At the start of the postseason much was made of CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez and their supposed failure to perform in the postseason. Sabathia has put those fears to rest with two spectacular performances and now Alex Rodriguez has continued to build a postseason legacy that may just wipe away all those thoughts that he just can't step up in a big spot.
Yet again last night he hit a huge home run to save the Yankees and tie the game as they trailed with only three outs left against Brian Fuentes. Fuentes may not be a top five closer in baseball. He may not even be in the top 10, but considering the two hitters behind him in the bottom of the 11th and the fact he was down 0-2 in the count makes this home run that much more unbelievable.
It is says something that Fuentes threw the ball exactly where he wanted to. Mathis flashed the glove up and away and Fuentes hit the spot exactly. The only problem is that Fuentes and Mathis must have forgotten the scouting report on A-Rod that says he crushes mediocre fastballs on the outside corner.
A-Rod has been incredible so far this postseason. This must be what so many had envisioned of him when he first donned the pinstripes.
What will be lost in this game is A.J. Burnett. While he was far from the equal of top of the rotation partner CC Sabathia, he was solid into the seventh inning. Aside from a meltdown fifth inning he was nearly unhittable for the first four innings. He threw first pitch strikes to 13 of the first 14 hitters he faced. He was aggressive and few Angels got good wood on his pitches. With the way the Yankee bullpen has been pitching 6.1 innings of two run baseball is a perfectly acceptable performance by Burnett.
Now it falls to Andy Pettitte in Anahiem. The wily veteran will face Jered Weaver who will be a bit of a conundrum going into the game. Weaver doesn't pitch particularly well against the Yankees, but he is exceptionally better at home than on the road.
It should be another tight ball game on but this time devoid of the weather. And what a ridiculous start time. 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT? That's just lame for Angels fans.