(Update, 11:32 – The game has ended with a 7-6 win by the Angels in Game 5 with Brian Fuentes earning the save isending the series back to New York on Saturday night. Fuentes loaded the bases with a an intentional walk to A-Rod with two outs followed by a walk to Hideki Matsui and a hit by pitch on Robinson Cano. Nick Swisher ran the count to 3-2 on Fuentes before popping out to short left field for the final out.
(Update, 10:48 – Well, just as we were ready to project a Yankee win, the Angels have made a great comeback to take a 7-6 lead after 7. A.J. Burnett started the inning by allowing a single to Jeff Mathis and a walk to Erick Aybar before Chone Figgins moved them into scoring position with a sac bunt. The run scored on Bobby Abreu’s ground out to first base. After a walk to Torii Hunter, Vlad Guerrero came through with another big hit – a single to center – beyond a diving Jeter to score the tying run. Hughes wasn’t out of the woods quite yet. With runners at first and second, the dangerous Kendry Morales grounded a hard single between first and second scoring the go-ahead run.
(Update, 10:28 – Bear with me. Bases loaded, one out. Yankees couldn’t bleed home a run. Lackey began to lose it a tad in the top of the 7th, but with the bases loaded he got Johnny Damon to fly out top short left, not far enough to score Melky Cabrera (who had doubled). Ok, so here comes Mike Scioscia. He decided to go with Darren Oliver and turn Mark Teixeira around to bat righthanded. Teixeira has hit Lackey at a .388 clip in his career. Before he gave up the ball, Lackey said, ‘C’mon coach this is mine!’ Oops. Kaboom. Teixeira get the Yanks back in the game with a bases-clearing double to leftcenter on Oliver’s first pitch. After A-Rod was walked intentionally, that was followed by Hideki Matsui’s broken bat sikngle to center to tie it up 4-4. Nice job Darren. Kevin Jepsen to the rescue? Ah, not quite. Robinson’s Cano triple to rightcenter scored two more. Yankees lead 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh.
(Update, 9:51 – A.J. Burnett has really settled down since that rough first inning, but the Yankee offense can’t muster much of anything against John Lackey, who has some tremendous movement on his ball tonight. Lackey is probably the premiere freeagent pitcher on the market and he keeps adding to the final price tag with his postseason performances. It’s 4-0 here in the bottom of the sixth.
(Update, 8:41 – Did first base umpire Fieldin Culbreth just miss a call at first base involving Johnny Damon? Looked like Damon beat it but Culbreth ruled the other way to end the third. Still 4-zip Angels.
(Update, 8:21 – Hmm. Maybe A.J. Burnett needs to use Jorge Posada behind the plate instead of his personal catcher, Jose Molina. Though I’m not sure anything will help Burnett, who was blistered for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning. The Angels, facing elimination, came out smoking. The first five batters reached. Torii Hunter (two-run double), Vlad Guerrero (RBI double) and Kendry Morales (single) knocked in runs. Who says RBIs aren’t important?
(Update, 8:09 – The Yankees got the first two men on in the first when Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon singled, but Angels starter John Lackey retired the next three Yankees’ batters including Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui to come out of the inning unharmed. It was 78 degrees at game time. Angels are up in the bottom of the first against Burnett.