AL Champs!

October 28, 2009 – 11:37 am

AL Champs!NYY 5, Los Angeles 2. Order has been officially restored to the universe — the Yankees are once again AL champions. And how appropriate that Andy Pettitte would get the win, Mariano Rivera would get the save, and Derek Jeter would score what would end up being the winning run. And Jorge Posada, well, he was there as well (although what a miserable night he had at the plate — but hey, stuff happens). But as the pattern was all year, there were contributions all up and down the lineup. Johnny Damon got a two-RBI single in the fourth that gave the Yankees the lead. Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-2 with one RBI, and walked in his other three at-bats for a perfect OBP for the game. And Robbie Cano worked lead off walks which started the scoring in both the fourth and eighth innings, the only innings the Yankees scored in. So all in all you had the old Yankee veterans, the veteran new Yankees, and the young new Yankees contributing.

The post-season inevitably comes down to good pitching and good defense, and that’s precisely what happened last night. Andy Pettitte pitched a great game, scattering seven hits but allowing only two Angels to get in to scoring position. And he did that mainly because he walked only one batter. Joe Saunders, on the other hand, walked five batters in just 3.1 innings, and two of those walks came around to score. And then in the eighth, with the game still very much up for grabs, the Angel pitchers walked three and the Angel defense committed two errors, giving the Yankees two very big insurance runs without getting a single hit. For the night, only one of the Yankee runs was scored by someone who actually earned his way on base with a hit.

And finally to Joe Girardi’s credit, he didn’t mess around with the bullpen. As soon as Andy Pettitte allowed a base runner in the seventh, he went straight to Joba Chamberlain who has been the most consistent arm of late coming out of the bullpen. And then in the eighth, he went right for Mariano for the 6-out save. No bullpen by committee, no matching up, just use the best of what you got. And sure enough, it worked like a charm.

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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