Sunday, July 15, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: Angels 10, Yankees 8
By Mark Saxon
The Angels did something Sunday that teams like the Yankees often do: They smothered their opponent with an unrelenting lineup.
It may have been the Angels' most complete offensive game of the season. Every starter but Alberto Callaspo had at least one hit and seven of the nine drove in at least one run in the Angels' 10-8 win over the Yankees in New York.
Not that it was easy. The Yankees scored three times in the ninth inning and the game ended with the bases loaded.
Pace maker. Every time Mark Trumbo has a bad at-bat, he seems to make an adjustment and come back the next at-bat -- or day -- and do something impressive. That's one of the reasons Trumbo isn't giving off any signs of being a three-month wonder. He was in the middle of a busy day of hitting, with three hits that included a laser solo shot to left field, his 24th home run. That was the fourth Angels long ball of the afternoon as they kept pouring it on, something you have to do against the Yankees at their home.
Mighty Maicer. How unlikely was Maicer Izturis' two-run home run? Not only had Izturis not gone deep yet this season, but it was his first long ball since July 29 of last season. That means he had played 5 1/2 months of baseball without doing what he did off Ivan Nova, and it was probably the key shot of the game. Izturis has been largely a wasted asset this season -- and when he has played he has generally struggled -- so Sunday's heroics had to be satisfying to the utility guy.
Third-to-first. It never works, right? But it must, on rare occasions, or pitchers wouldn't bother. In the third inning, Jered Weaver faked a throw to third and then fired over to first, where he picked off Robinson Cano, inexplicably wandering away from the bag. After Erick Aybar dove to tag Cano, Alex Rodriguez -- again, inexplicably -- was caught between third and home. What had been major trouble brewing turned into a double play, without Weaver having to throw a pitch. And they say the Yankees never beat themselves.
Streak's over. What a great run Ernesto Frieri had, but it came to an end with a Mark Teixeira home run in the ninth inning. Those two runs were the first Frieri has given up as an Angel. His first 26 appearances were scoreless. It happens all the time. A closer enters in a non-save situation and struggles. He just couldn't throw strikes. A lot of good pitchers gave up home runs Sunday, with the ball absolutely flying out of the yard.
Bronx blues. Weaver has a Yankee problem. Coming into Sunday, he had a career 4.79 ERA against New York and he has now allowed 16 home runs to the Yankees in 11 starts. That's a somewhat troubling thought if the Angels qualify for the playoffs. Weaver battled in tough conditions -- heat, humidity, a tough lineup -- but the three home runs he allowed were the most he had given up since August of last season. Jerome Williams actually pitched slightly better the day before and took the loss. Weaver got his 11th win, but he also had .36 tacked onto his ERA.
Turnabout. Mike Trout got a little taste for what he has done to J.J. Hardy and several other hitters this season: a robbery. Curtis Granderson was playing shallow when Trout rocketed a deep fly to center field. Granderson caught it in full stride, with his back to the infield. If he misses it, Trout, one of the game's fastest players, well could have tried for an inside-the-park home run. Trout was undeterred. He later picked up a couple of doubles and walked and now has a .403 on-base percentage.