This one started out looking like another classic case of Yankees-folding-against-pitcher-they’ve-never-seen-before, which would have been unfortunate seeing as how they just handled another guy-they’ve-never-before in the person of Garrett Richards last night. Halos hurler Tyler Chatwood kept the Yankee off the board through five and was nursing a 2-0 lead in the 6th courtesy of an Alberto Callaspo home run in the 5th. Yes, you read that correctly. Alberto Callaspo, who came into this game with three home runs to his name, homered to put his team ahead. What is it about the Yankees and surrendering home runs to Angels hitters who’ve been punchless all season long?
Anyway, that was all the Angels were able to get off Colon, who went six innings, striking out three and walking two. Though Colon’s pitched very well since his back-to-back bombings against the Rays and Jays last month (2.74 ERA over his last four starts), he hasn’t really given the team the length he’d been delivering in the first part of the season, having only made it through seven full innings once since his complete-game shutout masterpiece against the A’s on May 30. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take what Colon’s offering up all day every day; and clearly the Yankees are keeping an eye on his workload as he continues to throw more innings than he has at any point in the last six years as they hope to keep him as healthy as possible for October. Just thought the (relative) lack of going deeper into games was worth noting.
An inning after Curtis Granderson tied the game with his new career-high 32nd homer and Rafael Soriano put up yet another scoreless frame since returning from the DL, the Yankees were able to load the bases on a couple of Fernando Rodney walks and a huge error by Maicer Izturis, as Robinson Cano blasted a Scott Downs sinker into the seats for his first grand slam of the season and the Yankees’ fourth of the year (the other three? Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Cervelli, natch). This gave the Yankees a seemingly insurmountable 6-2 lead, especially after David Robertson threw a perfect eighth.
Alas, this year’s annual WWWMW (™ SG) continued, as Mariano Rivera gave up a three-run home run to Russell Branyan, which cut the Yankee lead to one. Branyan has made new Yankee Stadium his own personal playground over the last three seasons, and this bomb marked his eighth in the new park. David Ortiz has six, which leads me to believe that Branyan probably has the most homers by a visiting player in YS3. Oh, and in keeping with the theme of this series, that was also only Branyan’s third home run of the year.
Fortunately Mo recovered and was able to get the final two outs without incident, picking up his 30th save. We all know Mo has at least one week a year where he appears to be somewhat human, and he always comes out of it, so there’s nothing more to discuss here. Also nice to see what I expect would be his final round of struggles come in a Yankee win.
In a rather shocking turn of events, the Yankees are now actually 4-2 on the season against Los Angeles. After tying the season series the last two years, the Yankees only need to win one of their final three games against the Halos next month to secure their first season series win against Anaheim since 2003, when they went 6-3.
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