Heavyweight teams trade big blows
Angels, Yankees both keep fighting in epic Game 3
NEW YORK -- October baseball isn't for adhering to summer-long storylines, but for twisting plots like a funnel cake. The postseason is novelty, the unexpected and the unforeseen.It is a night like Friday's in the Bronx, which began wet and ended up wonderfully wild. Baseball games aren't scripted. But whatever the treatment was for Game 3 of the Division Series, the combatants didn't even come close to it in the Angels' ad-libbed 11-7 win over the Yankees. According to the judges' cards, the Angels are ahead in this heavyweight bout, 2 to 1. "Two tough teams. They're not going to quit, and neither are we," said Darin Erstad, one of three left jabs the Angels used to kayo New York's big timber. Not that the first time the Yankees went down, they stayed down. Both teams' resiliency left an indelible impression after four hours of ebb and flow. Oh, nothing much happened. The Angels long-balled Randy Johnson for five quick runs. The Yankees zoomed from a 5-0 deficit into a 6-5 lead before you could say "Rudolph Giuliani." The Angels got their second wind and knocked out the Yanks. Routine, everyday stuff. This was a game neither team should have won. Their Division Series should still be tied 1-1, with an asterisk. The Yankees couldn't win after their Big Unit weaved the Big Egg Basket. Not a goose egg in the bunch. Not only did the Angels dismiss him in three innings and five runs, but most of the damage was done from the left side of the plate. Against the 6-foot-10 left-hander, that's normally the dark side. But Garret Anderson delivered the big, early blow with a three-run homer in the first. He later added a triple. Adam Kennedy had a single, Erstad a double. Since July, Johnson had allowed a total of four hits to left-handed batters. And here were the Angels lefties, hitting for the cycle against him. Did someone figure him out and share the secret?
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.