Somewhere high above Angel Stadium, Gene Mauch was smiling Monday afternoon. Especially when Joe Girardi came out to get Dave Robertson with two outs in a quiet bottom of the 11th. Girardi turned to Alfredo Aceves, who in no time turned the Yankees’ looming ALCS sweep into a contest.
Finally, late over-manager Mauch had company. Girardi’s unnecessary move smacked of the one made by the Little General in the ninth inning on the same field on Oct. 12, 1986.
Remember? Mike Witt got Dwight Evans on a weak pop fly to third. Two outs. Angels leading 5-4 in the clinching game of the ALCS. No one on base.
Here comes Mauch to take the ball from Witt and give it to lefty Gary Lucas – who plucks Rich Gedman with his first pitch. So here comes Mauch again, and Donnie Moore happens. Dave Henderson happens, and the Red Sox — one out away from elimination — don’t look back.
Well, not until that ball goes through Bill Buckner’s bowed legs.