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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Yankees Win? Giese Again: Angels 11, Yankees 4

Dan Giese, perpetual reclamation project and lifetime quadruple-A hurler, made quite a splash against the Angels in the park where he grew up watching that team. Giese held the Angels to only one run through six frames, and allowed only six hits, one of them Mark Teixeira's one-out solo blast in the sixth.

Eligible for a win after he left the game, Giese's bullpen let him down in the most spectacular comeback win the Angels have staged to date in this amazing season. The Halos first knocked out a pair in the seventh against Jose Veras to tie the game on a pair of solo homers by Garret Anderson and Mike Napoli, Napoli's sneaking in over the short fence in left.

Edwar Ramirez then entered the game in the eighth for the Yanks. Vlad greeted him with a solo blast, a towering opposite field jack on the first pitch of the eighth. It was a Sign, and sure enough, Ramirez failed to record an out against four more batters over 13 pitches before Joe Girardi pulled the plug.

That brought in Dave Robertson, who similarly struggled to record outs. He faced three batters and gave up consecutive singles to Mike Napoli, the hitherto struggling Chone Figgins, and Maicer Izturis, not to mention a scoring wild pitch during Izturis' at-bat, before getting Mark Teixeira to bounce into a 4-3 groundout. Vlad singled yet again to cash in Izturis, and that was it; the Angels sent 12 men to the plate and ripped the Yankees bullpen for eight runs that inning alone, and ten of the eleven they scored in total. Ramirez, the former Angel farmhand who started the day with a 3.02 ERA, ended it almost a full run higher at 3.89.

John Lackey pitched acceptably but little more against a Yankees lineup missing some of its star firepower in the persons of Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada. Lackey posted one inning over a quality start, giving up back-to-back solo homers to A-Rod and Jason Giambi in the sixth and another run in the seventh inning in which he surrendered three consecutive singles with nobody out. Derek Jeter then sacrificed Melky Cabrera to third, but with the infield drawn in, Bobby Abreu bounced out hard to second, setting up a 4-2 play at the plate, one of the few times I've seen the draw-the-infield-in schtick work.

Scot Shields pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out Giambi looking to lead off the frame, but hitting Xavier Nady with the next pitch. He recovered by getting Robinson Cano to ground into an unusual 1-4-6-3 double play when Shields slowed down the ball with his foot, deflecting it to Howie Kendrick for a close but inning-ending play.

Justin Speier finished the game in front of a stadium devoid of Yankee fans, giving up a run on a pair of singles and Jeter's sac fly, but that was all for the Yanks. The Angels finished the day 73-43, still the best record in baseball, thirty games over .500, and at the moment, 13.5 games ahead of second-place Texas. It was a good workout for the Rally Monkey, her best all year.

Update: It's getting late awfully early for the Yankees, who have two teams to crawl over in both postseason races. Via Bronx Banter.

Yahoo boxMLB.com recap

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