Thursday, September 11, 2008

Angels Put Yankees in a Clinch

The Yankees are used to celebrating September clinches and October victories. Yesterday they sat and watched the Los Angeles Angels become the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a combined 4-2 win over the Yankees and an 8-7 Rangers loss to the Mariners.

Things started out all right for the locals, Andy Pettitte had a 2-1 lead entering the fifth inning. Then the Angels loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Gary Matthews Jr., Garret Anderson, and Vladmir Guerrero (the killer 'G's?). Pettitte bounced back, striking out both Juan Rivera and Kendry Morales looking. But Robb Quinlan singled home two runs to put the Angels ahead and Guerrero came home home as well on Xavier Nady's errant throw to third base.

Just like that the Yankees were down 4-2 and rolled over. They managed just a walk over the next three innings and then had to face Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. The Yankees did have a chance with two outs, as Jason Giambi drew a walk and Nady singled, but Hideki Matsui went down looking for the final out. The save was K-Rod's 56th, leaving him one behind Bobby Thigpen for the most saves in a single season.

The Yankees got off to a good start in the first inning against Angels right-hander Dustin Moseley, but, as usual, couldn't build off it. Derek Jeter drew a one out walk and stole second base. Bobby Abreu followed with a walk of his own and the Yankees were in business. Alex Rodriguez struck out for the second out, but Jason Giambi picked him up with an RBI single to right, for a 1-0 lead. Moseley then balked home Abreu for a second run. Giambi was stranded in scoring position, however, when Nady went down swinging.

The Angels got a run back in the first after a one out double by Matthews. Guerrero struck out, but reached on a wild pitch, with Matthews moving to third. Juan Rivera put the Angels on the board with an RBI ground out.

Box Score

News and Notes

The Yankees struck out 13 times in the game with A-Rod collecting three of them.

Joba Chamberlain threw two scoreless innings in relief, striking out three. It was the first time he went more than an inning since returning from the DL.

Derek Jeter stole his 275th career base.

Robinson Cano is in a 2-25 slide.

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