MLB: Weaver Holds Yanks, Relievers Give Away Bases
Walks, walks and more walks.
That sums up the bottom of the eighth, which was handed to the Angels over a course of six walks in one inning by Yankees relievers, giving the Halos a 4-1 victory. The last time the club issued six walks in one inning was in 1990.
Leading up to that point, David Phelps pitched well on the mound, only allowing the Halos one run in the fifth. Once he was replaced by relievers, the remainder of the game went downhill for the Yankees.
Adam Warren held the Angels through the seventh, and the top of the eighth is when things would start to get rough for New York. The Yankees were able to load the bases with no outs, a prime opportunity to take the lead from Jared Weaver who had reached 98 pitches.
Kelly Johnson led off the eighth with a single to right and was then moved to second off of Brian Robert’s infield single. Ichiro Suzuki took the plate with the goal of laying down a sacrifice bunt, and got more than planned for with a single, loading the bases with no outs. Brett Gardner took a low strike while at the plate, throwing manager Joe Girardi into a frenzy.
Girardi was the first ejection of the game, thrown out by home-plate umpire Laz Diez. The Yankees could not capitalize on the chance to score with runners in scoring position, ending the inning with three hits and nothing to show for it.
The game soon got uglier for the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth. Shawn Kelley took the mound and walked the first batter he faced. Erick Aybar grounded out to second, moving Collin Cowgill to second. Mike Trout was the second out after a field out to center.
All that New York needed at this point was one out, and they were far from obtaining it.
In efforts to dodge the hot bat of Albert Pujols, he was intentionally walked, putting runners at first and second. Kelley then loaded the bases by walking Raul Ibanez, and gave the Angels its second run by handing first to Howie Kendrick.
The Yankees saw enough from Kelley at that point and brought in reliever Matt Thornton.
Of course, Kelley had plenty to say to umpire Diez before making his way off the field, leading to the second ejection of a Yankee.
Thornton would not be so fortunate either, following in Kelley’s footsteps with a bases-loaded walk. This gave the Angels its third run. After facing one batter, Thornton was pulled and replaced by Preston Claiborne.
Once again, a Yankee reliever walked a batter. Claiborne handed the Halos its fourth run of the night before retiring Grant Green to end the inning. After tacking on three runs in the eighth the Angels would not give up its lead.
Weaver pitched an exceptional game, allowing six hits, one walk and striking out seven. He moves to 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA.
New York continued its misfortune in the ninth as Ernesto Frieri closed out the game with a one-two-three inning. Frieri came out trying to prove that he did not deserve to be demoted from the closer’s role.
The Yankees do have some positives that can be taken from this game. Derek Jeter, whom has been questioned as to whether or not he still deserves his spot in the lineup, went two-for-four with a single and a double. Mark Teixeira managed to extend his hitting streak to seven games after hitting a single to right.
Game two of the three-game series will take place at Angel Stadium on Tuesday night.