Sunday, May 3, 2009

30 Yr Old Rook out pitches CC

30-Yr Old Rookie Shuts Down Yanks

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
LA Angels
0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1 2
8 11 1
NY Yankees
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
4 4 2

WP - Palmer (2-0) LP - Sabathia (1-3)

The Yankees have seen a similar story before- a pitcher 30 or older who hasn’t really gotten a shot in the big leagues and then found some success when given a chance. Dan Giese was that person for the Yankees last season. Matt Palmer is writing his story this year with the Los Angeles Angels. On Saturday Palmer limited the Yankees to one run over 6.1 innings in the Angels 8-4 victory.

The win was the second of Palmer’s career, which is made up of three games in 2008 with the San Francisco Giants and his two starts this season, both of which have been victories. Palmer got the chance to establish himself in the Angels rotation due to the injuries suffered by starters John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, and Ervin Santana, and he’s taken full advantage of it.

Yesterday he faced a tough assignment against Yankees ace CC Sabathia and his nerves showed in the first inning. He hit Derek Jeter to start the frame, and after Jeter swiped second base, issue a one out walk to Mark Teixeira. Hot hitting Hideki Matsui singled to right to score Jeter and move Teixeira to third. But Palmer bounced back, getting Robinson Cano on a comebacker and Melky Cabrera on a ground out to shortstop to avoid further trouble.

Cano and Cabrera were the first two of 14 straight hitters Palmer retired. Then he watched as his teammates fainally caught up to Sabathia. Jeter’s first error of the season led to the Angels tying run on an RBI single by Kendry Morales in the sixth and one inning later the Angels knocked the big man out of the box.

Brandon Wood and Maicer Izturis started the seventh with back to back singles and Chone Figgins moved them each up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Sabathia struck out Gary Matthews Jr. for the second out of the inning, but Howie Kendrick put the Angels ahead with an RBI single and Torii Hunter drove home a pair of runs with a double to left for a 4-1 Angels lead. Friday night’s winner Jonathan Albaladejo came on, but gave up an RBI single to Mike Napoli to stretch the lead to 5-1. The Angels tacked on three runs in the final two innings to put the game out of reach.

The Yankees finally got Palmer out of the game in the seventh, putting two men aboard, but Jose Arredondo got out of a bases loaded, two out situation by getting Jeter to ground out. The Yankees added three meaningless runs in the ninth off Fernando Rodriguez, who was making his major league debut. Jorge Posada hit his fifth home run of the season and second in as many games.

Game Notes

The series wraps up this afternoon (1:05 ET) with Joe Saunders (3-1, 3.41) going against Phil Hughes (1-0, 0.00).

Angels shortstop Erick Aybar had to leave the game in the first inning when Derek Jeter stole second base. Catcher Mike Napoli’s throw glanced off Jeter’s back and hit Aybar in the mouth. He left with a fat lip, looked dazed, and was headed to see the Yankees’ team dentist. Jeter was also shaken up on the play as his neck and shoulder collided with Aybar’s leg.

As expected, Nick Swisher sat out the game with a swollen elbow after being hit by a pitch on Friday night. He’s not expected to start on Sunday either.

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