Hit Balls and Spitballs: Tuesday Halolinks

"Dammit, this ball is dirty."

Jeff Mathis helps resurrect the Angels -- latimes.com
"That was a heck of a ballgame this afternoon," said Scioscia, master strategist and king of the understatement.

Angels win in the 11th inning to get back in the series  - OCRegister.com
After losing the first two games of the best-of-seven series in demoralizing fashion, the Angels now have a chance to even the series with another win in Game 4 Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.

Scioscia, Mathis propel warmer Angels to critical Game 3 win -  CBSSports.com Baseball
Three games, 33 total innings, 11 home runs, just the fourth ALCS ever in which two of the games have gone extra innings, each pitch more tension-filled than the last. "You feel like throwing up," Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "Then you feel like eating. Then you feel like throwing up. Then you feel like eating."

Kazmir gets chance to prove worth - angelsbaseball.com
"I'm excited," Kazmir said. "Very excited. I'm up for the challenge. I don't put any extra pressure on myself. I just go out there and pitch my game. With this team, the Yankees, they're a very high-powered offense, so you just have to attack the strike zone. I'm not going to try to do anything extra, just pitch my game."

Team Reports - CBSSports.com
The Angels and Yankees combined to hit six home runs in Game 3, tying the ALCS record for home runs in a game (one short of the major league record). The Yankees had not given up a home run in their first five postseason games this season until Kendrick went deep in the fifth inning Monday.

Video highlights from yesterday's game:

Jeter leads off the game with a homer -  MLB.com
Derek Jeter sends the third pitch of the game over the left-field wall to give the Yankees a quick lead in the first inning

A-Rod leads off the fourth with a homer -  MLB.com
Alex Rodriguez crushes a solo homer to left field to make the score 2-0

Vlad's homer in the sixth ties the game -  MLB.com
Vladimir Guerrero smacks a two-run homer to left field, tying the game in the sixth inning

TV, radio call Abreu's baserunning gaffe -  MLB.com
Television and radio broadcasters call Bobby Abreu's baserunning blunder and Derek Jeter's quick reaction in the eighth inning

Ump punches Posada out on second strike -  MLB.com
Home-plate umpire mistakenly punches out Jorge Posada on the second strike

TV, radio call Mathis' walk-off double -  MLB.com
TV and radio broadcasters make the call on Jeff Mathis' walk-off double in the 11th inning that delivered the Halos the Game 3 win

 

Redemption Day - Angels Unplugged - Los Angeles Times
But most of all, this 5-4, 11-inning mini-classic was redemption for an Angels team that was so much better than it appeared in the first two games of this series. In Game 3, you saw many of the reasons Mike Scioscia's guys won 97 games in the regular season and why some of their strengths figured to eventually show up against the Yankees.

Angels Revive Bats and Thunderstix - NYTimes.com
"Obviously, it’s the biggest hit in my life," said Mathis, who hit .211 this season but earned the trust of Manager Mike Scioscia for his outstanding defensive work and handling of the pitching staff. "To come through, and for Howie to have the at-bat he did right there and get on base and put one in the game and score to win the game, it’s a pretty good feeling."

Video Central - FOX Sports on MSN
Rosenthal analyzes Angels win

Joe Girardi's 'manic managing' costs New York Yankees in Game 3 - Ben Reiter - SI.com
Girardi made so many questionable and unconventional decisions during Game 3 of this ALCS, and meddled with his talented club so much, that he had to know that if his Yankees somehow lost the game that he'd be lambasted by New York media and fans who don't exactly react well when unconventionality leads to failure. The Yankees lost the game, 5-4, on an RBI double by Angels catcher Jeff Mathis with two outs in the bottom of the 11th. Let the lambasting start.

ALCS Coverage: Scioscia’s Blunder - FanGraphs Baseball
Saturday night, 8th inning, 2-2, runners at 1st and 2nd, 1 out. The LI for this situation was 3.72. This was a critical juncture of the game, as the Angels needed to simply get a base hit to take the lead, and could give themselves a good chance of winning with an extra base hit that scored both runners. Staring at that opportunity, Mike Scioscia sent Gary Matthews Jr to the plate to hit for Mike Napoli. Matthews, owner of a .315 wOBA in his three seasons as an Angel, pinch-hit for Napoli, who has a career .364 wOBA. With the game on the line.

Angels prove Joe Buck wrong despite Jeter's early strike -- latimes.com
Tim McCarver, while praising the job Angels General Manager Tony Reagins has done, first called him Tom. Having heard from more than a few Angels viewers who think Fox is being too New York-centric, it doesn't help when the analyst seems to not know the name of the Angels' GM.

As a TV Market, Los Angeles Is Staggering in the Baseball Playoffs - NYTimes.com
But the story is that the Los Angeles market is being drubbed by New York and Philadelphia. Maybe it’s the old time-zone thing that limits viewership in the West Coast because what starts at 8 o’clock in New York begins at 5 in Santa Monica. Perhaps Angelenos have more amusing diversions. Maybe it’s the cold and the rain in the East keeping fans inside. Or maybe old baseball cities like New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia tend to support their teams in greater numbers.

Citing Adenhart case, police promise to swarm Angels Stadium in drunk driving crackdown - Los Angeles Times
Orange County authorities are warning baseball fans against drinking and driving after the Angels' playoff game today and said law enforcement officers will be swarming the area around Angel Stadium looking for violators.

Was Mariano Rivera Throwing a Spitball? - nbcsports.com
Call me crazy, but it appears to me like Rivera looks up to see if anyone is watching, then looks down and spits right on the ball. Is that the secret to his cutter? Anyone have an alternate explanation as to what is going on?

October 20 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on October 20.
2002 - Twenty-year old Venezuelan righthander Francisco Rodriguez becomes the youngest pitcher ever to win a World Series game. With just 15 days of major league experience, "K-Rod" throws 37 pitches retiring nine consecutive batters in three innings to pick up the victory as the Anaheim Angels outslug the Giants in Game Two, 11 - 10. Tim Salmon goes 4 - 4 with two home runs and four RBI, while Reggie Sanders, David Bell, Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds homered for San Francisco.
1931 - Mickey Mantle, outfielder; All-Star, Hall of Famer (d. 1995)  "The Mick" would have been 78 years-old today.

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