On a night that harkened back to Octobers past, the Yankees won 4-1. They took advantage of three errors, scored when they could and rode eight innings from their ace and a ninth from their closer.
“I think the whole team played tremendous,” Mariano Rivera said. “This is the way we should play.”
Nobody embodied that quite like CC Sabathia, whose eight innings of one-run ball stymied the Angels and stalled their running game before it started. The 9-1-2 of Erick Aybar, Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu went a combined 0 for 10 and none of the three reached base.
Here’s Sabathia on his night:
Mark Teixeira said Sabathia pitched as well as he had all season. It’s hard to argue. After walking 22 in his first 25 career postseason innings, Sabathia now has one in 14.2 as a Yankee.
Here’s a few non-CC notes from tonight:
• Alex Rodriguez admitted he ran through the stop sign of Rob Thomson (no relation) on Hideki Matsui’s double in the fifth. “Once I saw the go (sign), I put my head down,” Rodriguez said. “It was my mistake.”
• The double was Matsui’s 10th in an LCS, tying him with Bernie Williams for the most all-time.
• This was just the second homerless game at the new stadium. The last came in a 3-0 loss to the Nationals on June 18. That’s in 84 games. Wow. The wind obviously blew in tonight, likely costing Vladimir Guerrero (fourth) and Robinson Cano (sixth) homers.
• Figgins is now 0 for 16 in the ’09 postseason.
• The Yankees improved to 82-4 this year when leading after seven innings. They are also now 52-1 when holding opponents to two runs or less.
• Teixeira said his foot did come off the bag in the sixth, when Sabathia made a nice play on a squibber from Torii Hunter and threw to first. Hunter and Mike Scioscia protested, but Teixeira believed his foot was on the bag when he caught the ball.
• Jose Molina played coy on whether or not he will catch A.J. Burnett in Game 2: “He hasn’t said anything to you guys, so he hasn’t said anything to me.”
• Here’s Johnny Damon, who, following a miserable September and early October, had two hits and scored two runs: “Well, you know, sometimes in this game you need to have some luck, but you also need to go out and work hard and try to figure out what went wrong in Game 3. But I also understand this game and in the playoffs. So I was just happy we won Game 3. I wasn’t too terribly upset at myself. But I also knew I had to get in and get my work in and try to get back to the way I swung the bat earlier in the season.”
• Damon snapped an 0-for-10 skid, as did Nick Swisher. They had been hitless since their second at-bats in Game 1 of the Division Series.
Before I exit, you should know the tarp is already on the field and tomorrow’s forecast calls for a 90-percent chance of rain. There is talk of an afternoon game on Sunday in the event of a postponement. An official contingency plan — nor how a Sunday Game 2 would impact the remainder of the series — has yet to be announced.