ALCS Game 5 Rewind: A Little Too Close – Angels 7, Yankees 6

Well, that was certainly exciting and definitely a whole lot more exciting than it needed to be.  Could someone please let Arte Moreno know that I will be sending him the bill for my medical care.  Since this ALCS started I have developed two stomach ulcers, chewed all my nails down to the point that my fingers bleed when I type, so I need a new keyboard and I’ve lost most of my hair.  And the series isn’t even over yet.

Jeff Mathis and Brian Fuentes

Jeff Mathis isn’t yelling with exciting, he is trying to get someone to bring him some Tums.

The Halos could have very easily just taken that cushy four-run lead they staked themselves to and coasted to victory, but noooooo…  they had to go and cough up the lead just so they could mount another comeback victory.

I can forgive them for not tacking any more runs on that 4-0 cushion, Burnett really buckled down after that inning.  What I can’t forgive is Mike Scioscia going out of his way to make sure that the Angels blew their lead.  Let’s see, you’ve got your best pitcher in the game.  You can A) stick with him and his strong ability to work his way out of jams or B) you can call on the a reliever from the bullpen that has been the team’s Achilles’ heel all season long.  I’ll give you a hint, B is not the correct choice.  Unfortunately, Mike Scioscia did not get that hint.

With any other pitcher on the mound, going with Oliver out of the pen to turn Teixeira around is probably the smart move, but not with Lackey.  He has the best stuff on the team, plain and simple, and the golden rule of the playoffs is if you are going to get beat, get beat with your best.  Darren Oliver is not the team’s best.

Good thing for Sosh the formerly punchless top of the Angel order decided to finally wake up and bail Sosh out.  First Bobby Abreu knocked in a run, granted it was with a fielder’s choice ground out and then Vladimir Guerrero clutched up to tie the game.  Two clutch hits from Vlad in one post-season?  Crazy.  Kendry Morales took care of the rest and the Angels had the lead back for the Angels to easily protect for the win.

OK, maybe easily isn’t the right word, especially with Brian Fuentes prominently involved.  As usual, Fuentes got two quick outs and proceeded to try and give me a heart attack.  He got to cute trying to get Hideki Matsui out and walked him, causing my left ventricle to shut down.  Then he mixed in a new trick and plunked Robinson Cano, stopping all blood flow to my right ventricle.  He tried his best to walk Nick Swisher to tie the game thus forcing my aorta to rupture but Swisher mercifully flew out to end the game.

Now it is on to Game 6.  I plan to watch it from the casket I am going to purchase at Costco tomorrow, that way I can save everyone the trouble of putting me into it themselves.

Abreu and Willits high five

They’re happy, but I think I need a quadruple bypass now.

Angelic Accomplishments:

  • I thought the Yankees were supposed to have a kick ass bullpen?  Excluding Mariano Rivera, the Halos have the number of pretty much every Yankee reliever.  Phil Hughes is practically a sacrificial lamb and Joba Chamberlain only escaped unscathed because Girardi actually made a smart move for a change and brought in Rivera to save him.
  • It is official.  Jeff Mathis should start every single game the rest of the post-season, at least until he cools off.  He is clearly hitting better the Napoli right now and is a vastly superior defender.  I know Scioscia has his rotation behind the plate that he stubbornly adheres to, but it is time for a change.  By the way, did anyone ever expect us to reach a point where we would be pleading with Sosh to play Mathis more because of his potent bat?

Devilish Details:

  • Scioscia’s decision to pull Lackey led to the bullpen meltdown, but none of it ever would have happened had the umpire rung up Jorge Posada on that 3-2 pitch.  It was CLEARLY a strike, especially on a night where Culbreth had been calling anything borderline a strike.  Is it possible to get through just one of these games without the umps butchering multiple crucial calls?
  • Nice work by the knucklehead that went watersliding in the center field rock pile.  I am actually kind of impressed because I have never seen anyone attempt that yet.  I am pretty surprised that the Fox showed him on camera though.  Hmmm… I Rockpile Guy might be the Angels’ new good luck charm?  Move over, Rally Monkey!
Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.