It’s “West Coast Week, the Sequel”. Or the extension of people on East Coast time over a certain age (read: not 21 anymore) complaining about the ridiculous scheduling of games that start at 10:05 pm EST, even if it is 7:05 pm PST. Because those of us who follow and have to be awake to write about a West Coast game are up until it’s already tomorrow, and playing with time zones screws up our internal clock for the rest of the summer so that we can’t live normal lives. At least until we get back on regular East Coast times, which thankfully resumes this coming Thursday. (It should be noted that Wednesday is “technically” an earlier game, starting at 7:05 pm EST or 4:05 pm PST.)
I cannot imagine having to play at an elite level and deal with this kind of jet lag. I took a trip recently to the West Coast (and yes, I visited yet another baseball stadium) and adjusting to the time zone was crazy. I’ve traveled halfway around the world and not had as terrible jet lag as I did on a West Coast trip. Maybe it’s the length of the trip (a long weekend), maybe it’s the shortness of the journey (just crossing 3 time zones), or maybe it’s just because I’m not 21 (thank God!) anymore (I list all the reasons I’ve been told as to why this last trip kicked my butt as far as jet lag went). Whatever it is, I have a huge respect for the players and other people who have to travel frequently for their job and still pull off some amazing success.
And despite the final score, the Yankees actually played pretty well tonight against the Angels. Angel Stadium is beautiful (no, that wasn’t the stadium I visited on my Left Coast trip), and it’s frequently on the list of visiting players’ favorite opposing team stadiums. CC Sabathia got the start tonight, and some facts followed him to the mound — the last win he got was against the Angels when they visited the Bronx, but he is currently on a bit of a downturn when it comes to his win-loss ratio. Sabathia was rather efficient with his 95 pitches, going 7.1 innings, giving up just 6 hits, a walk, and 4 runs, striking out 5 Angels batters. In the 1st, a lead-off single scored on a 2-out RBI double to start the scoring. A 2-out solo shot in the third doubled the Angels’ score. Another 2-out double scored the 3rd run in the 5th, and a lead-off solo home run in the 7th scored the fourth and final run for the Angels.
Sabathia’s outing was actually really good, especially for the 2015 version of Sabathia. He (at least in my mind) rather outperformed the Angels’ starter, whose 101 pitches only last through 6 innings. This was because the Yankees were actually extending his pitch count with their 5 hits and 3 walks throughout his outing, but they only collaborated to score 1 run. In the 3rd, Gregorius walked and Gardner singled before Alex Rodriguez hit a 2-out single to score Gregorius. And despite a walk to Teixeira to load the bases, the Angels pulled it together to get out of the inning without more damage done.
The Angels’ bullpen collectively allowed 3 more hits and 1 more walk to the Yankee batters, but still they couldn’t do much with those opportunities. Sabathia turned over the game to reliever Nick Rumbelow to close out the 8th inning with a walk, a fly out, a stolen base, and a strikeout. So because the Yankees couldn’t seem to come through in the runs department, Sabathia earned his 8th loss of the season (he has just 3 wins).
Bummer. And you should know I’m not even faulting the very low, very frustrating strike zone held by the home plate umpire tonight. (Guess I just did…)
Final score: 4-1 Angels.
Almost unsurprisingly, Brett Gardner was named the AL Player of the Week, an honor he seems to be contending for this week, with a really phenomenal game tonight, including going 3-for-5 at the plate and making some great outfield plays. But last week, Gardner led the league in hits, runs, on-base percentage (.581), slugging (.885), and total bases (23); he hit 13-for-26 (or .500), scored 9 runs, hit 2 home runs and 4 doubles, hit in 6 RBIs, and worked 5 walks. In other words, Gardner was just being Gardner, but someone at HQ finally noticed and now everyone sees him for what he is to Yankees fans every game. (Just saying…)
And speaking of phenomenal players, we are down to the last few days in the All-Star Game players voting process. The fan vote will close at 11:59 pm on July 2, and you can still vote up to 35 times per email address. All starters will be announced on Sunday, following a final tally of the fan vote and including the players and coaches vote. (More All-Star Game stuff like the changes to the Home Run Derby, the developing questions regarding the fan voting dilemma, and what’s next for the fans to vote on in an “off day” post. Stay tuned.)