UPDATE, 9:03 p.m.: It’s the top of the fourth and we’re into thread No. 2. There’s a long way to go yet.
UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Jorge Posada out to pinch-hit for Molina. Truthfully, I was expecting this in the third inning. Yankees are down and Posada has a better chance to send one out than Molina. No one warming in the Yankees pen, either, so it would appear that – gasp! – Posada is going to catch Burnett.
UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: Lackey is dealing. His fastball is locating perfectly (got Posada looking) and his curveball is biting off the outside corner. Jeter swung and missed, then waved his bat in frustration as Lackey stalked off the mound. As for the Yankees pitching, Posada, Burnett and Dave Eiland had a quick huddle in the dugout before the inning ended. It’s been awhile since they worked together (Sept. 1, to be exact).
UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Well that was easy enough. Posada and Burnett had no problems that inning and you have to give Burnett credit for coming back after that disaster start. He’s now thrown five shutout innings but the Yankee hitters are absolutely helpless against Lackey. Don’t forget that in addition to keeping his team alive, Lackey is also pitching for a contract; he’s a free agent this offseason and is earning some serious bucks with his performance tonight.
UPDATE, 9:42 p.m.: A-Rod went down to get that ball, a 92 mph fastball, and crushed it off the center-field wall. His power the other way is what separates him from other sluggers. Rodriguez now has a 10-game postseason hitting streak.
UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Robinson Cano continues to be brutal with RISP. He hit .204 with RISP and two outs in the regular season and just stranded two more there. That was the best chance the Yankees have had off Lackey since the first inning.
UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: And now there’s some dude in a red shirt climbing on the rocks in center field. As everyone looked, he fell in one of the waterfalls they have out there. Good to know beer sales at Angel Stadium aren’t suffering in this difficult economic time.
UPDATE, 10:05 p.m.: If the Yankees are going to get back in this game, it’s got to be now. Lackey is rattled after he didn’t get the call on what he thought was strike three to Posada. If this was a regular season game, he’d have been thrown out for showing up the ump but Culbreth showed restraint. Either way, two on, one out and Lackey upset as Jeter comes to the plate.
UPDATE, 10:07 p.m.: Four straight balls that weren’t close to Jeter. Now it’s Damon, who is a .333 career hitter off Lackey. Jepsen and Oliver warming in the pen for the Angels.
UPDATE, 10:09 p.m.: Damon’s fly to left doesn’t go deep enough to score Melky but it succeeds in ending Lackey’s night. He gets a huge ovation from the crowd, who must know they could be seeing Lackey for the last time as an Angel. Oliver coming in and the Yankees have seven outs to try and come back off the shaky Angels bullpen. This game isn’t over yet.
UPDATE, 10:12 p.m.: Teixeira was 2-for-3 lifetime against Oliver and it took one pitch to see why – he roped a double to left-center that cleared the bases and suddenly it’s 4-3. Now they’re walking A-Rod to get to Matsui.
UPDATE, 10:14 p.m.: That was Tex’s first three RBI of the series and his first since the walkoff homer in Game 2 of the ALDS.
UPDATE, 10:15 p.m.: Great point from Chad: If Cano does something here, A.J. Burnett could actually get the win.
UPDATE, 10:18 p.m.: Looks like Jered Weaver warming for the Angels.
UPDATE, 10:27 p.m.: Anyone who wanted action on Burnett being in the game in the seventh inning about three hours ago could have made a lot of money. Pretty amazing.