Well, I thought that went pretty well, no? Whew. I just got back from Tony Sherry’s house in Staten Island, where I watched the game. Regulars BPS folk know that I very rarely post on weekends, unless something truly off the map goes down. So here I am.
Well, the BPS declared that this was the best game of the series on paper, and it will be tough to top, if you’re an agnostic baseball fan. It would be tough not to top, if you’re a Yankee fan. On a broad level, the Yankees are going to have a very difficult time winning one of these next two games. Posada left the game with a bruised thumb, which ended up looming oh-so large. And he’ll probably sit at least tomorrow. So by the end of this game, we had a lineup out there that was missing Posada, Giambi, and the Ferocious Lion. And tomorrow we’ll start with Jeff Karstens. You almost have to laugh. The Red Sox last year couldn’t take advantage of the many Yankee injuries. So this is their big shot.
But here’s where the news wasn’t all bad. First of all, the Red Sox had taken some joy in having a bit of a mental finger in Allie’s eye. Those games seemed to bring out the worst in everything that was troubling him last year. So much so that at one point last year Big HGH was trying to help Allie settle himself a bit when looked like he was about to hyperventilate. So he ripped the cover off of that. And Schilling was good, but he got beat. He got bailed out, but he got beat. Pettitte, God bless him, was as advertised. Talk about a bulldog. Dude, go get your Zito’s and your Chris Carpenter’s and your Jake Peavy’s and you know what else? You can have your Johan Santana’s. I’ll take Pettitte in a huge game any day. And he won the battle tonight.
The other part of this is that it was the Lemony Snicket game. An unfortunate series of events. You want to kill the Yankees’ bullpen? Kill away. But it’s not like they gave up smash after smash. Far from it. You want to kill Rivera? Go ahead. But look at the at-bats. Ortiz first. Clean double. Then Manny walked. Then Drew grounded out. So in comes Mo. First batter, Lowell. Seeing-eye soft grounder between third and short. Next batter, Varitek. Bloops a ball in front of Abreu, as Abreu was playing deep to avoid a ball going over his head. Next batter, Crisp. For some reason, Doug M, who is supposed to be a good first baseman, was playing him way off the bag at first. One day someone will explain to me how and why in that situation he wasn’t guarding the line against exactly what happened. If he’s where he should be, it’s two outs, first and third with Alex Cora up (Lucky, agreed with your comment, but I don’t think they turn two with Crisp running, although it was hit hard). And then a silly bloop that would have been the easiest catch my sister ever made, but Jeter was playing in. So that was it. So what did you have? You had a seeing-eye single, a bloop that fell in because they decided to play Abreu deep, a triple that avoided being an out because Doug M. had chosen to play off the bag, and a bloop that fell in because they decided to move Jeter in. Sh*t happens. It’s not like Mo got rocked. It just fell in place perfectly. This is the mistake that people make with Mo. That’s what batters’ do against Mo. They bloop balls. Usually it doesn’t work out. Every once in a while you see something funky. Although that Scutaro shot I will never understand.
The other piece of this, of course, is that once again Torre fell into the trap with Giambi. You can’t help Posada being taken out, but boy, did we feel that hole in the lineup with Giambi getting yanked for a pinch runner. I’m going to try to keep a running count of how many times it succeeds and how many times it fails. So let me clarify the criteria. A “should” includes only when pinch running for him works, i.e. scores a run that Giambi himself would not have also scored, and the game is won without needing Giambi’s spot in the order later on. A “shouldn’t,” includes every time the runner doesn’t score and Giambi’s spot comes up again with the game still undecided. It also includes any time Giambi is not pinch-run for, and he succeeds with his spot in the order later on, e.g. the second game in Oakland. The tally so far this season? Shouldn’t – 4, Should – 0. The four were the second game against Tampa Bay (pinch-runner didn’t score and Giambi’s spot came up later with the game on the line), the first game in Oakland (ditto), the second game in Oakland (they did not pinch run for him, and he hit the game-winning jack in extra innings), and tonight (pinch runner didn’t score, and his spot came up with the game on the line later on). If I was more tech-savvy I would perpetually keep the tally on the side of the blog… But back to the issue; is Joe Torre ever going to figure out that pinch-running for a batter like Giambi is a huge ******-bet? Looks like a good idea; isn’t.
And what a shame to waste those headline moments from Allie. I have no words for this kid right now….
But guys, what did you expect? This is what you get from the Red Sox. Haven’t all of you learned this by now? They always do this. They always break your heart. They always find a way. They always get you in the end. They always beat you………in April.