Oh, Grant. How can I truly express my gratitude? You came into Sunday’s game in the eighth with your Rays leading the Yankees 3-1. You allowed singles to Damon and Tex and then you walked A-Rod to load the bases. You opened the door. You gave me hope. You even entertained me with your cursing. (Yes, Grant. I read lips.)
More thanks to…
I owe you so much, James Phillip. You relieved (so to speak) Balfour by walking Cano and forcing in a run. What a thrill for me to watch Damon trotting home and pulling my team to within 3-2. My goodness. You made it possible for me to believe in miracles.
But I’ve saved my biggest thank you for…
Willy, Willy. Willy. You are such a wonderful, generous person. Why else would you boot Posada’s routine double play ball and not even attempt to throw any runners out? More importantly, you not only let the Yankees tie the score, but it was your error that led the way for Matsui’s go-ahead chopper. Wow. I will never forget this, I swear.
I don’t mean to suggest that the Yankees did nothing in their own behalf to beat the Rays 4-3. The win may have been the Rays’ gift to us, but we didn’t just sit there snoozing like some lazy guy on a Sunday afternoon.
Joba pitched well.
Swisher went deep.
A-rod flashed leather.
Aceves: struck out four.
And Mo was Mo with a 1-2-3 dismissal of the Rays in the ninth.
Wait. There was also Melky’s run-saving catch of Zobrist’s liner in the sixth. OMG. Talk about a great dive! Talk about a great route to the ball! Talk about….Well, just watch.
OK, we didn’t exactly crush the Rays. We kind of beat them and they kind of beat themselves. But a win is a win, and I’ll take it.
What a ridiculous ninth inning if you’re the Rays. For six-plus innings your offense is stymied by geezer Jamie Moyer, who shows his age by sticking his tongue out at you.
Then you get back into the game when your very own cartoon character, B.J. Upton, steals two bases and ties the score.
All the momentum is on your side going into the bottom of the ninth, and yet what do you do? You sit there stunned as
Howell hits someone named Eric Bruntlett. Then you hide your eyes as
Balfour hurls a wild pitch and
Navarro makes a crazy throw way wide of second.
Then Maddon says, “Walk the bases loaded with nobody out”
so that the Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz can hit a squibber to third that Longoria spazzes out on, scoring Bruntlett and leading to this.
Yes, you lost a tough one in Philly, Cinderella boys. Let’s see if you can pull yourselves together tomorrow night. Sleep well.