What started out as a great pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon didn't stay one. CC Sabathia pitched 6 strong innings against the Angels in Anaheim, but Dan Haren was pitching a shutout, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead.
Joe Girardi lifted CC, and brought in Hector Noesi. This proved to be something I would not recommend, as he allowed 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th to put the game out of reach.
Girardi then brought in George Kontos, a 26-year-old native of the Chicago suburbs, wearing Number 70, to make his major league debut. He didn't exactly make things better.
Final score: Angels 6, Yankees 0. WP: Haren (15-8), who finished the shutout. LP: Sabathia (19-8).
Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. A day to give New Yorkers hope and healing.
The Yankees did their part, however small. Freddy Garcia did not pitch well over his 5 innings, but the bullpen held the Angels off the rest of the way: Cory Wade (5-0) in the 6th, Rafael Soriano in the 7th, David Robertson in the 8th and Mariano Rivera (40th save) in the 9th.
Trailing 5-2, the Yankees scored 2 in the 5th and 2 in the 7th to win it, 6-5, beating Angel starter Ervin Santana (11-11). Home runs were hit by Robinson Cano (his 25th) and Curtis Granderson (his 39th).
Mariano is now just 1 save from 600, 2 from Trevor Hoffman's record, and 3 from breaking said record.
The Yankees head up to Seattle to start a 3-game series against the Mariners. Phil Hughes starts for the Bronx Bombers tonight, while Felix Hernandez starts for the M's. "King" Felix, my ass: On the Yankees, he'd be the 3rd starter at best.
Incredibly, the Red Sox kept losing. They got swept by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox' sure American League Playoff berth, first as the Eastern Division Champion and then as the Wild Card winner, is now in jeopardy.
The Yankees are 3 1/2 games ahead of The Scum, 4 in the loss column, with 17 left to play (16 for them). The Sox are now just 3 1/2 ahead of the Rays for the Wild Card (3 in the loss column).
If the Rays overtake the Sox, as the Yankees have (for the moment), especially with the Sox coming into The Bronx for one more 3-game series, and if the Yankees can knock the Sox out in that series, will that be final revenge for 2004?
Probably not. An ALCS win (an ALDS win not being possible) may be the only way to achieve that.
So should we root for the Red Sox to make the Playoffs, to set the revenge up?
No. Instead, in the words of the great Irish comedian Mario Rosenstock (creator of Special 1 TV, in character as Manchester United's bastard manager Alex Ferguson), we should be "Just sittin' back, bottle o' wine, top o' the league, enjoyin' the chaos down below."
Jeter hits 3073 DONE
Rivera saves 599 3
A-Rod homers 628 135
A-Rod hits 2769 231
Magic Number 14 (to eliminate Scum for Division, 11 to eliminate Rays for Wild Card, 2 for Jays, O's done)