The Yankees and Angels played a series at the Big A last week, and they played a series in New York this week. About a week ago, the series finale at the Big A was an all out slobberknocker, action-packed from the beginning. Tonight’s series finale in Yankee Stadium was an bloody throwdown that ended up being the Halos’ 26 comeback victory of the 2017 season.
I don’t know what gets into these teams in the finales, but I am loving these boxing matches between these two intriguing AL teams.
Jesse Chavez had to be cursing under his breath a bunch in the first couple innings of this game, but so were most Angels fans and perhaps even some of his teammates. The Angels’ starter really put his team on the back foot immediately, as some pitches gone awry over the first and second innings, punctuated by an Aaron Judge 3-run homer in the second, put New York up 5-1, just like that (It’d have been a 5-0 affair if it weren’t for a Cameron Maybin homer to lead off the game, his 6th on the year).
If you’re an Angels fan that’s paying attention, then you didn’t get dismayed about the where the team stood at that point, not one bit. That’s because you are a wise fan who remembers the past, specifically all the way back to last week, when the Yankees got up early in the Big A finale but would eventually give up that lead. Yeah, this is familiar territory. It was only when they were in that 5-1 hole that the Team of Destiny could get to work.
After the Judge HR, the Yankees would almost disappear from the baseball field; they had five hits in the first two sides, but from innings three through eight, they’d get three total hits and no more runs. They found they could no longer flex at the dish, their vim and vigor depleted.
Meanwhile, the Halos, noticing that the Yanks fell for the Rope-A-Dope and were too tired to retaliate, starting chipping away and chipping away at the lead, thanks to huge hits from Albert Pujols, Luis Valbuena and Yunel Escobar (not to mention an important error by the Yankees defense). They kept fighting and fighting, until they tied the game up in the seventh with a Kole Calhoun sac fly.
Finally, they had fought back from a 5-1 deficit and had tied the game up at 5-5. That’s when the Halos started playing for realsies.
An Albert Pujols single, a Yunel Escobar walk and an Andrelton Simmons double would make it 8-5. Another crucial NY error and another sac fly from Calhoun and we had a 10-5 game. Yeah, that’s the Team of Destiny I know and love and worship. That’s the team that took down the first place Yankees last week and they sure as hell showed up again in the Bronx this week. Nine losses in New York in a row before this 3-game set, and the Angels took two of them, thus taking the series.
This Yankee team can’t handle these Halos, that’s for sure, and I can’t blame them. When you got guys like Cam Maybin playing like a madman, and Keynan Middleton K’ing Judge like a hot knife cuts through butter, and Andrelton Simmons being an ultimate badass, and every other piece of this gnarly Halos puzzle doing their part, then this team is a beast that I almost don’t want to wish on any other MLB team.
Emphasis on the “almost”.