Chad Gaudin was surprisingly good (again), and it was Alfredo Aceves who disappointed. Gaudin's shining moment came in the bottom of the third with two on and two out: he put Abreu away with a splitter.
- How big was that catcher's interference call (apparently a trend with Anaheim, for it happened with Tex just a week ago) that led to Matsui reaching on a groundout? Posada followed with the second two-run homer of the inning.
- The Yankee scoring was rather ironic. The first five runs were all via the longball, yet the sixth and deciding run scored via 'small-ball.'
- A-Rod had a great game (outside of a K with two runners on in the first): he drove in half the Yanks runs and made a great, diving stab in the sixth (with the bases-full and two outs) that kept the Bombers ahead by one.
- The defense as a whole went for a beer in the eighth inning: Robbie Cano botched a grounder, allowing Howie Kendrick to reach first. Then Posada skipped a throw past Jeter (more DJ's fault) on Kendrick's steal, allowing him to reach third with no outs. Two batters later, Posada allowed a passed ball, letting the go-ahead run to second. Fortunately, Hughes escaped further damage with consecutive strikeouts.
- Speaking of relievers, there's no way in hell Marte should make the playoff roster. He came in to face one batter, fell behind 2-0, and served up a double.
- 1-10 with RISP. Anaheim went 4-14. We've said it countless times, but it has to improve.
- The offense almost seemed to give up after getting a 5-0 lead. As if that would be enough to win by, and then when Anaheim tied it, they got to work again to take the lead.
- Ballsy move to have Damon bunt with two strikes, but it worked - A-Rod hit a sac-fly to center, scoring Gardner. Torii Hunter made it a surprisingly close play at home with a strong throw. (I see from the poll on the right that almost twice the votes favor Melky in CF, but my opinion is to go with Gardner for two reasons: speed and defense. Melky has more power and a better arm, but that ain't as important as speed and D, especially in the playoffs.)
- That aggressive Angel baserunning certainly hurt them in the bottom of the ninth, when Reggie Willits (GGBG's brother from another mother) was gunned down on a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out DP. After playing horrendous D in the eighth to let Anaheim tie the game, we've got to give credit where it's due: Posada threw an absolute bullet to nail Willits. That might be the best throw he's made this season.
The postseason magic number was one, so the Yanks were ensured of playoff baseball before Mo nailed down the last out because Texas lost earlier in the evening. Let's enjoy it!