli, C
5. Morales, 1B
6. Matthews Jr., CF
7. Kendrick, 2B
8. Wood, 3B
9. Quinlan, LF
*The Angels placed Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter on the disabled list before yesterday's game.
**The season series between these two teams is tied at 2 (the Yanks won 2-of-3 at home earlier this season).
Okay, that's all for now. But let's get the conversation going in the chat box above! And be sure to vote on the poll questions.
I'll be back after each half-inning with updates.
We're about 10 minutes from baseball on FOX!
Top of the 1st: Jeter flew out to center before Damon walked on a 3-and-2 pitch. Teixeira popped out to short for the second out, but then A-Rod lifted an 0-and-1 pitch just over the left-centerfield wall to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. He has 16 homers and 49 RBIs on the season. Matsui struck out looking to end the inning.
Bottom of the 1st: Figgins walked before Gardner made a nice lunging catch on Aybar's line drive (Figgins got back to first just in time, though replays showed he may have been out). Figgins then stole second (his 26th of the year) and moved to third on Abreu's ground out to second. But Napoli flew out to center on the first pitch he saw for the third out.
Top of the 2nd: Posada struck out swinging (Weaver's second K) and Cano grounded out sharply to second before Hinske hit a 1-and-1 pitch (a hanging curve) over the high wall in right-center to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. It was Hinske's second homer with the Yankees and third of the season (the other came with the Pirates) -- he has 13 RBIs. Gardner popped out to third to end the inning.
Weaver has allowed 14 homers this season.
Bottom of the 2nd: A 1-2-3 inning for Pettitte, as Morales flew out to right, and Matthews Jr. and Kendrick both grounded out to short.
Top of the 3rd: A 1-2-3 inning for Weaver, as Jeter flew out to center, and Damon and Teixeira both struck out looking (Weaver's third and fourth K's).
Bottom of the 3rd: Wood walked to lead off the inning (Pettitte's second base on balls) but Quinlan grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Figgins flew out to left to end the inning.
Top of the 4th: A-Rod walked on a 3-and-2 pitch (Weaver's second BB) before Matsui struck out swinging (his second K and Weaver's fifth). A-Rod moved to second when Weaver's pickoff throw got past Morales at first, and then Posada flew out to center. But Cano singled on a short fly to center to score A-Rod and give the Yanks a 4-0 lead. Cano has 46 RBIs on the season.
Hinske grounded out to second for the third out.
Bottom of the 4th: Aybar ripped a double down the left-field line (the first hit off Pettitte this afternoon) and then Abreu singled to center to score Aybar and make it a 4-1 game. It was Abreu's 55th RBI of the season and 37th in his last 37 games.
Then Napoli struck out swinging (Pettitte's first K), Morales grounded into a force at second and Matthews Jr. flew out to center to end the inning.
Top of the 5th: Gardner struck out swinging (Weaver's sixth K) before Jeter lined a double to right-center (his 18th of the year) that one-hopped off the wall. But Damon grounded out to third (nice diving stop by Wood) and Teixeira struck out looking (his second K and Weaver's seventh) to end the inning.
Bottom of the 5th: What a barrage by the Angels. Kendrick singled to center to lead off the inning before Wood homered on a 3-and-1 fastball over the high wall in right-center (his first of the season) to pull the Angels within one at 4-3. The two RBIs were also Wood's first of the year.
Quinlan singled to right on the first pitch he saw, but Figgins grounded into a force at second. Then Aybar singled to right to put runners on the corners for Abreu, who singled to center to tie the game at 4. Abreu has two RBIs today and 56 on the season.
That was the end for Pettitte, as righty David Robertson (1-0, 2.53) came on in relief. He allowed a two-run double by Napoli on the first pitch he threw to give the Angels a 6-4 lead. Napoli has 32 RBIs on the season.
That closed the book on Pettitte, who allowed six runs on seven hits (all after the third inning) and one walk in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 83 pitches and can only lose this game.
Morales grounded out to second (moving Napoli to third) before Matthews Jr. walked and stole second (his second steal of the year). Then Kendrick singled up the middle to score Napoli and Matthews Jr. and give the Angels an 8-4 lead. Kendrick was caught stealing to end the inning (he slid past second base).
Top of the 6th: A 1-2-3 inning for Weaver (his second today), as A-Rod and Matsui struck out swinging (Weaver's eighth and ninth K's) and Posada flew out to right. Weaver has thrown 110 pitches.
Bottom of the 6th: Wood struck out on a foul tip, and Reggie Willits (who came in as a defensive replacement for Quinlan) did the same, but the ball got away from Posada and Willits reached first safely. Figgins struck out swinging (Willits stole second on the pitch -- his second of the year), but Aybar drove a triple to the wall in left-center (his third hit in as many innings) to give the Angels a 9-4 lead. Aybar has 27 RBIs on the year.
That prompted Girardi to lift Robertson in favor of Brett Tomko (1-2, 5.12), who got Abreu to fly out to center to end the inning. So Robertson has the weird distinction of striking out three batters but failing to get out of the inning. His final line: 1 1/3 IP, three runs, three hits, one walk, three K's, allowed two inherited runners to score.
Top of the 7th: Lefty Darren Oliver (3-0, 2.68) came on in relief of Weaver, who allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in six innings of work. He threw 110 pitches and can only win this game.
Cano led off the inning with a single to center and then Hinske homered to right on the first pitch of his at-bat to make it a 9-6 game. It was Hinske's second homer of the day and fourth of the season to go with 15 RBIs.
Then Melky Cabrera (pinch-hitting for Gardner) struck out swinging, Jeter grounded out to first and Damon struck out swinging for the third out.
Bottom of the 7th: Napoli led off the inning by hitting a solo homer just over the wall in left-center to give the Angels a 10-6 lead. Napoli has 11 homers and 33 RBIs on the year (including three batted in today).
Then Morales grounded out to first, but Matthews Jr. and Kendrick singled to put runners on first and second for Wood, who grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Top of the 8th: Righty Jason Bulger (4-1, 3.99) came on in relief of Oliver, who allowed two runs on two hits in one inning of work.
Teixeira flew out to left before A-Rod and Matsui hit back-to-back solo homers over the high wall in right to pull the Yanks within two at 10-8. For A-Rod, it was his second homer of the day and 17th of the season to go with 50 RBIs, while Matsui has 14 on the year and 40 RBIs.
Posada struck out swinging (his second K) before Cano walked. That prompted Mike Scioscia to lift Bulger in favor of righty Kevin Jepsen (2-2, 9.18) to face Hinske, who lined out to second to end the inning.
Bottom of the 8th: Lefty Phil Coke (1-3, 3.13) came on in relief of Tomko, who allowed a run (Napoli's homer) and three hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Willits singled to left to lead off the inning. He moved to second on Coke's throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and to third when Figgins reached safely when he struck out and the ball got away from Posada. That put runners on the corners with nobody out for Aybar, who popped out to Jeter. Then Abreu hit a sacrifice fly to center to give the Angels an 11-8 lead. It was his third RBI of the day and 57th of the year.
Figgins stole second (second of the day and 27th on the season) and then Coke intentionally walked Napoli to put runners on first and second for Morales, who got his first hit of the day, a double down the left-field line, to score Figgins and give the Angels a 12-8 lead. Morales, who extend his hitting streak to 15 games, has 49 RBIs on the season.
Then it was Matthews Jr.'s turn. He singled to left to plate Napoli and Morales, and give the Angels a 14-8 lead. Kendrick grounded out to first to end the inning.
Top of the 9th: Righty Matt Palmer (7-1, 4.86) came on in relief of Jepsen, who got the final out in the eighth.
Cabrera singled to right, but Jeter grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Damon struck out swinging to end the game.
That's the ballgame, folks. Yankees lose, 14-8.
HR: Yankees 5 (A-Rod, 2; Hinske, 2; Matsui); Angels 2 (Wood, Napoli).
*Rodriguez's two homers give him 570 for his career, moving him up to 10th on the all-time home run list — one ahead of former Rangers teammate Rafael Palmeiro. It was his first muti-homer game this season.
**The Yankees' five homers match a season high.
Here are your three stars for today's game:
1. Napoli: 2-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs and three runs
2. Aybar: 3-for-5 (homer short of the cycle) with an RBI and two runs
3. Abreu: 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run
And a bonus fourth star today:
4. Kendrick: 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run
For the Yanks, A-Rod was 2-for-3 with two homers, three RBIs and three runs, Hinske was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs, and Cano was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.
Okay, that's all for this afternoon's game. Thanks to all for coming out. As always, it was my honor and pleasure to bring everyone all of today's live game action.
We'll see ya'll back here tomorrow, as the Yankees look to avoid the sweep in the series finale of this three-game set at 3:35 p.m.
See ya then. Goodnight!
(Newsday photo by John Dunn / May 23, 2009)