The marquee matchup of the Unit vs. El Barto at the Big A Thursday night turned out to be the battle of the long ball. Juicy Jason Giambi hit a pair of solo HR’s (he’s smacked 10 in his last 14 games) putting New York ahead 5-2. That was before Anaheim’s Vlad Guerrero (above), mired in a 4 for 45 slump, hit a Flash Gordon pitch off his shoetops for a 7th inning grand slam. I’ll stop with the Clemente comparisons ’cause I know you’re sick of them, but short of forfeiting the game, I’m not sure how you pitch around Guerrero.
Alex Rodriguez, representing the tying run, was stranded on 3rd in the 9th inning after Francisco Rodriguez induced Jorge Posada to ground out to second. Two hitters earlier, K-Rod struck out Giambi lunging at an outside slider.
The Angels kinda resemble an AL version of the Cardinals — great starters, solid pen, and an offense that can beat you in a variety of ways. Though many are fixated on the NY/Boston wars (present company included) and Chicago might be the league’s most entertaining team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, USA, Planet Earth look awfully solid. Like Bleachy.
Joe Crede’s misplay of Manny Ramirez foul ball in the 9th inning last night gave the Boston space-case a new lease on life, one he took full advantage of with a blast to left center field off Luis Vizcaino giving the Red Sox a 6-5 win over Chicago. Manny’s 26th HR got Curt Schilling off the hook, the Everquest fanatic having faltered in the 8th, allowing doubles to Aaron Rowland and Crede while trying to protect a one run lead. I give the Schilling-as-closer experiment about another 8 days.
To paraphrase that great man of letters Kenny Rogers, Jay Payton : dude, you’re getting too close to the left field wall. Catch of the season — I seperated my shoulder just watching.