Rally cries

Thursday night's playoff game between the Yankees and Angels wasn't necessarily a classic, not if you need your classic baseball games to dare perfection. No, this was a big, bold, beautiful, tense, ugly, quirky, odd baseball game. No one was quite sure if the game was made up of comebacks or blown leads, clutch hits or mistake pitches, brilliant timing or managerial blunders. No one was sure about anything except the umpires (who blew their requisite calls), the Angels rally monkey (back on the scoreboard to inspire) and the last inning, which left everyone breathless.
-- Joe Posnanski (more)
Breathless is an understatement.

I had watched the game from start to finish ...

Starting with Phoebe doing her usual living room play romp and me thoroughly enjoying the Angels' first inning romp on the base paths -- especially after the Yankees' route on Tuesday night. The Angels kept swinging and all of a sudden -- bang -- they put four runs on the board before the Yankees could score an out.

Then Phoebe went to bed and Kates joined me for the later innings ...

We lamented as the sixth and seventh innings passed that the Angels hadn't been able to score since the first, and that their 4-0 lead hardly seemed safe against the Yankees.

Sure enough. The Yankees came back. ... No, they didn't just come back. They put six runs on the board, all after Mike Scioscia pulled John Lackey because he got into a jam late in the seventh inning. What was Mike Scioscia thinking when he pulled John Lackey!? I said. If there's anyone on the Angels' staff who you want on the mound, it's John Lackey!

Fortunately, Vladimir Guerrero's game-tying single in the bottom of seventh saved the Angels' season and possibly Scioscia's job. Then, good ol' Kendry Morales drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the seventh.


But the game's not over 'til it's over.

After having gotten ready for bed, I stood watching that harrowing ninth inning in our bedroom, beating my head against the dresser and groaning with every walk Brian Fuentes gave up. ... The Angels got outs from Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira. Then Alex Rodriguez: intentional walk; Hideki Matsui: walk; Robinson Cano: hit by pitch.


Finally it came to this: Angels leading 7-6, the bases loaded with Yankees, two outs and a 3-2 count on Nick Swisher.

Swisher, thankfully, popped up the ball. It was caught and the game was over.

Relief. And hope. The Angels still have a (slight) chance to come back.

And people say baseball is boring.

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