Old Guard pitchers advance the Yankees back to World Series.

Thumbnail image for Andy and Mo.jpgAfter  being suspended on Saturday night because of hefty rain, Game 6
was finally pushed through on Sunday night in the Bronx, New York.

The
Yankees may have lost Game 3 of the series with Pettitte as their
starter, but Dandy Andy presented himself in the mound in Game 6 with
confidence and results that speak of his possible legend.

The
36-year old pitcher only allowed one walk, of which Howie Kendrick was
the recipient. It was after Vladimir Guerrero hit an RBI, which he
grounded off first in the second inning. Guerrero’s move was considered
to be a wrong move; obviously.

The Angels have committed a lot
of mistakes during the series, some of which were not even part of
their accumulated 8 error record in the ALCS. Some of those errors even
helped the Yankees reach homeplate.

One easy and unwonted out
happened during the sixth inning. Chone Figgins, after bunting
Pettitte’s 89 MPH fastball, grounded out to catcher Jorge Posada. He
was out for tagging himself as he ran to first base. His left foot
touched the ball.

In the same sixth inning, the Angels might’ve
had a run when Vladimir Guerrero’s double RBI advanced Torii Hunter to
third base. The centre fielder’s speed has been a concern to the
Bombers. With two out, Mr. Iron Gaze saved the inning when Kendrick
Morales hit the ball back to him for the third out.

Posada.jpgWith long time teammate Jorge Posada catching behind the plate, the
left-handed pitcher struck out six Angels in 6.1 innings before Manager
Joe Torre climbed to the hill. The man in the mound knew what was
coming.

Pettitte may have wanted to stay longer, a lot of the
fans wanted too, but he yielded to his former teammate’s call and left
his throne with 99 pitches and a 2.84 ERA.

The post-season
veteran pitcher allowed seven hits and only had one run. The Yankee
fans gave Pettitte a standing ovation while the Old Guard starting
pitcher tipped his cap in recognition of the fans as he retired to the
dugout.

Joba relieved for him, pitching against two Halos. He
grounded out both to end the top of the seventh inning, but that was
all for him. Joe Girardi already had plans for the eight and ninth
inning.

The Sandman left the Yankee bullpen radiating assurance
to the Yankees and at the same time threat to the Angels. “I knew I was
going to be there for at least two,” said Rivera who was called in the
top of the eight.

Mariano Rivera is one of those pitchers you don’t want to face when you’re in the batter’s box.

“Man,
I don’t even want to talk about Mariano Rivera right now,” Torii Hunter
said. “You don’t want to face him. I don’t plan on getting to him. If
we do, the game is probably in the bag.”

Chone Figgins was
fortunate to hit an RBI on one ball – one strike count against Mariano
Rivera. He was not the only blessed Angel of the night. With two outs,
Figgins scored on Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI giving the Angels their
second and last run. It was the first post-season run given up by
Mariano Rivera at home since Game 2 of the 2000 World Series against
the Mets.

In the top of the ninth inning with two out, and just
one more for the final one, Gary Matthews Jr. was pinch hitting for
catcher Mike Napoli. It was an offensive move but obviously didn’t
work. Matthews, Jr. struckout swinging for the final out of the series.
The pitch was not even a cutter.

Andy and Mariano.JPGMariano Rivera secured the World Series ticket his Old Guard buddy Andy Pettitte clutched for the Yankees.

The
Bombers earned three runs in the fourth inning from Robinson Cano and
Nick Swisher on Johnny Damon’s RBI and from Derek Jeter who had to step
on homeplate to give way for A-Rod who was walked with bases loaded.

They
had another runs in the eight inning from Robinson Cano on Melky
Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt, which he earned as  double on throwing error
by Scott Kazmir, and from Brett Gardner on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice
fly to centre field.

The New York Yankees defeated the Los
Angeles Angels on 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League Championship
Series. The Bronx Bombers will represent the American  League in the
World Series to face the defending champions Philadelphia Phillies of
the National League on Wednesday night in Yankee Stadium.

Also posted in MLBlog and Bleacher Report.

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