Monday, October 26, 2009
Pettitte Pitches Yankees Past Angels, Into World Series
Players of the Day for Sunday, October 25, 2009 NY Yankees 5 LA Angels 2 When the Yankees have needed a big game to close out a series, more often than not, they've had reliable Andy Pettitte ready for a championship effort. He was there in the late 90s when the Yankees won the World Series three times in four tries and he was there on Sunday night, a day after torrential rains had forced game 6 to be played a day later. Matched up against the Angels' Joe Saunders, Pettitte proved to be as solid as ever in the clutch, working 6 1/3 innings of exceptional pitching, allowing the Angels just one run on 7 hits while striking out 6. Pettitte won for the 16th time in the post-season, a major league record, passing John Smoltz, who has 15 post-season wins. The Yankees scored 3 times in the 4th inning, highlighted by Johnny Damon's 2-run single and Alex Rodriguez's bases-loaded walk. After the Angels scored their second run of the game in the top of the 8th to close to 3-2, New York responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning as the Angels fell apart defensively, mishandling two sacrifice bunts. Howie Kendrick dropped the ball when covering first base on Nick Swisher's sac bunt, and Scott Kazmir tossed the ball over Hendrick's head when Melky Cabrera laid down another bunt. The miscues resulted in two unearned Yankee runs and seemed to signal an end for the Angels, who went down meekly in the ninth with super-saver Mariano Rivera closing out the game. The Yankees closed out the ALCS, winning 4 games to 2 over the Angels, and head to the World Series to face the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies. Game One is scheduled for Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Probable pitchers are C.C. Sabathia for New York and Cliff lee for Philadelphia.