Offense: Twenty-three runs in three games against the third-stingiest staff in the league? Yeah, that’ll do.
Alex Rodriguez 5 for 12, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, SB
Hideki Matsui 6 for 14, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2 R, BB
Derek Jeter 5 for 12, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB
Jorge Posada 4 for 8, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB
Bobby Abreu 4 for 13, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, 5 K
Jose Molina 1 for 2, 2 R, 2 BB
Robinson Cano 3 for 11, 2 RBI, R, BB, K, 2 GIDP
Wilson Betemit 1 for 6, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB, 2 K
Jason Giambi 0 for 6, 3 K
Andy Phillips 2 for 7, K, CS
Shelley Duncan 0 for 2
Rotation: If not for Mike Mussina’s stinker in the middle game it would have been easier to see the bright side of Phil Hughes start in the opener. Hughes turned in a quality start through six innings, slamming the door on the Angels after a three-run double in the second inning, but having thrown just 81 pitches he went back out for the seventh, put two of the three batters he faced on base, and then watched as Luis Vizcaino let them score. The bright side there being that he made in-game adjustments to keep his team in the game against a contender despite not having his best stuff. Of course, Andy Pettitte came up huge in the finale.
Bullpen: Fourteen runs in 11 1/3 innings? To be fair, 11 of them came in 5 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s disaster. Still, three runs in 6 frames ain’t so hot neither.
Just Joba, but sooooo goood! He struck out the side around a single in the eighth inning of the finale, finishing up with a three-pitch K of Vlad Guerrero.
Everyone else. Sean Henn had the roughest week, taking the loss in extra innings in the opener after facing three batters, one he retired, one who scored the winning run, and the other who drove it in. He then took the hit in Tuesday’s blowout, allowing five runs in three innings. Actually, he allowed those five runs in one inning, allowing just a walk in the two frames that sandwiched it. Ron Villone was supposed to take the bullet in that game, but he allowed four of the five batters he faced to reach, walking in a run in the process. Edwar Ramirez allowed the rest of Villone’s runners to score as well as one of his own on a sac fly and a three-run homer, then added another run in the following inning, though he did strike out four in the process. Luis Vizcaino allowed the two runners he inherited from Hughes in the opener to score, then plated one of his own. The next night he allowed two more baserunners in a scoreless inning. Kyle Farnsworth nearly blew the opener before Henn had a chance, but was saved by a great play by Wilson Betemit and a questionable check swing call after getting the first out of the inning on a sac bunt. Mariano Rivera didn’t do any harm, but he allowed five baserunners and one run in his two innings of work.
Conclusion: Lotsa runs. Too many runs, really. This team needs to start winning some low-scoring games. They sort of did that in the finale as most of those runs were tacked on to a pitchers’ duel after the Angel pen came into the picture. Still, all those runs both hide faults in the pitching staff and lead to some poor performances being written off as flukes, such as Henn’s and Ramirez’s in the middle game, whether or not they really were.