Let me tell you, it took a long to find a shot of Andy Phillips’ back.
The Yankees (93-52) now lead the Angels (86-57) by six games in the quest for home-field advantage. Tonight had the feel of a playoff game, didn’t it?
Three things that struck me about this game:
• Mark Teixeira looks ready for postseason pressure. He was 3 for 4 with two RBI and several nice plays in the field. His presence really changes the balance of power.
• That play by Derek Jeter in the seventh inning was perhaps the best play he has made over the middle in several years.
• Brett Gardner is a serious weapon off the bench. And Joe Girardi is already talking about Freddy Guzman like he’ll be there for the first round.
Here’s where facilities make a difference: Gardner told us that starting around the sixth inning, he was looking at video clips of the Angels relievers and how they held runners, whether they had pickoff moves, etc. He was literally watching tape of Darren Oliver a few minutes before he took the field.
The new Stadium has a state-of-the-art video room that is literally two steps from the dugout entrance. After a while, little things like that add up.