Sidney Ponson, Mariano Rivera. One of those pitchers held the mighty Angels lineup at bay tonight, the other couldn't get anyone out. One of those pitchers deserves all the credit in the world after this game, one is probably shaking his head somewhere right now, wondering what went wrong. Obviously, I wouldn't have written this paragraph if the answer was what you'd expect.
Mo just couldn't get it done tonight. He came into a 0-0 game in the top of the ninth, walked Teixeira, gave up a single to Vlad and a single to Torii Hunter scoring pinch-runner Willets. That's how quickly it happens
Ponson went 7 innings, and while his final line looks impressive, he really was not. He only gave up 2 hits and walked 4, but of his 96 pitches only 48 were strikes and his gb/fb ratio, 5/15, probably should've spelled disaster. Truth be told, the Yanks were lucky to get to the 8th inning tied 1-1. Damaso Marte looked nasty in his work in the 8th. Mo, well, we've covered that.
At the bat, there isn't much to say. The Yanks scattered 5 singles, worked 2 walks, and struck out 9 times. Santana deserves a lot of credit for the game he pitched. One minor criticism of Girardi, and it's very minor. Scioscia had his pen up and ready in the top of the eighth to come into the game. When the Angels didn't score, he sent Santana back out there. I believe he did this to lengthen the game. By stealing another inning from his starter, he was in effect pushing the two innings he'd have Shields and K-Rod further back, just in case we wound up with an extra-inning affair. It was a small point, but it put his team in a better position to outlast the Yanks.
Now, I'm not saying Joe should've stuck with Ponson, bringing Marte in was the right call. I'm not even saying he shouldn't have brought Mo in, I mean, if he gets through the top of the 9th, A-Rod is leading off in the bottom half. But had Joe gone to Veras or Edwar for the 9th, he could've kept the Mariano bullet in his back pocket for extra innings. Again, I'm not saying he should have. I probably would've done the same thing, but Scioscia went in a different direction late in the game, and you have to wonder if moves like that are a big part of the reason the Angels are so good in close games. Just food for thought.Player of The Game: