Angels crumble in the eighth, Yankees headed to World Series


Like it or not, the Yankees have won the pennant. The Angels trailed by a single run in the bottom of the eighth inning, but a pair of inexcusable errors subsequently killed their chances.

The sport’s top spenders finally cashed in with their first pennant in six years Sunday night, beating the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 in Game 6 of the AL championship series behind the savvy pitching of that old October pro, Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte set a postseason record for wins, Johnny Damon hit a two-run single and Mariano Rivera closed it out in familiar fashion with a six-out save as the Yankees won their 40th American League crown by vanquishing the Angels, a longtime nemesis.

Joba Chamberlain got two key outs and Girardi went to a well-rested Rivera in the eighth. He gave up a two-out RBI single to Vladimir Guerrero, making it 3-2, then retired Morales to end the inning.

A diving play by first baseman Mark Teixeira helped Rivera escape further damage.

It was the first earned run allowed at home by the 39-year-old Rivera in a postseason save situation. But the Yankees added two insurance runs in the eighth on a pair of Angels errors and Teixeira’s sacrifice fly.

Rivera finished up in the ninth for his record 37th postseason save, and the Yankees had their pennant.

In the end, experienced prevailed, as Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera were all vital to the Yankees recent success. This was Pettitte’s 16th postseason win, breaking a tie with John Smoltz for the major league record. Pettitte had been 0-4 against the Angels over the last two regular seasons, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi kept his faith in the 37 year-old veteran.

Although CC Sabathia grabbed the ALCS MVP, Alex Rodriguez was undoubtedly the heart of the Yankees’ offense. In this postseason, Rodriguez is hitting .438 with five home runs and 12 RBIs.

Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia will get the start for their respective teams in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. Both are former AL Cy Young winners and pitching better than ever. This World Series will obviously get more attention than it did last year. The Phillies will try to repeat as champions against the thirsty Yankees. It feels more exciting than the Phillies vs. Rays, doesn’t it? I’m just as dejected as any baseball fan from California, but I’m still looking forward these games.

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