Is there a Yankee fan who wasn’t hyperventilating tonight? I doubt it. Where/how do I even begin to talk about this game?
First: the decision to start Hughes instead of Moseley. Whether it was Girardi’s idea or Cashman’s edict, who cares. It was the right move for every reason, and Huuuuughes rose to the occasion. I feel so much better about our pitching after seeing how he stepped up.
Dice K was dealing, so Tex’s bloop single and A-Rod’s homer were enormous. Just huge. Kudos to them for giving us the lead for the first time in ages. A-Rod looks ready and willing to carry this team if necessary.
Cano drove home the tying run and is a lock for the MVP now. OK, not a lock, but he sure made a good case for himself tonight.
Dave Robertson. Great job in a pressure situation. How lucky are we to have him? Same goes for Kerry Wood. And really nice outing by Joba – yes, Joba – as well as Boone Logan.
Girardi was playing Russian roulette with all the moving parts, but the game had a happy ending. Miranda’s walkoff walk (I love typing that) wasn’t a pretty type of win, but who needs pretty. Given the Rays’ loss, we’re only a half a game back in the division. Way to capitalize, Yankees.
I can’t not mention the obvious: Mo blew another save – his fourth in the month of September. I’ve been saying, “No big deal,” but maybe there’s cause for concern after all. I’d love to know if he’s injured and not telling anyone, or whether he’s simply going through an ineffective period. I love him too much to even contemplate the possibility that he’s wearing down.
And Jorge. Seriously. Not only couldn’t he give us a sac fly when we needed a run, but those throws. Ugh. Why not just send out a press release to other teams that they should run on his arm whenever possible?
But I quibble. Tonight was a great baseball game and the Yankees came out on top. (Freya, you promised we’d win and you came through!) I’m going to bed feeling nice and secure.
I’m serious. I mean, how is a fan supposed to deal with up innings and down innings and pitchers who can’t pitch, followed by miraculous bottom-of-the-ninth home runs? How? All I know is this:
* My heart soared when the Yankees went up 5-0 in the first inning off Dice K. I figured, “Wow. We’re gonna crush them.”
* My heart sank when Hughes made it clear he wasn’t as sharp, aggressive or efficient as he’s been and allowed the Sox to climb back in it in the fifth.
* My heart soared again when Thames’s RBI gave us seven runs. Shouldn’t seven runs be enough to win a ball game?
* My heart sank again when Chan Ho Park was forced to come back for the eighth (having literally just been activated) and gave up not one but two shots.
* My heart soared again when Vazquez, the forgotten pitcher, got Youkilis to strike out to end the top of the ninth. The crowd was cheering for him instead of booing him! Sweet!
* My heart jumped into my throat when A-Rod hit Papelbumkin’s first pitch into the seats to tie it up. It was clearly not the Irish jigger’s night, but A-Rod has been nothing but clutch.
* And my heart swelled as I watched Thames – Thames! – win it with his own two-run blast. Obviously, he’s well liked in the clubhouse because the players couldn’t wait to hug the guy and show him some love. And yes, I teared up, even when I watched the replay about 16 times, pie and all.
So you see why I said this game almost killed me. I just hope it didn’t kill any of the Yankees. If I wake up tomorrow and find out that Cervelli is our latest casualty because he got hit on the arm, I’ll be very unhappy. He and Gardner are about the most exciting Yankees in years.
I don’t know about you, but I was really into this one, even though there wasn’t a Yankee in sight. So many storylines. Would Dice K throw a no-hitter? Did Grant “The Mad Australian” Balfour plunk J.D. Drew on purpose? Would Carlos Pena get the green light with two men on and nobody out in the eighth?
And then there was J.P. Howell’s pre-game meal, which the TBS crew felt the need to tell us about:
With a side order of:
Was all that food giving the lefty a case of heartburn and is that why Ortiz walked and Youkilis reached on an error by Crawford smacked an RBI double that glanced off Crawford’s glove?
When it was all over, I decided that the Rays reminded me of the birds that fly into my living room window by mistake and drop to the ground, stunned. Eventually, they get back up and fly away, but who knows if there’s any damage to their little bodies. The Rays were stunned tonight. Time will tell if they’ll get back up and fly again.
As for their fans?
I think they were damaged before the game started.