Los Angeles Angels 7 - New York Yankees 6, Game 5
Yankees lead series, 3-2
Manager Mike Scioscia removes John Lackey from the game with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th inning. A furious Lackey was barking at Scioscia and rightly so. True, Lackey loaded the bases-- but he's a veteran pitcher who knows how to get out of those situations. Scioscia lifted Lackey for Darren Oliver to turn Mark Teixeira around and bat right-handed. I don't know what game Scioscia was watching, but I'll rather have Lackey pitch to Teixeira with the based loaded over Oliver any day of the week. Teixeira made Scioscia pay dearly with a bases clearing double. Oliver would go on to surrender 3 more runs of his own, almost ending the Angels season.
If I'm the Yankees, I'll keep an eye on this man.
Intentionally walking A-Rod with 2 outs in the top of the 9th inning, was a smart move. Keep him as far away from Brian Fuentes as possible. Although Fuentes almost screwed it all up by walking Hideki Matsui and then hitting Robinson Cano to load the bases. A lights-out closer would have gotten the third out, either by getting Matsui or Cano. But the Angels have lived on the edge all season with Fuentes. Remember, had Fuentes gotten the job done in Game 2, the Angels would be up 3-2, not the Yankees.
Joe Girardi, A.J. Burnett, Mariano Rivera and Co. are going to have to do it at home. The ghosts of 2004 are already being mentioned here. Whoa!
To be continued....
Photos courtesy of the AP