Yankees Steamroll Angels, Go Up 3-1
After playing two of the best baseball games I’ve ever seen in Games 2 and 3, last night’s Angels looked completely flat. Going into the game it looked as though the Angels might have a small advantage, with the rumor that Mariano Rivera wouldn’t be available and the fact that CC Sabathia was pitching on short rest. If Rivera truly couldn’t go, (or would be to tired to be effective) and with Joba Chamberlain ineffective this postseason, the Yankees would be at a disadvantage at the back end of their bullpen. The only reliable option they had would be Phil Hughes, who was coming off a multiple inning appearance the night before. All the Angels had to do was get to Sabathia early and keep the game close. Unfortunately they could barely touch him, as Sabathia scattered five hits over 8 innings pitched, and gave up only one extra base hit. By the time Sabathia left the game, he had a commanding 10-1 lead and the game was pretty much over.
Now the Angels backs are against the wall and are facing elimination. This was supposed to be a close series, but is in serious danger of turning into a rout. The Angels had a chance early on in this series to make a statement and potentially upset the Yankees, but now they are all but defeated. In Game 1 the Angels still couldn’t hit Sabathia, but errors and miscues plagued the Angels and took them out of the game early. Then in game two, which was a thrilling 13th inning struggle, the Angels gave away that game on an error at the end as well. The true fact of the matter is, that game should have never reached extra innings given the number of times the Angels left runners in scoring position. Game 2 was the deciding game for the Angels, had they won that, this would have been a completely different series.
The Angels look like a completely different team than the one that won the A.L. West and swept the Red Sox in the first round. Their defense and pitching have been ineffective, their hitting is nonexistent (with the exception of Kendry Morales), and their speed has pretty much been neutralized. The Yankees have done a brilliant job of playing their game and not being sucked in, trying to play the Angels game. They have Los Angeles completely off-balance right now. I could see the Angels winning tomorrow’s game at home, but I can’t see them pulling off an upset in New York.