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Game 4 - Yanks Night of Total Domination

By Frank Russo ~ October 21st, 2009. Filed under: 2009 Playoffs.

Final Score Yankees 10, Anaheim 1

6 wins down, 5 more to go for “Girardi’s Minions.”

It was a night of total domination by the New York American League club, both on the mound and at the plate, as the Yankees defeated Anaheim 10-1. For the second time in the series, and working on only 3 days rest, CC Sabathia was again dominating, allowing just 5 hits and one earned run over 8 innings of work.  As in Game 1, Sabathia again effectively mixed his pitches, using a humming fastball and breaking ball to setup hitters with a devastating change-up. His only blemish was a solo homer by Kendry Morales in the 5th inning. Sabathia, instead of tiring, Sabathia got stronger as the game progressed, silencing the many skeptics and critics who felt that he would be ineffective working on short rest.

New York broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a mixture of timely hitting and old fashioned small-ball. A-Rod started the inning with a single to center. The next batter, Jorge Posada doubled to left. After Matsui struck out, Robbie Cano hit a grounder to second base that Kendrick fielded and threw home in an attempt to catch Rodriguez trying to score. A-rod slid under Napoli’s tag to give New York a 1-0 lead. After a Nick Swisher walk, Melky smacked a two-run single to left field to plate both Posada and Cano to extend the lead to 3-1.

New York added to its lead the next inning on a two-run blast by A-Rod deep over the left field wall. The Yanks would round out the scoring over the final two innings on Johnny Damon’s two run blast in the 8th inning and three runs in the 9th, two of which were driven in on a Melky Cabrera double.

Once again, bad umpiring took away from the focus of the game. First it was the blown call on the Nick Swisher pick-off play at 2nd base in the 4th inning, which umpire Dale Scott clearly blew. Then, just a few seconds later, it was another bad call, this time by 3rd base umpire Tim McClelland, who called Swisher out for leaving the bag too early on a sac fly by Johnny Damon. Once again, the replay showed the umpire to be clearly wrong. McClelland wasn’t through though, as he again “spit the bit” on a 5th inning rundown play that should have seen both Posada and Cano tagged out at 3rd base. Instead, McClelland ruled Posada out and Cano safe, .leaving the Yanks with runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs. Watching McClelland, (considered to be one of baseball’s best arbiters), “screw the pooch” in consecutive innings, once again showed the need for replay technology to help get calls right, just as the NFL and NHL does.

The Angels last gasp came when they got their first two men on in the 6th. Hunter walked and Guerrero singled to right. The threat ended when Juan Rivera rapped into a double play and Kendrick then lined one to Teixeira for the final out. Anaheim would remain hitless for the rest of the game.

A-Rod was 3 for 4 with a walk, single, double, homer, and two RBI with three runs scored. He now has 5 homers and 11 RBI and is batting .375. He also has RBI in 8 consecutive postseason games dating back to 2007, which ties him with Lou Gehrig and Ryan Howard for first all-time. Off course, all of Gehrig’s RBI were in the World Series.

Great night for Melky who had 3 hits and 4 RBI. He also walked and scored a run.

Bad night for Matsui, who went 0-5 with three strikeouts.

A good sign from Teixeira who singled hard before A-Rod’s homer in the 5th inning and Swisher, who walked once, and actually didn’t strike out.

I only have 50% of my vision. I guess that makes me a perfect candidate to land a job as an MLB umpire.

I love Jorge Posada, but damn, the man tends to get brain locks sometimes, especially when it comes to running the bases. Rickey Henderson he ain’t.

Yesterdays win happened on the anniversary of what would have been Mickey Mantle’s 78th birthday. It was also “retired” Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard’s 99th birthday. Happy Birthday Bob!

Yesterday was also the 5th anniversary of Boston’s Game 7 win against the Yanks in the 2004 ALCS. Talk about déjà vu all over again, it was Damon who hit the grand slam in that contest that basically put the game away for Boston. Five years later, Damon smacks a two run shot to salt the game away for the Yankees. Amazing!

The Yankees had 9 LOB, Anaheim 5 LOB.

Yankees were 4-17 with RISP, Anaheim 0-6

Chad Gaudin appeared in only his second ever postseason content when he pitched a scoreless 9th for New York.

Game 5 will see AJ Burnett oppose John Lackey in a contest that could clinch the Yankees 40th American League Pennant. Don’t expect the Yanks to take anything for granted. Anaheim will scratch and claw and do whatever it takes to try to move the series back to New York. For “Jeter and Company,” it’s about taking it one game at a time.

Frank is a resident of East Brunswick, NJ and former radio announcer. He is a 4th generation Republican and Yankees Fan. He also enjoys listening to talk radio. His favorite announcer is Shawn Hannity of “Hannity” on FOX and enjoys reading about military history. In addition to rooting for the Yankees, he also has a passion for the New York Islanders. You can enjoy Frank’s work at The Dead Ball Era and his book “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown”. Check out his “Rants and Raves” on New York Baseball Digest.
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