I got a call from Tony Sherry sometime after 9pm. “I have three questions,” he says to me. “A) Is it true? B) Is it really happening? And C) Do people really understand what’s happening?” Very typical Tony Sherry. Sort of dis-jointed, sort of non sequitur, but in the end, you know what he’s talking about. He was at his brother Mike’s house, and had just gotten off the phone with his girl, who told him the score. While I was on the phone with him I walked him through the third inning at-bat by his favorite player, the Ferocious Lion. He K’d. What can you do…
I got an entirely different call from the big boy towards the end of the fifth. “Dude, are you feeling comfortable about this game?” The missus had asked me the same question about five minutes before, as she walked in the door from having been out to dinner with her crew. She was slightly disappointed that they didn’t go to Da NOI, the second choice; because they later found out that apparently Bobby Flay ate there tonight. Only when she posed the question it was more like an incredulous, “Why wouldn’t you feel comfortable with an 8-2 lead?” But by the time Acc called, the game was slightly more precarious. Slightly. “No,” I fired back to the big boy. “You’re never comfortable,” he said to me. “Not true, dude,” I protested. “My mood swings with the trend. If I don’t like the way the game is trending, I’m not comfortable. And I don’t like the way this game is trending.” By this time the score was 8-4. The fifth had just ended. The Yankees had immediately thrown 7 runs up on the board in the first two innings, and had been all over the Royals bullpen for the next three, but were only able to put up one more run. Meanwhile, the Royals had been pesky. And by the time they closed to 8-4, I was working on scenarios in my mind that could have turned things weird.
Luckily, the uneasiness was slightly unfounded. Although the Royals were dastardly against the Red Sox and the Tigers, we seem to have gone in there glowing hot. So we get another one. And although the Red Sox keep hanging on, Cleveland lost, Seattle lost two, and Detroit lost two. Granted, those guys are in a different part of their schedule right now, but the Yankees have earned this stretch. They ran into a brick wall of a schedule early on. So these Yanks, who were left for dead a while back, are exactly four games in the loss column out of a playoff spot. That’s striking distance, in every sense of the word.
Wang wasn’t sharp tonight, but he hung on to get the win. He was behind a lot and he got way too many fly ball outs. That’s not a good recipe for him. Luckily, he got what he should get. Plenty of run support against a team like the Royals. Again, the bats look like they’re settling in. Johnny Damon is continuing his march up to .280. Slowly but surely. This is what this offense is capable of. They came off the all-star break like a kill switch, bad opposition or no bad opposition, and are taking care of business. The Yanks were victims of a crazy anomaly in the first half, as, you could argue, the Sox were in the second half last year. That said, no reason the Yanks can’t be on the other side of that anomaly in the second half. They are already seven games over .500 (an inning and-a-half on Friday would make it eight), and hoping to pad it against the soft underbelly of their schedule. Seven games is a lot, when you think about this team being under .500 at the break.
Bobby, I’m glad you stopped in to the BPS. This way you get the BPS clan stirred up and we get more comments. Although Happymeds, Lucky, JD, Mike, TS Mike and the boys are usually in charge of greeting guests, I do have a couple of quick points. First, never fall in love with your bullpen, dude. I’ve always said that bullpens are bullpens for a reason. They can go at any time. Especially yours. Because last time we saw your team, we did your two guns for a blown save and a loss. And record is the most important thing…..you would think. Except in the wild card world. The Yankees had a much better record than the Sox in ’04. Just as a reminder.
Bananas Foster! That was it. Thanks, Krystopolski. I knew one of you dudes would know.
Moose against Meche tomorrow. I hate this matchup. That guy always gives us fits. Once again, I hope the bats show up. Seannie, your boy’s up.