Watching the game as I tap the keys. Its top of 6 and Small just replaced Wright. Yanks are down 5-3. Petey Goods is at the stadium, text messaging me. He doesn’t have a lot of good things to report.
The Yankees are a strangely predictable team. They follow patterns and trends to such an extent that we should start to see math clubs organizing field trips to the Bron-x. The last two games they have lost, and now this game, have followed the same trend. One massive, implosive inning. Usually with two outs. Same deal today. Big inning by the Royals in the fifth. All with two outs. A great battle to get a two out hit by Berroa, then an infield hit that was more of a botch job by Cano, then a walk, then; armageddon. Only one ball was hit hard. Lots of infield hits and good placement.
Yanks had a three run lead. Following another trend there. They scored their runs, and then laid down the bats. At this point, they have 2 hits in the game, and currently have been retired nine in a row. By J.P. Howell, some s*ckjob rookie who is 1-4 with a 7.68 ERA. They have done this in the same manner that they have done it all season long. They are leaping at the ball with the ferocity of a dog leaping at a passing car. With the same results. Thus, Howell’s pitch count has gotten much more economical as the game has worn on. This guy after the first two innings looked like he was doomed to not make it out of the fourth. Here he is in the sixth, with one out and one on right now. Make that two out. Gary Sheff just beat out the back end of a double play. Text message from the big boy that Sheff-ield rarely looks like he’s hustling on the paths. He’s right. Giambi, who is usually the one guy you can count on to bleed a pitch count, just swung at the first pitch and b*tched out. Trying to remember to last time he got a hit. Not sure, but I think it was around the time my mom was the president of Franc-e. So Howell’s thrown 87 pitches through six, but what does that matter? He’s a terrible rookie who no one pretends is a legitimate major league prospect. Is it that important to get him out of the game? It shouldn’t be, certainly. And it’s not the pitcher. It’s the bats. We’ve seen anybody and everybody do this to the Yanks this year. Doesn’t matter – rookie or veteran, all-star or ******. The Yankees do this to themselves. They become super undisciplined, swing at everything, and make the game very easy for the opposition. It’s pretty scary. This Yankee team can do this against any team, any pitcher, at any time. This game is the premier example of that. Three hits against a rookie, J.P. “Thurston” Howell, and the last place (by far) Royals, at home in Yankee stadium. You couldn’t have drawn up a better match-up for the Yanks.
I recall from the first time the Yanks and Royals played in KC that they have a few kids, rookies again, probably, who throw ridiculous heat. At the time, the Yankees had a lot of trouble hitting guys who throw good heat. That was part of the reason the Yanks went down three straight. They couldn’t touch those guys. And of course they threw nothing but strikes, helped partly by the fact that the Yanks swung at everything. I guess we’ll see them soon.
Well the Royals keep on coming. The Yankees, who had a pretty solid looking three run lead with two outs in the fifth, are now, five outs later, down by three. Aaron Small’s magic has just about run out. Mike Sweeney, the only guy on this team who can actually hit, is 2 for 4 with a double and 3 rbi’s. He had two doubles last night, too. All to the exact same spot – past a diving A-Rod. Today, the big one was a bases-loaded, two-out, two-run double that put the go-ahead run in scoring position. A-Rod probably should have been playing the line with two outs, especially since he had been beaten twice in the last two games by the same guy. Can’t get on A-Rod for the D so much this year, I guess.
So we’re in the bottom of the seventh. Looking for some thunder. Three runs is a lot, especially when the Yankees are in f*ck-me mode. Bernie just leads off the seventh with a base hit. Howell is gone. Reliever in, Posada smacks a fly-out to the deepest part of the park. The Ferocious Lion did the same earlier. Lawto-n down swinging. Jim Kaat just made a pretty good suggestion. “Good time for Cano to take a strike,” he said. Pure Genius. It was 3-0, after all. He took two, actually, before b*tching out on strikes. That’s what these Royals will do to you, though. A great, playoff contending juggernaut like these Royals will come back from 3-0 to strike you out with men on.
I’m not going to do this all day. It’s nice out. I’m going outside. The Yankees are now down 7-3 courtesy of an Aaron Small walk and a yet another seeing-eye base hit, all with two outs, of course. The Royals have brought in the flamethrower, Burgo-s, who just looks like an *ss hole.
I’ll also say this. The Yanks have to get more tenacious. They need to be more relentless. They need to keep coming after you, one through nine. They can’t just lie down after a quick spurt of runs. How do they break this pattern? Donnie Baseball? What are you telling these guys? I’ll tell you what I’m telling them. Win. Just win.
Pause for effect.
You didn’t really think I’d walk away from my Yankees, did you? Sure it’s beautiful outside; its 80 degrees and sunny, barely a cloud in the sky. I couldn’t care less. I couldn’t be happier indoors in front of YES HD, because I just watched one of the sickest comebacks I have ever seen. I had two choices. I could either scrap the entire first shot at today’s post, or I could leave it all right there and write the post-script. At the end of the eighth, I had it up, edited, and previewed. All I needed to do was hit “save this post.” But I’ve been a Yankee fan all my life, and this is a golden age for the Yankees. This is why I watch. The theme works for so many different things, and the every once in a while, the Yanks provide a brilliant reminder. There’s always hope. And I’m not going to turn my back on them when things look bleak. So I watched on.
Jim Kaat, who for my money gives you the best in-game insight, said it best. The Yankees weren’t pounding the ball, but they were doing what the Royals had done to them all day – sneaking base hits through the infield. Everybody locked on in the ninth. This is where I point to the owners with the grocery-bagger payrolls, and the fans that crow about teams with low payrolls beating teams that pay out. The Royals got what they paid for. A guy who couldn’t execute a game-ending double play, and a bunch of guys who simply could not get the final two outs on the baseball field. Don’t spend it all in one place, Affeldt.
But let’s give credit to the Yanks. I wanted tenacity, I wanted relentlessness. That is what I am talking about, boys. THUNDER! Fun, fun, fun. After Jeter’s hit, I ran in to get my lucky hat. I consciously did not put it on at the start of the inning (you can’t go to the well too often), but I probably could have gone to it a bit sooner. After Gary Sheff’s double, I knew this game was over. Text message from Joey (brother-in-law) first – “Are You Kidding Me”. Then the call came in from Big Joe (father-in-law). Then a text message from Petey Goods at the stadium (I am jealous, jealous, jealous), and finally a call from the big boy. Love to see everybody getting it done. Giambi with the leadoff walk, Tino with a huge pinch hit, Law-ton (Law-ton!!) keeping it going, and Jeter, Sheffiel-d and A-Rod finishing them off, like heavyweights delivering an uppercut blast with a wobbly contender on the ropes. Start the ten-count.
Big Joe actually had a pretty good idea. Talking about the payroll, he said that they should make the owners have a minimum payroll in order to be eligible for revenue sharing money. He’s got a great point. Teams like the Royals get half their payroll paid for by the Boss & co.
Anyway, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it. The big boy’s coming over tonight with Mrs. big boy, and the four of us will head over to 3rd ave for dinner and sit outside. It’s all going to taste better on this beautiful summer night in Brookly-n. Maybe 101 or Sophia’s. Areo might be crowded without a reservation on a night like tonight. But you know what they say….there’s always hope.