Saturday, June 4, 2011

Failure in the Halos House of Horrors

All those good feelings built up by the sweep of the Oakland A's and a four game winning streak were nearly completely wiped out last night by another tremendous case of RISP failur, the anagram that keeps on killing. The Yankees had Angels' ace Jered Weaver on the ropes early, but like Muhammad Ali doing rope-a-dope, the LA starter wouldn't go down despite being roughed up. The result was a 3-2 loss that dropped the Yankees lead over the Boston Red Sox to one game (two in the loss column) in the AL East.

Though they went in order in the 1st inning, the Yankees made Weaver work, particularly Derek Jeter who saw 15 pitches before he flew out to center. Yankees starter Ivan Nova was shaky, but battled his way into the 7th inning. However, he put his team in a hole in the 1st inning, something you can't do against a guy like Weaver no matter how many pitches he throws.

Erick Aybar reached on a one out single and moved into scoring position on a Nova wild pitch. Former Yankee Bobby Abreu doubled to give the Angels a 1-0 lead and later in the inning scored himself on an Alberto Callaspo ground out. The Yankees had a big chance of their own in the 2nd inning when Alex Rodriguez reached on a lead off double, moved to third on a Robinson Cano ground out and scored on a Russell Martin single to halve the lead. Nick Swisher drew a walk, but both Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner looked at a called third strike to allow Weaver to escape further trouble.

The Yankees tied things at two apiece in the 4th on walks to Rodriguez and Swisher and a ground rule double by Posada (the Yankees were victimized by Angel Stadium's low outfield walls). But Gardner struck out again, this time swinging, to strand two runners in scoring position. That would be all the Bomberless-Bombers would manage the rest of the night, which was unfortunate since Nova gave the lead right back in the home half of the 4th.

The Angels, wearing 1960's retro uniforms and hats topped with halos loaded the bases on singles by Russell Branyan and Mark Trumbo and a walk to Jeff Mathis. Peter Bourjos, who entered the game mired in a long slump, stroked his second single of the night to give LA a 3-2 lead. Nova retired the final two batters of the inning to keep it a one run game, but his offense was shut down for the night as the Yankees did not getting a single hit over the final five innings.

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