Nightmare On 35th Street

There it is: U.S. Cellular Field. It looks benign, doesn’t it? Even beautiful? But don’t be fooled. There are demons lurking in that ballpark, and they’ve sucked all the life out of the Yankees.
They attacked AJ Burnett in the second inning of today’s 14-4 horror show. How else to explain how a guy who’d been pitching brilliantly and become the ace of the staff had a complete and total meltdown in the inning, giving up five singles and a double and walking Nix, the #9 batter, with the bases loaded? No wonder he looked like this when he got back to the dugout.
He was drained of all his blood, and if you zoom in closely you can see the two bite marks on his neck.
Somehow he survived into the fifth inning, but he walked Nix again with the bases loaded for another run to make it 7-2 White Sox. I’m sorry, but that’s just not normal. By the time he was pulled for Bruney, he had taken on a pretty demonic look of his own.
Bruney kept the demons at bay until the seventh, when he, too, fell prey to them and walked Nix. It was hair-raising.
Coke came on for the eighth to face the lefty batters, but he went utterly batty himself.
Creepy? I’ll say. He allowed six runs and – you guessed it – he walked Nix (it was intentional, but still). Why Girardi was using Coke in a blowout made me wonder if Joe himself had been seized by demons.
Actually, I wondered about him right from the get-go. I mean, the lineup was nothing if not bizarre. I understand all the lefty-righty stuff, but Cody Ransom at first? Didn’t the Yankees get Jerry Hairston for his versatility? Or how about sticking Swisher at first and using Hinske in the outfield? Or what about not giving both Damon and Matsui the day off, even though they’re lefties; they’re also two professional hitters who know what to do at the plate. But the most confounding move of all was not using any of these players to pinch-hit for Ransom in the fifth or in the eighth when the Yanks were still down by only four runs and could have made it a ball game? Bad managing or another blood sucker on the loose at U.S. Cellular Field?
Everything about this game seemed tainted, poisoned. Jeter botched a routine grounder and Swisher and Hairston both made bad throws from the outfield, and Jorge couldn’t nail anybody stealing. And then there was the hitting – or lack of it. Whenever the Yanks would get runners on base, they were paralyzed by some unseen force and struck dumb and dumber.
I think the ultimate proof that the Yankees were attacked by demons today was the way they went down 1-2-3 in the ninth to this man.
Wouldn’t you be scared to death too?
But now that the horror is over for today, the question is whether there will be fresh hell tomorrow. The Yanks will send CC to the mound against Mark “Perfecto” Buerhle. Can they gather themselves and salvage the final game in this series? Or will this be another lost weekend, like the one in Anaheim, when everything that can go wrong will?
I hope the team has a closed door meeting before the game – to get everybody on the same page and to keep any further demons from intruding on the good times.


  1. PAUL

    That pic of Nosferatu looks a bit like Joe Torre.
    And regarding last night’s game, did I or did I not tell you that Sergio Mitre wasn’t any good?
    They backed off of Bronson Arroyo because of his salary and that the stat zombies said to back off, but they were considering Brian Bannister, who’s about as bad as Mitre. They could’ve gone for Jon Garland, who’s a free agent at the end of the year and is PERFECT for what they need. Anything would’ve been better than what they did (nothing). You can have Oliver Perez, by the way.

  2. Inside the Thought Bubble

    CC coming off a pretty bad start against the Rays vs Buerhle who’s coming off the best two weeks of his career, I hate to be a negative nancy but this does not exactly sound like its going to go the Yankees way. But then again, I didn’t think the hottest team in baseball would come into this series and drop 3 games to the white sox, who were in a collective team slump altogether. Not to mention that the Sox can just smell that first place position atop the AL east. Hopefully the Yankees can end this week on a good note

  3. Jane Heller

    I wanted Washburn, but yes, you did warn me about Mitre, Paul. There must be a reason why they didn’t go after Garland. His name kept popping up. But now, unless somebody falls into their lap off of waivers, I guess it’ll be Mitre again on Tuesday. Ugh. I really, really hate when Yankees pitchers get shelled!

  4. Jane Heller

    R, the one thing I’ve learned is that the Yankees can get to top pitchers almost better than they can against rookies or junk-throwers. I don’t know if they focus more against a Santana or a Halladay (I know, we’re stuck with him next week), but I’m not worried about the offense. It’ll come back around. It’s the mental mistakes I worry about and, of course, our own pitching.

  5. bern_asoto

    Jeter screwing up was the last straw for me. I turned it off after that. What an AWFUL game!
    I think the reason they didn’t get a pitcher before the deadline was because the other teams just wanted too much. I heard the Blue Jays wanted both Hughes and Joba for Halladay at one point. Come on, you can’t expect Cashman to make that trade! It’ll be easier to get someone off waivers. They won’t have to give anyone up.

  6. ibleedpinstripes

    My God, I’m actually glad I missed this game because of work! I didn’t get to see a minute of it… maybe it was better that way. As I kept reading this my eyes got bigger and bigger. What a mess! I can only imagine what might happen tomorrow… Buerhle went perfecto through 14 innings between his last two starts. That’s just scary. I do not like it one bit. I will openly admit that I am scared for tomorrow’s game. Ugh. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?! [runs around shouting at the sky]

    – Lisa

  7. Jane Heller

    Bern, I was hoping Cashman would make a trade for Washburn, who may not be Halladay or Lee but who has pitched with success in the AL and would certainly be an adequate #5. I understand the Mariners wanted AJax, so it was no deal, but I thought maybe they could work something out. We’ll see what washes up on the waivers side.

    You’re lucky you missed the game, Lisa. A mess is exactly what it was. It honestly felt like the Yankees couldn’t do anything right. But I still think we’ll win tomorrow. I just do!

  8. lenn23

    Hopefully this is just a phase. It seems like when the Yanks play bad they really play bad for a couple of days. They make a lot of errors and get walloped by anywhere from 5 to 15 runs. I hope they got this out of their system with these past three games. I don’t know why it always has to be on national TV though. Their record on Fox stinks.

  9. southernbelle

    Jane: I agree that Girardi managed the game horribly. The Yankees should just release Ransom. He really is not good. I don’t understand in such an important game why Girardi would send out anyone but the best? Ransom? Come on. This is no time to give Tex a half day off. And he couldv’e used Hinske. So what if Hinske is a lefty? He can’t face a lefty? I’m sure Hisnke vs lefty is better that a .180 batting average, or whatever Ransom is hitting. Come on. I could manage better. -an upset Virginia 😦

  10. matttan7

    I like the way it’s summed up, US Cellular is becoming a house of horrors for the Yankees. Although the hitting was there, and scoring four runs yesterday, the White Sox spanked the Yankees big time, (no home run though). I would like CC to step up his game and the Yankees to score more than four runs.

    Matthew Tang

  11. Jane Heller

    It must be the Fox jinx, Len! Seriously, it’s true that when the Yankees go bad, they really go bad. You don’t just forget how to play baseball, but when they get blown out like this it seems as if they do.

    Thanks, Cat. Sorry your Dodgers lost too. Let’s hope for a better day today. That’s all we can do.

    So far, the Yankees’ winning streaks have far outweighed the losing streaks, devilabrit. I’m betting they’ll turn things around, especially after the off-day on Monday. They look like they need one.

    The lefty-righty thing annoys the hell out of me, Virginia. Hinske, Damon, Matsui would have been far better choices as pinch hitters instead of leaving Ransom in there. It made me crazy! The Yankees were responsible for their poor play, but Girardi was guilty of poor managing.

    So true, Matthew. CC needs to step up today big time.

  12. southernbelle

    Jane: I’m sorry the Yankees have angered you to the verge of exploding, but I’m glad I’m not alone in these feelings. If they lose today and I break something and my parents punish me, I’ll say, “Jane feels the same way. I don’t have an anger problem!.” (jk) -Virginia

  13. Jane Heller

    We didn’t have to destroy any furniture today, Virginia! There were moments during today’s game when I thought, Uh-oh. Here we go again. But the Yanks prevailed and we stopped the slide. So relieved.

    The ballpark in your hood looks really nice, Jeff, but it scared me to death this weekend!

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