A couple of pitches in the second inning gave the Angels all the offense they would need tonight as they stifled the Bombers 4-1 at the stadium. Garet Anderson opened his stance and stroked a high, inside fastball to right for a two-run homer and then Benji Molina turned on another inside pitch for a solo dinger to left. Neither pitch was that bad at all. As Jim Kaat and Paul O’Neill commented on the YES broadcast it was as if both hitters had read Mussina’s mind and were sitting inside–the pitch to Anderson was particularly tough. His quick, fluid swing belied just how difficult it was to hit a home run on that pitch.
Those three runs would do the trick. Mussina ended up pitching well over eight innings, but Ervin Santana, a lanky right-hander with a good breaking pitch and a zippy fastball, was better. The Yanks put two runners on with nobody out in the first and third innings only to come away with bubkus. They had two men on in the sixth but couldn’t get a run in either. Tino Martinez did line a solo homer into the right-centerfield stands in the seventh, then Derek Jeter doubled to right with one out. However, Brenden Donnelly got Robinson Cano to line out sharply to first and Sheffield to pop out to first to end the inning. And dems the breaks, bro. (Sheffield hit another seed tonight, but this time it went right to Steve Finley for an easy out leading-off the sixth inning.)
The Angels added a run against Tanyon Sturtze in the eighth while the Yanks went quietly against Scot Shields and a far more subdued Francisco Rodriguez. I don’t want to go so far as to say that the Yanks were listless tonight but they didn’t have much punch either. You would never have known that the Angels were the team who played 18 innings last night. Right now, the Angels simply have the Yankees’ number. New York fell another game behind Boston who beat the Twins at Fenway Park. The Yanks now trail the Red Sox by two-and-a-half games.