Clinch lets Posada forget tough night
Catcher celebrates pennant despite leaving 10 men on base
NEW YORK -- By the time it was over, one of the most forgettable games Jorge Posada has played in the postseason was washed away by champagne.
The veteran catcher's smile was wide and his satisfaction was obvious. The Yankees, with a 5-2 win in Sunday night's American League Championship Series Game 6, are back in the World Series for the first time in six years, celebrating a postseason run made sweeter by the fact that this team missed the postseason in 2008.
That means that Posada, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte will have a chance to win their fifth World Series championship together, but their first since 2000.
Although Jeter drew three walks, Pettitte earned the win and Rivera worked a six-out save, Posada not only went 0-for-5, he also left 10 runners on base.
"We won -- we won," Posada said. "That's what we set out to do."
The Angels worked around superstar Alex Rodriguez for most of the night, walking him three times. Posada, batting behind A-Rod in the five-hole, couldn't make the Halos pay.
The Yankees had already scored three runs in the fourth when Posada stepped up with the bases loaded and one out. If he had come up with a big hit, New York could have blown the game open. Instead, he hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
Posada again could have made it a blowout in the bottom of the eighth. The Yankees had already scored twice in that inning, and he again came up with the bases loaded. This time, he struck out.
However, Posada isn't one to take his at-bats to his vital position behind the plate. He guided Rivera through a perfect ninth inning, and the Yankees piled on top of each other in celebration.
For Rivera, having Posada's steady hand to work with continues to be a key.
"It's priceless," Rivera said of making another trip to the World Series with his batterymate. "I couldn't ask for anything better than that."
And if Posada could have asked for a better day at the plate than he had in Game 6, he can't think of anything sweeter than going back to the World Series.
"After what we went through last year, this is very, very sweet," Posada said. "It takes a lot to be in this position."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.