I knew this series with the Angels would be tough, but these two games have exceeded my expectations. Game 1, you have to be impressed with Sabathia's pitching performance: 8 innings and 1 run for the win. He handed the ball to Mariano Rivera, who did what he does best. At this point, all my concerns about whether or not Sabathia could perform under the pressure's of October baseball have subsided.
In game two, the most incredible thing I saw was the bullpen. Coke-Chamberlain-Hughes-Rivera-Aceves-Marte-Robertson combined for 6.2 innings of one run baseball. Not without their troubles of course since they put 10 runners on, and escaped several jams. The defense didn't help much with both Jeter and Cano botching plays to give the Angels a chance to score, but they never did. Burnett was a little shaky in the 5th inning of his start, but finished his night with 6.1 innings and 2 runs.
Lots of sloppy baseball, including two errors on Cano and an error for Jeter. Anyone of those could have led to the Angels winning the game, but ironically, it was an error by the Angels that allowed us to win. So cheers!
13 innings and a 1 am finish. They got me nervous when they showed the bullpen and Chad Gaudin was the only one sitting there.
ALCS MVP Game 1
Easily, the first place vote goes to Sabathia, who gave us 8 innings of 1 run ball for the win. Not much disputing that one.
My second vote is split between Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar who allowed a first inning pop fly to drop between them, which allowed Damon to score the second run of the inning and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. A lead they would never return.
My third place vote goes to Matsui who was credited with 2 RBI's, and went 2-3. 1 of his RBI's I credit to Figgins and Aybar.
ALCS MVP Game 2
This one was tougher to think about, but I decided that the first vote has to go to Mariano Rivera. 2.1 innings of shutout baseball really bolstered the bullpens efforts. I'm not so sure the game would have ended the way it did if Marte or Coke or Aceves even had to fill up some of those outs that Rivera got. Basically, without his performance, I don't think we win this game.
A-Rod gets my second place vote. Even though his 1-6 line on the game looks very unimpressive, his one hit came when it mattered. An 11th inning homerun after the Angels had just taken the lead and had their closer Brian Fuentes up to bat. I'm sure the Angels and Fuentes are kicking themselves for pitching to him with Guzman and Gardner (both of whom had been put in as pinch runners) were batting behind him.
My third place vote goes to AJ Burnett, who gave us a strong pitching performance and has not shown as much of the wildness that characterized so many of his mid season starts. 6.1 innings of 2 run ball allowed the Yankees to stay in this game, and he was taken out after an error by Cano led to the Angels getting a runner on.
With our patented RJG scoring system, a first place vote gets a player 3 pts, a second place vote will get 2 pts and a 3rd place vote gets 1 pt. Here is the ALCS MVP breakdown:
CC Sabathia 3pts
Mariano Rivera = 3pts
Alex Rodriguez = 2pts
Chone Figgins/Erick Aybar = 2pts
AJ Burnett = 1pt
Hideki Matsui = 1pt
Respect Jeter's Gangster is for the Children
The RJG will continue to donate to Johnny Damon's homerun club throughout the post season. We believe that our $1.00 donations build just enough good will to push the Yankees into their next World Series title. We expect a ring Bronny Cash.
Post Season Homeruns:
Derek Jeter 2hr = $2.00
Hideki Matsui 1hr = $1.00
Alex Rodriguez 3hr = $3.00
Mark Teixeira 1hr = $1.00
Jorge Posada 1hr = $1.00
Total = $8.00
Regular Season Total = $244.00
RJG Donation Total = $252.00
If you are interested in Johnny Damon's Homerun Club or the Children's Health Fund you can find links to both at the top right hand corner of our page. Live it. Love it. RJG.