Rapid Reaction: Angels 4, Yankees 1
May, 6, 2014
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The New York Yankees were victimized by a new kind of walk-off win on Monday night, the kind in which their pitchers walk the ballpark and the other team walks off with the victory. A historic eighth-inning, a pathetic Yankees offense and an irate Joe Girardi add up to an ignominious 4-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels, with an assist from plate umpire Laz Diaz, who seemed to lose the strike zone as well.
All in all, a forgettable night at the Big A, where the Yankees have now lost seven of their past 10 games, and 27 of their past 40 dating back to 2005.
Walking the plank: A trio of Yankees pitchers walked six Angels -- only one intentionally -- in the bottom of the eighth, forcing in three runs. And worst of all, it all happened with two outs.
Shawn Kelley started it off with a leadoff walk to Collin Cowgill, who went to second on a groundout. With two out, Kelley intentionally walked Albert Pujols to get to C.J. Cron, the Angels cleanup hitter Monday night.
But Angels manager Mike Scioscia sent Raul Ibanez to hit for him, and Kelley wound up walking him on a 3-2 pitch that could have been strike three (See: Diaz, Laz, below) to load the bases. Kelley then walked Howie Kendrick to force in the go-ahead run, which ended his night.
Matt Thornton came in and walked Ian Stewart to force in the Angels' third run. He was replaced by Preston Claiborne, who -- you guessed it -- walked Chris Iannetta to force in the fourth run.
It was the first time Yankees pitching had issued six walks in an inning in nearly a quarter-century -- the last time was in September 1990.
Eighth-inning meltdown: Girardi, the Yankees' manager, went scorched-earth on plate umpire Laz Diaz when Diaz called a 1-0 pitch to Brett Gardner, which appeared low, a strike.
Girardi went so nuts he got ejected for the first time this season (and first since last Aug. 18, the night Ryan Dempster hit A-Rod at Fenway). Perhaps he foresaw what was about to come -- the Yankees loading the bases with none out and failing to score. Gardner wound up striking out and Derek Jeter, first-pitch swinging, rapped into an inning-ending double play.
Captain coming around: Jeter came into the game zero for his previous 13 and 3-for-29 on the homestand, but he busted out with a single to center in the fourth and a double down the left-field line leading off the seventh. Jeter scored the Yankees' only run two batters later on Mark Teixeira's single to right, tying the game at 1-1.
Howie 'bout that? Who else but Howie Kendrick, professional Yankees killer, would help the Angels hit the board first? Kendrick's fifth-inning liner into the right-field corner tied Ichiro up in knots and went for a leadoff triple, and he came in to score on Ian Stewart's bouncer to short, on which Derek Jeter made a terrific play to get the out. Phelps allowed a bloop single to Chris Iannetta, seemingly misjudged by Ichiro, but escaped further damage by getting two groundouts.
Dueling goose-eggs: Both Phelps and Weaver started off throwing zeroes, and neither allowed a hit until Jeter led off the fourth with a single to center. Jeter was erased on a double play. The same fate awaited the Angels, who didn't have a hit until Pujols lined an opposite-field single against the shift with one out in the fourth. But with Pujols at first and Mike Trout at third, Phelps got C.J. Cron to bounce into an inning-ending DP.
Look out! Phelps unveiled a new weapon Monday night -- the killer pick-off throw. Twice in the fourth inning, he plunked Mike Trout, and in the fifth hit Grant Green on the bill of the helmet. That'll teach em to take a lead.
Not this time, Joe: Girardi has been pretty good with replay challenges this season, but he picked the wrong fight in the sixth inning when Erick Aybar was called safe advancing to third on Albert Pujols' single to left. Although it appeared Brett Gardner's throw beat Aybar to the bag, replays showed Kelly Johnson did not get the tag down in time. Girardi challenged anyway and was rejected, but the Angels failed to cash in when Cron fouled out and Kendrick grounded out to end the inning.
Tomorrow: Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 5.14) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (4-2, 3.18) in Game 2 of this three-game series, first pitch at 10:05 p.m.