In a game that should be a preview of playoff games to come the Yankees came up big.The Yankees and the Angels are battling for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In my opinion this means a lot more to the Yankees who play horrible in Anaheim.
With the revamped Joba rules in effect Chamberlain went 4 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits and striking out 2 . He threw 67 pitches 41 of them for strikes. It appears that they are building up his innings as they approach the playoffs. Hopefully they will make him available from the bullpen odds are against needing a 4th starter in the first round. If the back end of the bull pen was Hughes, Joba and Rivera that would spell trouble for opposing teams if they dont have a lead after 6 innings. Aceves came in and pitched 2.1 innings and looked like he was going to pick up his 11th win of the year as Girardi began to mix and match as Phil Coke came in and got two outs with a strikeout to preserve that chance for him. However in the 8th Phil Hughes loaded the bases with nobody out and then got the double play that he could have used the batter before as he allowed the Angels to tie the game at three. On the next batter Derek Jeter made the amazing reaching spinning off balance throw thing that he does so well as sure handed Mark Teixeira dug the short hop out of the dirt for the final out.
In the bottom of the 8th Mark Teixeira hit a double with one out .Girardi brought in Brett Gardner to pinch run. Then Arod walked and with one out and two on the Yankees went for the double steal. A throwing error by Napoli caused the ball to get into the outfield as they attempted to nab Gardner at third. I believe a good throw would have gotten him even after the good jump but instead Brett was quick to his feet and scored and A-Rod moved to third. Hideki Matsui struck out and Jorge Posada was intentionally walked to face Robinson Cano. Freddy Guzman was brought in to pinch run for Posada. Cano made them pay driving a single to center field. A-Rod scored and with Guzman gong on the pitch easily moved to third base. Freddy Guzman was brought up from Scranton and has 45 stolen bases in the Minors this year. He could prove useful as a pinch runner should the Yankees decide to put him on the post season Roster. Nick Swisher struck out to end the inning but the damage had been done as Mariano Rivera came on to shut the door and the Yankees walked away with the 5-3 victory.
Next up the Yankees play a two game set against Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay has two complete games in his last two outings one with good results (beating the Yankees ) and one with not so good (losing 4-;1 against the twins). In a similar up and down fashion Sergio Mitre will be taking the mound with one good 6 innings vs the White Sox and one bad 4 innings vs the Blue Jays. Should be interesting to see which Sergio Mitre shows up. Statistically its the bad one.