By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
AUG. 2, 2002
GAME 108 - YANKEES AT ANGELS
ANAHEIM -- While the Angels scratch and claw for every win they can get to keep themselves in a pennant race in August and September, the New York Yankees look like a team that arrives at the ballpark, punches a timeclock and gets the job done.
Unfazed by the Angels' 2-1 win on Thursday, it was business as usual on Friday for the Yankees in a 4-0 win before a sellout crowd of 43,668 at Edison Field.
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte held the Angels scoreless on four hits through 8 1/3 innings before Ramiro Mendoza got the final two outs to preserve the shutout. Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Rondell White and Nick Johnson led a nine-hit attack with two hits apiece.
With the loss, the Angels fell three games behind first-place Seattle in the American League West and are now tied with Boston for the wild-card lead.
Before the game, the Yankees' Jason Giambi and David Wells taped a segment with actor Robert Wuhl of HBO's ``Arli$$.'' Former Yankee and Angel Reggie Jackson spent batting practice socializing with Yankees players and coaches behind the batting cage. Fans wearing Yankees caps and jerseys leaned over the Yankees dugout yelling to the Yankees players.
Those aren't distractions to the Yankees, just part of the normal routine for a team that has won the World Series four of the past six seasons.
The Angels, meanwhile, are learning what it's like to play in the spotlight. Playing before a sellout crowd for the second consecutive night, the Angels were shut out for the eighth time this season. Only Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Kansas City have been blanked more in the A.L. this season.
The Angels have been held to two runs or fewer in six of their past seven games, totalling 10 runs. They've scored only three runs total in their past four games. Friday, they didn't put a baserunner as far as third base until there were two outs in the ninth.
A lot of their offensive troubles have had to do with the pitching they've faced, which has included Seattle's Jamie Moyer, Boston's Pedro Martinez and New York's Jeff Weaver before Pettitte on Friday. But the Angels won't make it an excuse.
``We're not going to fall back on that,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``You're going to face tough pitching and you have to beat tough pitching. I don't want to look back and say we faced tough pitching. We have to get it done.''
Pettitte (6-4) gave up four hits in 8 1/3 innings to get the win.
``You can count on one hand the balls he didn't get in the location he wanted,'' Scioscia said. ``He got ahead in the count and put guys away.''
Tim Salmon had one of the Angels' four hits, a double to right-center in the fourth inning. Garret Anderson had a double in the seventh. In the ninth, Darin Erstad and Anderson both singled, but that was the extent of the Angels offense.
``We're going up against the best pitchers,'' Salmon said. ``Of course we'd like to score more runs, but it's tough. All you can do is go up and do the best you can and hope their guy doesn't have his stuff working that night. We've had a tough stretch but I think we've done pretty well.''
The Angels defense, so good on Thursday night, hurt them Friday in the early innings. Angels starter Kevin Appier (9-9) had retired the first five batters he faced, but with two outs and nobody on in the second, Raul Mondesi beat out a bunt single.
Johnson moved Mondesi to third with a double to left. Then, on a pitch to White, the ball deflected off catcher Bengie Molina's mitt and went to the backstop. On the passed ball, Mondesi scored and Johnson went to third.
White followed with a slow roller to third that went for an infield hit, scoring Johnson to put the Yankees up, 2-0.
In the third inning, Jeter led off with a popup to shallow right field. Second baseman Benji Gil got to the ball in time but the ball popped out of his glove. Jeter was credited with a double but it was a ball that should have been caught.
The Yankees cashed in on the opportunity when Williams singled to center to score Jeter and make it 3-0.
Appier was finished after six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits while striking out seven and walking two.
ANAHEIM -- When Scott Schoeneweis looks in the mirror, he sees a starting pitcher who is temporarily pitching out of the bullpen. The Angels, though, see Schoeneweis as a pivotal piece to their bullpen.
Schoeneweis, removed in the starting rotation after his start June 25 in favor of John Lackey, is the only left-hander in the bullpen. He has been impressive lately, including his appearance Thursday night against the Yankees. Schoeneweis was called upon to face one batter in the eighth inning -- Jason Giambi. Schoeneweis struck him out, and was immediately taken out of the game.
Schoeneweis worked all spring on adding a changeup to his repertoire of pitches because starters need a variety. But as a reliever, Schoeneweis is sticking to what he does best: throw a hard, sinking fastball.
He threw nothing but sinkers to Giambi and said he could not have done the same thing if he was starting.
``He's got a little more time to see pitches,'' Schoeneweis said. ``In the bullpen, it's do or die.''
Manager Mike Scioscia wouldn't rule out Schoeneweis becoming a starter again at some point, but not now. Schoeneweis hasn't allowed any runs or hits in his past five appearances, covering three innings. Of those nine outs, five came by strikeout.
``He's shown that he can definitely have an impact as a late-inning lefty,'' Scioscia said. ``There's not many in this league. He was obviously disappointed when we gave him the news (going to the bullpen) but he understands what we needed. We'll see which fork in the road he takes in the future.''
With the Yankees throwing a lefty in Andy Pettitte on Friday, Scioscia went with his right-handed hitting lineup. Only this time Shawn Wooten was on the bench and the newest Angel, outfielder Alex Ochoa, got the start in right field.
``We're in a position now we haven't been in, which speaks volumes for the depth we have,'' Scioscia said. ``And that is, who do you take out? Good teams have tough decisions to make, bad teams don't.''
Going into the game the Angels were 21-9 this season against left-handed starters.
Infielder Jose Nieves, designated for assignment when the Angels activated catcher Bengie Molina on Thursday, cleared waivers on Friday. The Angels outrighted Nieves to Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Reliever Dennis Cook continues to make slow but steady progress while rehabbing a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He is playing catch now and could begin throwing off the mound in a week to 10 days. The Angels hope Cook can return sometime in September.