'Desperate' Yankees refuse to go
Veterans stave off elimination with determined effort
NEW YORK -- They were down, on the way out. But eight outs before they would've had to go away, the Yankees instead went to Anaheim.They're all going to Disneyland. Or as close to it as they want to get, Angel Stadium, which will be open for business Monday night because the Yankees are back in business. "We were like desperate animals, just trying to survive," Alex Rodriguez said after the pack of Yankees did just that, biting the Angels, 3-2, Sunday night, "and an animal is most dangerous when it's in the snare." The snare appeared closed late in Game 4, when their thunderbolts were already in storage and that Los Angeles bullpen appeared on the scene to do the same to the whole team. Shawn Chacon's stoically tenacious effort seemed doomed to be remembered only for heightening the end's frustration. Into the sixth, the Yankees were still down, 2-0, to John Lackey's one-hitter, angling hopelessly as his curveballs rolled off the table. Then a team that is supposed to be too old stopped acting its age and refused for Chacon's guts to have been spilled in vain. "Shawn Chacon was unbelievable," said Jorge Posada, his catcher. "We had to use the chance Chacon gave us. He pitched brilliantly. He gave us a chance to win." Posada was principal among the gray Yankees who ran with that chance -- literally. In the two-run seventh that declared that there would be a tomorrow, and it wouldn't be just a Blue Monday, he ordered 34-year-old legs battered by years of squatting to "sprint" from first to third on the game-tying single. Then he commanded those same legs to "sprint" home for the winning run on a little chopper hit right behind him. "I'm not fast," said Posada, needlessly, of his daring run as third baseman Chone Figgins fielded Derek Jeter's ball, "but I'm going on contact there. The ball was on the ground, and that gave me a chance to go there. "I just went for the plate, and the ball got away from Bengie [Molina, the Angels' catcher]." Molina's sweep tag after short-hopping Figgins' throw may have coincided with Posada's foot coming down on the plate. Angels manager Mike Scioscia briefly argued plate umpire Alfonso Marquez's call. But the validity of the call on the bang-bang play was almost irrelevant -- in a symbolic sense, not a scoreboard sense -- to Posada's willingness to try it.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.