No, I didn’t cry over this one. I didn’t really expect the Yankees to pull off a four-game sweep of the Jays, and going 5-2 on the homestand wasn’t exactly the end of the world. For the most part, the team has played well lately and showed a lot of comeback-y-ness (my new favorite word).
Today’s 7-6 defeat marked, among other things, the debut of Eric Hinske in pinstripes and it was eventful. First, he put the Yanks on the board with his solo shot in the third. Yay!
Then, he struck out on what would have been ball four to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. Boo!
He even figured in one of the game’s crazy umpiring mistakes when he was called out at second on Gardner’s fielder’s choice. It wasn’t even close. Wally Bell is probably a decent enough guy, but MLB needs to check him for cataracts (and bubble gum-induced tooth decay).
Or maybe Bell subscribes to the Marty Foster school of umpiring. As Foster told Jeter after that ridiculous call at third in the first inning: “You don’t have to be tagged to be out.” Huh?
(So much for Girardi’s ejections being the Yankees’ lucky charm.) It’s fun to blame the umps, but they didn’t cause Pettitte’s ineffectiveness. That homer to McDonald on a 3-2 pitch in the seventh was a killer. It gave the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead and prompted the requisite goodbye conference on the mound.
Am I the only one who’d love to know what’s really being said when a pitcher is about to depart? It can’t just be “Tough luck and you’ll get ’em next time.” Well, maybe it can. Robinson Cano doesn’t look like he said much of anything.
I doubt Bruney had time for a goodbye conference. He came in, gave up a couple of doubles and a walk to put the Jays ahead 7-1, and was promptly pulled. How long can Girardi use the “rust” excuse for him?
Robertson and Albaladejo both did a nice job holding down Toronto’s offense so the Yankees could display their comeback-y-ness. We chipped away in the seventh, thanks to Swisher’s bases-loaded single, for 7-3. We tacked on another in the eighth, on Jeter’s bases-loaded walk, for 7-4. And then came the ninth. Would there be a comeback? A celebration? A pie?
With two outs, there were singles by Jorge, Cano and Matsui to bring the Yankees excruciatingly close to tying the score. It was 7-6 when Hinske stepped in. He could have become an instant Yankee hero, destined to watch himself over and over on a “Yankeeography.” But no. Instead, he was this.
And so it’s on to Minneapolis to face the Twins before the All-Star break. I’m having a hard time getting it through my head that the 2009 season is half over. Didn’t we just say how we couldn’t wait for baseball to start? Time does fly.
And finally, because I bummed myself out with that last paragraph, here’s some funny video a friend sent me today. It has nothing to do with baseball. But if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a smile.
Here’s what happened in the seventh inning of the Bombers’ rousing 5-4 comeback over the Twins.
An inside-the-parker. Right. The Yankees, who’d been down 4-1, tacked on another run thanks to Gardner’s speed.
But let me rewind the tape.
Phil Hughes wasn’t impressive, and who knows what his status will be once Wang returns. But aside from serving up a couple of homers to Morneau, he kept the Yanks within striking distance.
Jeter put us on the board with a solo shot, but it was Gardner who electrified the crowd. And he was only in the game because Damon got tossed in the third for expressing his displeasure with the ump. I’d never seen Johnny get mad, but he was really steamed at Wally “I Need Lasik Surgery” Bell.
He was dumb to let his emotions get the better of him – we needed his bat, plus he had a nice little hitting streak going for himself – but it all worked out just fine. Melky moved over to left and Brett the Jet took over in center, and both contributed mightily. More on that in a sec.
A-Rod made his debut at the new stadium and walked four times. And Teixeira eased out of his slump, going 2-for-3 with a walk. They’re about to become a very good 3-4 combo.
Speaking of Tex, he had a hissy when Carlos Gomez ran outside the lines to first – twice – nearly clipping his arm off. Words were exchanged, along with menacing faces.
After effective relief appearances by Albaladejo, Bombko, Edwar and Veras (am I really typing these words?), it was the bottom of the ninth with the Yanks still down by two runs and Joe Nathan on the mound for the Twins. Insurmountable? Not for the surprisingly scrappy boys in pinstripes.
Tex: single (RBI)
Cano: intentional walk
Watch. (I can’t. I get too choked up, although I do enjoy the part where Morneau kicks dirt in the dugout.)
If there’s anything more thrilling than a walkoff something, I’d like to know what it is.
During my segment today on Greg Marotta’s sports talk radio show “The Natural,” I was defending the Yankees against the rap that they’re too corporate.
And too old.
And don’t have enough heart.
All I can say is they looked plenty frisky tonight, and I loved it. They’ve come back against Baltimore, Toronto and now Minnesota this week. More, please.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who entered the Flip Video Contest. The photos are so much fun. I’ll be posting them next week and you can all vote to pick the winner of the cam!