10/17/09 12:21 AM ET
Angels Short Hops: Game 1
Fielding troubles, lack of hitting have Halos in ALCS hole
By Tim Britton / MLB.com
After a four-day layoff, the Angels did not look sharp in the field and could not mount much against Yankees ace CC Sabathia.
John Lackey looked as if he were about to limit the damage in the first inning to a single run when Hideki Matsui popped one up to the left side of the infield with two outs. Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar, however, looked at each other as the ball fell to the ground, allowing New York to score a second early run as a hustling Johnny Damon raced home from second.
3 -- Three Angels' errors, not including the miscommunication on Matsui's popup, gave the Yankees extra bases and outs. New York capitalized with two unearned runs in the game. Game balls
Mathis held on to the ball after colliding with Alex Rodriguez at the plate in the fifth, preventing one run from scoring and quelling what could of been a big inning for the Yankees, keeping Los Angeles within two.
Matched up with Sabathia, Lackey wasn't quite the ace he was in the Division Series against Boston. He allowed two runs and three hits in the first inning to put the Angels behind early. Still, Lackey managed to keep his team in the game by pitching through a number of jams in the middle innings.
The Angels' table-setter continued to struggle in the playoffs, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout and three groundouts against Sabathia. Figgins still does not have a hit in four games this postseason, and he let a popup drop behind him in the first to score the Yankees' second run.
Sense of October
Manager Mike Scioscia rushed out of the dugout in the sixth inning to argue a close play at first base, after Laz Diaz called Torii Hunter out. Hunter immediately leaped incredulously after the call, arguing that Mark Teixeira's foot was off the bag by the time a throw from Sabathia arrived.
4 AB, 0 H, 2 K
Comment: The former Yankees right fielder seemed to bring out the best in Sabathia. Known for being selective at the plate, Abreu was a bit too prudent his first two times up, striking out looking twice. In his final two at-bats, Abreu flied out meekly to Damon in left field.
5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Comment: Lackey was a both a victim and a practitioner of poor defense on Friday night. He allowed four runs, but only two were earned, thanks to an error by Juan Rivera and one by Lackey himself on a pickoff attempt in the sixth.
"It's October, man. I'd run over my mom in October." -- John Lackey, when asked if Mathis had taken a cheap shot from Rodriguez
The Angels will look to left-hander Joe Saunders to quiet the Yankees' bats and help the Halos earn a split in the Bronx before heading home to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Monday afternoon.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.