Angels vs. Yankees Game 6 live in-game updates
FINAL SCORE: Yankees 5, Angels 2
The Angels pushed the Yankees to a sixth game, but ultimately did themselves in with mental mistakes and fielding gaffes. The Yankees capitalized to win their 40th pennant, moving on to chase their 27th World Series title against the current holders, the Philadelphia Phillies. Freeway Series? Not unless MLB suddenly adopts a third-place playoff. Instead, it will be a New Jersey Turnpike Series.
TOP OF THE NINTH INNING (Yankees 5, Angels 2)
Rivera steps to the mound with a three-run lead. Is it over before it's over? Kendrick grounds out to first. Rivera Rivera flies to right. The Angels are down to their last out. Gary Matthews is called on to hit for Napoli. Rivera works the count to 1-2. The Angels are down to their last strike. Now it's 2-2. Now 3-2. Matthews strikes out swinging. Buck marks the occasion: "Yankees win the pennant!"
BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH INNING (Yankees 5, Angels 2)
Cano walks. That's all for Santana. Scioscia summons Scott Kazmir from the bullpen. The Yankees decide to play Little Ball; that's more bad news for the Angels. Swisher and Cabrera lay down consecutive bunts and both reach base. First, Kendrick, covering first base, drops the ball. Then Kazmir gloves Cabrera's bunt and lobs his toss to first high over the head of Morales, Cano scoring on the play. That's back-to-back errors by the Angels, not usually in their game plan. Brett Gardner runs for Swisher. Jeter grounds back to Kazmir, who takes no chances with this one and fires an accurate throw to first. Then he walks Damon to load the bases. Teixeira hits a fly to deep center, Gardner tagging and scoring. Cabrera takes third on the play. With Rodriguez due next, Scioscia summons Jered Weaver from the bullpen. Weaver walks Rodriguez on four pitches, loading the bases. That's three walks for Rodriguez tonight. Posada is called out on strikes. Angels down to their last three outs of the 2009 season.
TOP OF THE EIGHTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 2)
More bad news for the Angels: Mariano Rivera is coming out of the Yankees bullpen one inning earlier than usually scripted. Figgins hits a bloop single to left, just out of the reach of Jeter. BASEHIT BY FIGGINS. Joe Buck raises the issue: Is there any question about Yankees Manager Joe Girardi bringing in Rivera in the top of the eighth? "No question in my mind," says McCarver. Abreu hits a broken-bat grounder to first; Teixeira makes a diving stop, then gets on his feet to stomp on first base. Figgins moves to second on the play. Hunter hits one up the middle that Cano snags and fires to first for the out. Cano was in position to make the play because he was shaded left, toward second base, for a possible pick-off play on Figgins. More bad luck for the Angels. Guerrero singles through the right side of the infield, Figgins scoring with no throw. Reggie Willits pinch-runs for Guerrero. Morales grounds to second.
BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Ervin Santana now pitching for the Angels. The first batter he must face: Rodriguez. Rodriguez singles to center, his second hit of the night. Along with two walks, Rodriguez has been on base four times tonight. Posada grounds into a 3-6-3 double play, keyed by a strong throw to Aybar by Morales. Matsui hits a ball to the left-field warning track but that's all. Rivera catches the ball for the third out.
TOP OF THE SEVENTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Kendrick lines to right, Swisher making a sliding catch. Rivera singles to right. Yankees decides to make a pitching change. Pettitte leaves to a standing ovation. Joba Chamberlain replaces Pettitte. Maicer Izturis bats for Mathis. Why take out Mathis, one Angel playing to the moment? Chamberlain is a righthander, and Scioscia is playing the righty-lefty percentages. Izturis hits a grounder to short that Jeter bobbles, Cano grabbing the ball to get the force at second. Heads-up play by Cano. With Izturis on first, Aybar grounds to short.
BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Cabrera pops to short. Jeter walks. Damon hits a bloop single to center, Jeter stopping at second. Teixeira grounds into an inning-ending 5-3 double play. Oliver has done his job and then some, keeping the Angels within striking distance.
TOP OF THE SIXTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Figgins tries to bunt, the ball hitting him on the leg as he moves out of the batter's box. Automatic out. Things cannot get any worse for Figgins. "He's having a nightmare of a series," McCarver says. It's surprising the Angels have gotten this far, with their jump-starting leadoff man a mere 2-for-34 in the postseason. Abreu grounds to second. Hunter hits a slow roller to third base and beats the throw for an infield single. Guerrero slices an opposite-field double just inside the right-field line, Hunter moving to third. Two runners in scoring position for Morales. They stay there; Morales taps back to the pitcher.
BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Matsui grounds to second. Cano is called out on strikes. Swisher strikes out swinging.
TOP OF THE FIFTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Rivera singles to center. Mathis strikes out swinging. Aybar grounds into a 4-3 double play.
BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH INNING (Yankees 3, Angels 1)
Cano walks. Swisher singles through the left side of the infield, Cano taking second. Cabrera successfully sacrifices, both runners moving up. First base is open. Should the Angels walk Jeter and pitch to Damon with the bases loaded? The idea is bandied about in a conference on the mound with Butcher. The Angels decide to pitch to Jeter. The count is full when Jeter walks, loading the bases. Damon up next. This is the fourth time this series Damon has hit with the bases loaded. He has stranded nine runners in his first three attempts. This time, Damon brings home two runners on a single to left -- Cano and Swisher scoring with Jeter stopping at second. Teixeira hits a grounder to deep short; Aybar's throw to second on an attempted force play is late. Damon is safe at second and the bases are loaded . . . for . . . A-Rod. Rodriguez walks on a 3-1 pitch, Jeter scoring. That's it for Saunders. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia brings in lefthander Darren Oliver to pitch to Posada. Posada grounds into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
TOP OF THE FOURTH INNING (Angels 1, Yankees 0)
Guerrero is called out on strikes, a decision he doesn't agree with. Fox replay sides with Guerrero, who has a reputation for swinging at almost anything near home plate. The thinking is: If Guerrero doesn't swing at it, it must be a ball. Morales grounds to short. Kendrick is called out on strikes.
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD INNING (Angels 1, Yankees 0)
Teixeira is out on a slow roller to short. Rodriguez walks for the sixth time this series. Three of them have been, officially, "intentional." Posada hits a long drive to right, sending Abreu crashing against the wall to make the catch. Matsui grounds to first.
TOP OF THE THIRD INNING (Angels 1, Yankees 0)
Jeff Mathis, hitting like the second coming of Johnny Bench in this series, drills another double to right- center. It's his fifth double of the series. Erick Aybar steps up next, recently shorn of his dreadlocks. Will that have a Samson-like effect on the Angels' shortstop? On his first at-bat minus the dreadlocks, Aybar strikes out. Figgins grounds to second, Mathis advancing to third. Abreu, 3-for-22 this series, singles to right, Mathis scoring. Hunter is called out on strikes.
BOTTOM OF THE SECOND INNING (Angels 0, Yankees 0)
Hideki Matsui grounds to first. Robinson Cano singles to center. Swisher, who has left 16 runners on base this series, flies to left. Swisher now 3-for-30 this postseason. Melky Cabrera, which sounds like something you pour in a bowl of Coco Crisp, singles to left, just under the glove of a diving Figgins. Jeter walks to load the bases. This draws a walk to the mound by Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher. Damon, who has left 11 runners on base this series, leaves three more; he grounds to first.
TOP OF THE SECOND INNING (Angels 0, Yankees 0)
Vladimir Guerrero beats out an infield single to deep short. Kendry Morales flies to mid-range right. Guerrero is slow to return to first base -- and Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher notices. He fires his relay to first and Guerrero is out by two feet. "What in the world is Guerrero thinking?" Tim McCarver asks. It's a good question. He can't blame it on the weather. Howie Kendrick walks. Juan Rivera flies to right.
BOTTOM OF THE FIRST INNING (Angels 0, Yankees 0)
Joe Saunders, 7-0 in his last nine starts, pitches for the Angels on seven days' rest. How will the long layoff affect the sinkerball pitcher? How much rest is too much rest? Derek Jeter leads off with a grounder to short. Johnny Damon hits one deep down the right field line, falling only a few feet foul. Moments later, he grounds to short. Mark Teixeira singles to center. Alex Rodriguez, batting .400 this postseason, is up next. Rodriguez singles to left, Teixeira moving to second. Jorge Posada flies to right.
TOP OF THE FIRST INNING (Angels 0, Yankees 0)
Good news for the Angels: Game-time temperature is 56 degrees. Sky is clear. Not Anaheim weather, but no need to dress as if they're filming a remake of "Nanook of the North." Andy Pettitte starts for the Yankees. Chone Figgins, cold this postseason regardless of the weather, opens by grounding out to third. Bobby Abreu strikes out swinging. Torii Hunter hits a soft liner to short.
-- Mike Penner
Diane Pucin's live commentary on how Fox is covering the game can be found here.