The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim found out with the Minnesota Twins already know. If you continue to make boneheaded baserunning plays and continue to play horrific defense you are going to lose in the playoffs.
The New York Yankees beat the stumbling, bumbling Angels last night 5-2 to take their best-of-seven series 4-2 and advance to the World Series for the 40th time in their history.
The tone of this series was set in the first inning of Game One when Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins stared at each other and let Hideki Matsui’s Little League popup fall in. Shockingly, that is the way the Angels would play for the entire series.
If you said to someone that the Angels would make eight errors in six games, that person would have said you are nuts. After all, the Angels are one of the most fundamentally sound teams in baseball.
But for what ever reason, the Angels played like the Twins did in their ALDS series against the Yankees.
Here are some of my observations from last night:
Joe Saunders played with fire for the first three inning and eventually got burned in the fourth. You can’t constantly pitch from behind in the count and be successful in the playoffs.
Saunders faced 22 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to only seven of those batters.
I can’t believe Saunders was left in the game to face Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded in the fourth. What was the point of warming up Kevin Jepsen, if he wasn’t going to come into the game to face Rodriguez?
The 3-1 pitch to Rodriguez was a strike at any level of baseball except in Game Six of the ALCS.
As bad as Darren Oliver was in Game Five, he was great in Game Six. He kept the Angels in that game for as long as he could. Great performance.
If you are going to hand out nine walks to the Yankees in a game, I would say there is a very good chance you are going to lose the game.
Melky Cabrera (my least favorite player in baseball) really gave the Yankees a boost at the bottom of their lineup. Cabrera hit .391 for series and had a .462 OBP.
When Andy Pettitte retires, the Yankees are going to miss him just as much as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. The guy is just money in a big spot.
Pettitte faced 25 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of those batters.
Jeter’s potential error turns out to be a positive for the Yankees. Amazing how that works out.
There is no greater weapon in sports than Rivera.
How does Vladimir Guerrero get doubled up on that flyball to right? The play was happening right in front of him. It’s inexcusable.
Did anyone else have flashbacks to the 2006 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers when the Angels couldn’t field those bunts in the eighth?
Why didn’t Scott Kazmir start the eighth inning? He was ready and the Yankees had Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Cabrera coming up.
Cano had a nice defensive game last night. Considering he didn’t show up in Game Two, he kind of owed it to the Yankees.
Some team is still going to give Figgins a four-year, $42 million deal and still regret it from the first day.
Do you know that phrase in baseball “Stay within yourself?” Apparently Torii Hunter has never heard of that phrase. He goes for the downs on every swing in the playoffs.
Why does Mike Scioscia continue to pinch-hit Gary Matthews Jr. for Mike Napoli? Napoli is a much better hitter than Matthews–even against a righty in Rivera.
Why did Scioscia pinch-hit Macier Izturis for Jeff Mathis in the seventh? I don’t care what the matchup is, Mathis is the hottest hitter on the planet outside of Rodriguez right now. Let the guy hit.
Hero for Game Six – Andy Pettitte
Goat for Game Six – Joe Saunders
Series MVP – CC Sabathia
I will be doing a World Series preview tomorrow.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg
Tags: Alex Rodriguez, American League Championship Series, Andy Pettitte, Chone Figgins, Darren Oliver, Derek Jeter, Gary Matthews Jr, Joe Saunders, Kevin Jepsen, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Macier Izturis, Mariano Rivera, Melky Cabrera, Mike Napoli, New York Yankees, Robinson Cano, Scott Kazmir, Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero