Monday, October 12, 2009
Angels KO Red Sox; Yankees Sweep; Phillies Give Rockies Cold Shoulder
Players of the Day for Sunday, October 11, 2009 American League LA Angels 7 Boston Red Sox 6 - After 7 innings of game 3, it looked like the red Sox were about to embark on one of their patented post-season comebacks. Trailing the Angels, 2 games to none, Boston took a 5-2 lead into the 8th inning, but were undone by the LA bats, especially Vlaimir Guerrero and Bobby Abreu (left), who both scored on Juan Rivera's clutch single in the top of the inning cutting Boston's lead to 5-4. Boston came back with a run in the bottom of the frame, but the Angels erupted for 3 in the 9th off Jonathan Papebon, who gave up Rivera's single in the prior inning. Papelbon got the first two outs of the inning, but could not escape, as Abreu doubled home one run and galloped home with the game winner behind Chone Figgins on Guerrero's single to center. Abreu finished 3-for-5 for the game, with an RBI and 2 runs. After walking 4 times in game 1, Abreau went 5-for-9 over the next two games for a .556 batting average. Brian Fuentes set down the Red Sox in order in the 9th, sending the Angels to the AL Championship for the first time since 2005. NY Yankees 4 Minnesota Twins 1 - The NY Yankees completed their sweep of the Twins, closing out the series - and the Metrodome - with a classic pitching performance from Andy Pettitte and key contributions from his battery-mate, Jorge Posada. Pettitte blanked the Twins for the first five innings, but was touched up for a run in the 6th, the only Minnesota score or the game. After Joe Mauer singled home Denard Span, Pettitte quickly disposed of Michael Cuddyer with a strikeout, ending the threat and the inning. In the top of the 7th, Alex Rodriguez and Posada each hit solo homers for a 2-1 Yankee lead, allowing Pettitte to start the 7th by fanning Jason Kubel. With the win in hand, Pettitte was relieved by Joba Chamberlain, who finished the inning. Phil Hughes ran into trouble in the 8th, but, as is the usual case, Mariano Rivera came in to slam the door shut and worked the 9th after the Yankees tacked on another couple of runs on RBI singles by Posada and Robby Cano. Thus, the Yankees advance to the AL Championship to face the LA Angels. New York, by virtue of the best record in baseball, has home field advantage in the 7-game series which begins on Friday in New York. Pettitte earned his 15th post-season win, tying him with John Smoltz for the most all-time. National League Philadelphia Phillies 6 Colorado Rockies 5 - Ryan Howard drove in Jimmy Rollins with a sac fly in the top of the 9th, giving the Phillies a one-run lead, and Brad Lidge, despite issuing a couple of walks, made it stand up as the Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series at Colorado. With temperatures below the freezing mark through most of the game, players had a tough time just keeping warm, but Howard, who had singled home a run in the 4th inning, had the hot bat at the right time. Rockies' pitchers had a difficult time keeping Chase Utley off the bases as well. Utley hit a solo homer in the first and added a pair of singles in 4 at-bats. He also walked once and scored two of Philadelphia's runs. Game 4 is set for 6:07 pm EDT Monday. Ubaldo Jiminez goes to the mound for the Rockies to face the hero of game 1, Cliff Lee. Temperatures are expected to moderate into the 50s by game time.