How much better do I feel knowing the Yankees are on a plane to Dallas instead of cleaning out their lockers in the Bronx? This much better.
I wasn’t ready for our season to be over and neither, apparently, were the Yankees. CC didn’t have his dominant stuff, but if there’s a pitcher (besides Andy Pettitte) who can grind through an outing and still retire very good hitters in very big situations, it’s our ace. Huge applause for him.
The bats came alive against Wilson, who helped by not having the kind of control he had the last time out. The homers by Cano, Swisher and Granderson were awesome, but so were singles that kept the line moving. Speaking of Grandy, I’m thinking maybe we should give the prize of the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes to Kevin Long for turning his season completely around. What do you think? OK, never mind. Maybe Barbara or Melissa will knit/sew him a nice scarf instead.
There was still an issue with RISP, but I’m not going there. Not when I’m this happy. So let’s talk about Wood. When he spun around and picked off Andrus at second, I gave him a standing ovation.
And Mo. Well. It was just good to see him after what seemed like an eternity. Of course, there was another moment of panic when Fat Elvis went down trying to catch that foul ball. I swear I thought we were seeing The Curse of the First Basemen. But once I figured out that he was OK, I watched the replays of his banana peel slip and slide and (I admit it) I laughed.
I hope he’ll get plenty of treatment for his neck/back and feel 100% on Friday night. I’m just so excited that there will even BE a Friday night. Yes, we’ll have to deal with the Rangers’ white towel-waving home crowd and yet another elimination game, but at least we’ll have a shot at tying up the series and forcing a Game 7. In other words, it’s not over until she sings.
I know my job here is to try to cheer everybody up after a loss and I’ll do my best, but let’s be honest: tonight was a major league bummer. And the bummer-ness can be summed up with two photos. This one:
And this one:
When I saw Tex grab his hammy in the fifth, I went numb. I think I even stopped breathing (sort of). You just never want to see an injury to one of your best players. Not anytime, but especially not when you’re fighting for a chance to get to the World Series. And while I haven’t heard the results of the MRI, I can’t imagine they’ll bring good news for him or the team.
Onto the photo of AJ after he gave up the homer to Molina in the sixth. How did things go so horribly wrong? The Good AJ had shown up after all, and I was so relieved to see him pitching well with the crowd cheering his every strike. But – and cover your eyes if you don’t like me second guessing our manager – I wouldn’t have let him go back out for the sixth. He hadn’t pitched in forever and five innings of two-run ball would have allowed him to feel somewhat vindicated, to have 50,000 people on his side and, most importantly, to notch the win. Instead,
Grady Little Joe Girardi pushed it and the result was awful.
And speaking of awful, what happened to Boone Logan all of a sudden? (I won’t even get into Joba or Mitre.)
All this agony might have been avoided if the hitters had done their job. They kept letting the Rangers’ pitchers off the ropes, and it was frustrating to watch.
So we lost. And now it’s up to CC to save us tomorrow – and for me to end this post on some happy notes.
* The pizza wasn’t lucky but it was delicious.
* There was more thunder and lightning here but my power didn’t go out.
* A Red Sox fan called me bad names on Twitter and I took the high road by not calling him bad names back.
* Patrick Wilson, the actor who sang “God Bless America,” is very handsome. (I loved him in the movie “Little Children.”)
* There’s a very good chance we’ll win Game 5.
No, Cliff Lee is not a god. He’s not even the best pitcher in the major leagues. But he owns the Yankees, and his performance tonight only highlighted the point. He made the hitters look like Little Leaguers (no offense to the kids below, who could probably have done a better job).
Was Lee really that good or did his whole aura mess with the Yankees’ heads? Probably both. He threw strikes and they couldn’t hit them. At all. It was a shame because Andy pitched great, minus the mistake to Hamilton. He was everything we could have hoped for and more, and he deserved better. What was Dave Robertson doing in the ninth giving up all those runs? Why wasn’t Mo in there with the score at 2-0 to hold the Rangers down and allow the Yanks to score in the bottom of the inning? I have no idea. I’m hoping the beat writers will ask Girardi and I’ll read about it in the morning. In the meantime, I’m retiring the “lucky” turkey burgers and planning a menu change for tomorrow night: last year’s good luck charm during the World Series.
I guess I should have figured things wouldn’t go well. We’ve been having uncharacteristically rotten weather here in SoCal with rain and fog day after day, but tonight was the capper: a rare thunderstorm with vicious lightning. We just don’t get that stuff here, so naturally the power went out in the house about six times during the game, leaving us in the dark.
The Yankees must have felt like they had a power outage too. They certainly looked like it. If I were Girardi, I’d have a team meeting before Game 4 and say the following in a really loud, authoritative voice:
“You’re the Yankees, the reigning World Champions of baseball. You’re playing in Yankee Stadium in front of 50,000 fans who paid big bucks to come and cheer for you. You need to remember who you are, how you played all year long, how much you want to move forward into the next round, and, above all, how the layoff between this series and the ALDS is not an excuse for mediocrity. Oh, and She-Fan will be clogging her arteries with cheesy, greasy, fatty plaque by having pizza on your behalf. The least you can do is win the game for her.”
On the heels of Suzyn Waldman’s groundbreaking interview with Nolan Ryan, which preceded the Yankees’ win over the Rangers on Friday night and could only be seen here, I happened to be milling around the Rangers’ Manhattan hotel today, stumbled across Suzyn entering Cliff Lee’s suite, and shot the following footage of them with the She-Fan Cam. I think Yankee fans will all breathe a sigh of relief that Lee is not, in fact, a superior being. It turns out that, despite the breathlessness of the media, he is a fallible human who might even lose Game 3.
On a more serious note, like all Yankee fans I was saddened by the death of “Freddy Sez,” who brought his pan and spoon to every game in the Bronx and encouraged us to bang away in support of our team. He was the ultimate fan and a sweet guy. RIP, Freddy.
Don’t blame Huuuughes for today’s defeat. While it’s true that he looked like he was throwing batting practice and forced the offense to attempt yet another monumental comeback, this one’s on me. I did not grill the lucky turkey burgers.
My excuse is that it’s been really foggy here – like this foggy.
I can’t even see the grill out the window. Plus, it was still afternoon here when the Rangers were hitting bombs off Huuuuughes, and who wants to eat burgers at 3 o’clock? So I didn’t do it, and the Yankees lost. I’m sorry.
On the other hand, maybe lucky food had nothing to do with this loss. I say that because Audrey, Friend of the Blog, baked lucky Yankees cupcakes and we still played like dead people. (Here’s a pic she sent me. Yum.)
OK, let’s get down to basics. For the second game in a row, our starting pitching stank up the joint and it’s a little scary. These are the guys we count on to give us innings, keep the opposition off balance, get hitters out. They can’t be having trouble with command, mechanics or whatever the hell else was the problem. The bullpen has been a bright spot and Cano is on fire, but can Dave Eiland please fix whatever’s wrong with our rotation? I don’t want to hear about the extra rest anymore. I want Andy to come out with killer stuff in the Bronx on Monday night.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to be grateful that we gained a split in Texas. But I was kind of enjoying the constant yammering about how the Rangers hadn’t won a postseason game at home – ever. I was hoping to keep the monkey on my back.
Well, on their back. Anyhow, I’m switching over to FOX now for the NLCS so I can forget about that fiasco. Ugh.
OMG, what an amazing ride. And there are people in the world who don’t watch baseball? I mean seriously. Raise your hand if you saw or listened to the game and didn’t think it was exciting, no matter which team you root for. Not possible.
CC was awful and who would have expected it. I had dismissed all the talk about the extra rest – nine days worth – but he looked rusty. If you had told me he’d only last four innings I would have laughed, but there it was. Still, his play at home in the first was fantastic. For a big guy he got down fast. I bet the earth moved when he hit the ground.
When Joba came in with the Rangers ahead 5-0, I figured we were in mop up mode. But after he held Texas scoreless and then Moseley pitched brilliantly and Cano went deep, I couldn’t help thinking maybe C.J. Wilson would be pulled and we’d break the door down.
And that’s what happened. As improbable as it seemed, the Yanks silenced the white towel-waving crowd in Arlington after Gardner’s head first slide into first base triggered a barrage of hits. Could we put our hands together for him, Jeter, Swisher, Tex, A-Rod, Cano and Thames?
With the Yankees now up 6-5 (and me in absolute delirium), Wood couldn’t find the strike zone and nearly made me stick my hand through the TV and wring his neck. But all I can say is THANK YOU, IAN KINSLER! I guess your deer antlers didn’t have magic powers tonight.
How about that rundown? LOVED Jeter’s little fake throw that preceded the tag. Was that pickoff the straw that broke the Rangers’ back? Probably. But Michael Young’s strikeout against Mo was pretty devastating. You could tell by the change in mood of George W. Bush and Nolan Ryan.
(Hat tip to Friend of the Blog Michael Fierman)
Anyhow, the Yankees gave us fans a miraculous victory that I’ll be reliving in my head all night. I can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon when the game will be on at 1 o’clock here. For once I won’t be blacked out by Fox.
I’m bored with all of that. If I have to read one more article about the brilliance we can expect from the Texas Rangers tomorrow night, I’ll scream.
There’s only one way to judge the opposition’s capabilities and that’s by listening to their hitters’ walk-up music. Seriously. Take a second so you can hear what the Rangers picked to pump them up.
OK, let’s start with Elvis Andrus’ pick: “Say Aah.” That song wouldn’t motivate anybody to get a hit. It would send me right to the doctor for a checkup.
Michael Young’s choice of “Sabotage” would be appropriate – if he wanted to strike out with the bases loaded.
I find it hard to believe that Ian Kinsler steps in to Ram Jam’s “Black Betty.” I mean hasn’t he heard that the song is used at Yankee Stadium when we’re about to send a pitcher to the showers?
I don’t know what to say about Nelson Cruz’s “Prrrum” except the word sounds an awful lot like “broom.”
Josh Hamilton’s music is about Jesus, which must be inspirational for him. And the translation of Vladdie’s “Traigo Fuego” is “I bring fire,” which is cool. And I guess Justin Smoak’s “Backwoods” works in a “Deliverance” sort of way.
(Note: As my friend Drew at the My Pinstripes blog pointed out, Smoak is with the Mariners now. I kept him in there because I liked the “Deliverance” reference. Couldn’t help myself.)
Well, there you have it – my assessment of the Rangers and their tunes. Yeah, I’m nervous about this series. I’ve been itching for it to start and now my stomach is in a knot. The good news is that CC – our ace, our rock, our horse, our whatever-you-want-to-call-him – will be on the mound. Oh, and there’s the fact that we’re the New York Yankees, the reigning World Champions. No small thing.
P.S. Only a few more hours to weigh in on the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes contest. If you haven’t done it yet, do it right here!
You won’t find this clip anywhere else. I flew to Arlington, stood outside the office of Rangers president Nolan Ryan, and overheard our own Suzyn chatting up Nolan. I cracked open the door, focused the She-Fan Cam and here’s the result.
Only a few more nights until the action gets underway in Arlington. So if you haven’t entered the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes contest or want to revise your predictions, click here. You have until Thursday night at midnight PT.
But where, exactly, IS Arlington? Yes, I’m aware that it’s in Texas, but where? I figured I’d better check since our boys will be flying there.
OK, so it’s not in the Panhandle. And it’s not near the Mexican border. It’s not even in the vicinity of Austin or Houston or El Paso. It’s kind of close to Texarkana, which is an actual place not a country-and-western song, and is, therefore, practically in Arkansas, home of Cliff Lee, as well as A.J. and Moseley. What’s it like in Arlington? According to Wikipedia…
Arlington is a city in Tarrant County, Texas within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the seventh-largest city in Texas and the 49th largest city in the United States.
OK, so it’s not that small, and our Yankees will find plenty of places where they can amuse themselves.
Located approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles (32 km) west of downtown Dallas, Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington, Cowboys Stadium, the International Bowling Campus (which houses the United States Bowling Congress, International Bowling Museum and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), the headquarters for American Mensa, and the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags).
Cool. They can go bowling if they need to get away from it all, not to mention hop on a roller coaster.
According to the American Lung Association, Dallas has the 12th highest air pollution among U.S. cities. Much of the air pollution in Dallas and the surrounding area comes from a hazardous materials incineration plant in the small town of Midlothian and from concrete installations in neighbouring Ellis County.
Uh-oh. So they won’t be able to breathe. And the last thing CC needs before he makes his start on Friday night is to be exposed to hazardous materials. He’ll have enough trouble staying away from the BBQ joints. But the real hazard, as far as I’m concerned, is Lee and we don’t have to worry about him for awhile. I was hoping we’d play the Rays and we’re not. So we’ll have to get used to the following:
* Relentless close-ups of Nolan Ryan.
* Vlad Guerrero swinging at balls on the ground, in the air, off the top of his head.
* Replays of Josh Hamilton winning the Home Run Derby.
* Neftali Feliz’s “cheddar,” as David Wells and Dennis Eckersley dubbed his fastball.
The Rangers are an excellent team and I congratulate them for winning their series. But just like the highly anticipated new FOX show “Lone Star,” they should prepare to be cancelled after just a few episodes.
P.S. Now that our opponent is known, it’s a good time to enter the Crumbs cupcakes contest or amend your predictions. Click here for details. The deadline for entering is Thursday at midnight, PT.
Actually, I should have said, “Who doesn’t want cupcakes?” Yankees cupcakes, that is. Courtesy of the talented folks at Crumbs Bake Shop.
To celebrate the Bombers and their march into the ALCS, Crumbs has created a brand new Yankees cupcake that will go on sale Monday in all 13 of their New York locations. It features vanilla cake, vanilla cream cheese frosting, and Yankees blue and white sprinkles with the NYY logo on top. Is it to die for or what?
If you live in NYC, you can walk into a Crumbs store and buy the cupcakes OR you can enter this blog’s exclusive contest and win a gift certificate for a signature size six-pack of these delicious treats. Yes, I said six of them! There will only be one winner and the gift certificate will be valid until 12/31/10. What do you have to do to win? Be the first commenter with the correct answers to the all of the following six questions:
1) Which team will win the ALCS?
2) How many games will the ALCS go?
3) Who will be the ALCS MVP?
4) Will a manager or player get ejected during the ALCS?
5) How many appearances will Mo make?
6) Will the Good A.J. show up?
I know, I know. We have no idea whether our rivals will be the Rays or the Rangers. Not until Tuesday. That’s why you can either wait to enter the contest until after that series is decided OR enter now OR change your mind after your first try and enter more than once. Just keep in mind that the lucky winner will be the first person (by their time stamp) who leaves the comment with the correct answer to all six questions. All entries must be left here by Thursday night, the eve of Game 1, by midnight Pacific Time, and the winner will be crowned and cupcaked once the series is over. Got it? I’ll post a reminder each day until we close the contest on Thursday, but in the meantime may the best prognosticator win!
#1 I see from some of the comments that I neglected to mention: CRUMBS SHIPS! If you win, you’ll be getting a gift certificate for the six cupcakes and Crumbs will send them to you wherever you are. My bad for not explaining that. This is not just a New York contest.
#2) The A.J. question means: Will the Good A.J. show up to pitch, not just to throw pie in someone’s face!