When the Angels get to Toronto tonight, maybe they’ll spend some time game-planning how to pitch to the top hitter in baseball, Jose Bautista. And they’ll be smiling when they do it, because it means they no longer have to face Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. The pair wrecked the Angels staff to the tune of six home runs and 13 RBI over this three game stretch and ensured a series victory for the Yankees over their closest competition for the Wild Card.
After Cano’s grand slam tore open a tie game in the bottom of the seventh, victory seemed sealed. Mariano came into the game in the ninth with two on and one out and Russell Branyan sent his first pitch out of the park for a three run blast. Mo mopped up from there, but it was a sour note to end a sweet day. The Yankees won 6-5.
If Curtis Granderson came out of center field to pitch the end of this game, I would not have been surprised. He wrapped himself around this series like a desperate hug. Four home runs, seven RBI, five runs scored far outwieghed the three whiffs, two double plays, six left on base and a game ending caught stealing. But for the good or the bad, he was involved.
I didn’t see Branyan’s homer, so I don’t want to comment on the quality of Mo’s outing, but I am bummed to see Mariano struggle regardless. He’ll be right sometime soon, let’s hope it’s the next time we need him.
What does it take to make someone’s nickname “official”? In terms of the Banter, I think it’s clear that David Robertson is now “the Hammer” (or the Alabama Hammer, or the Bama Hama) and Robinson Cano is “the Ripper.”
I’d also like to submit for consideration “Grumpy” for Curtis Granderson, in one of those ironic nicknames from the past when they’d call a fat guy “Slim” or something like that.
What say you?