The Best of the Worst
I could go in any number of different directions here. I could talk about any number of things that Tony Sherry, Mikey Rumble and I encountered today at the Stadium. I could talk about the gaping hole that today’s game left us with. I could break down the game in any number of different ways. I could give myself a giant pat on the back by mentioning that this game went pretty much exactly as I predicted it would in yesterday’s post. The need to keep it close until the late innings because the Yanks weren’t going to touch Bedard, and needed to be within striking distance by the time their bats inevitably woke up. For the record, they did not keep it close. Two is close. When that third run crossed the plate I knew we were in trouble. I could talk about Torre sitting down Abreu, Cano, Damon, and Giambi in the same game, even though Abreu and Giambi are just the type of guys you need in there; taking pitches and running the pitch count up. I could talk about one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in a baseball game; the look on Shelley Duncan’s face as he walked up to the plate in the ninth clutching his bat; a look that Tony and Mike Rumble agreed looked exactly like the Undertaker walking into the wrestling ring. I could talk about Duncan’s throw, or his catch at first. Or I could talk about having one of those moments at the Stadium. The way the place just exploded into a thousand pieces, when Duncan’s shot flew right past us in all of its unlikely glory. I could talk Mo. I could go in any one of these directions. But I won’t.
I won’t talk about any of that stuff, because it bums me out to think about it. So here’s what I am going to do. I’m going to take a cue from Happymeds and Jason from the Heartland. If you’re going to talk about bad losses, you’ve come to the right season. I’m going to run down the BPS ‘top three worst losses of 2007’. Our own little BPS slice of h*ll. Let’s hope this list doesn’t need any additions by the end of the season. Maybe by then I’ll also be able to think of top five best wins. Or ten, maybe.
You’ll note that I have a number of different criteria for a bad loss. A loss to a blood-rival, a game that has severe playoff implications, a game that had a shock-ending, and a game that saw a gross miscarriage of justice are all good ones. I try and stay away from a loss that featured a prominent injury, because that could happen anytime, really. But perhaps my most important criterion would be a sure-fire lock-win turned excruciating loss. The more of these boxes checked, the better the chance that a game will make the list. So here goes.
The BPS Top Three Worst Losses of 2007
Number three: Monday, May 7 3-2 L vs. Seattle
For the sheer injustice of it. This was a win, absolutely and completely. It was taken away by the pure incompetence of Gerry Davis and his blown call on the Bloomquist steal. With double digit hits, the Yankees were all over the bases all night, but just couldn’t get the runs home. That said, they had enough to win, if Davis does his job. And it wasn’t just a blown call. It was probably the worst blown call I have ever seen. Bloomquist was out by three feet. Inexcusable. The call would have ended the eighth inning with the lead intact. Instead, a bloop drove Bloomquist home with the trying run. The Yanks lost in the ninth on a blast off of Mo. And this game happens to be the one that stands between the Yanks and the wild-card at this very moment.
Number two: Sunday, April 15 5-4 L vs. Oakland
For a pure punch-in-the-stomach, close-to-puking loss, this one has no rival. This thing wasn’t just a lock. This was a two-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with light hitting Marco Scutaro at the plate. And then Scutaro, who averages five bombs a year for his career, hits a three-run walk-off against Mo. Excruciating.
Number one: Friday, April 20 7-6 L vs. Boston
As much as the Scutaro game had me huddled in a dark corner for a few hours, I just can’t get away from this one. For starters, it was Boston. And it was the first game of the season, the one that probably set the tone for the rest of the first half. And it wasn’t just a lock-win. It was a joyous statement. It was the man they love to hate, Allie, jamming it down Schilling’s throat, punctuating his rapid decline from the echelons of the elite with two majestic bombs. It was a celebration. And then it all went horribly awry. What was our celebration became their celebration, with Mo getting the horns. The stink of that game has just not gone away, even four months later. And to put an explanation point on it, each loss to Boston is a two-game swing, so if we had won that game, we would currently be three back, and would have spent the better part of the last few days at two back. So we can chew on that. That’s why this heaven-forsaken game has to be number one. Dammit.
Saturday, June 23rd 6-5 L vs. San Francisco
We had a million chances to win and Allie came through with a dramatic, game-tying bomb. It also came in the middle of an awful road trip, having just been swept by Colorado. This would have been an awesome win, but this game was on the road, so even when Allie hit it, we were still up against it. At no point was this a lock. In fact, the odds were always against a win, even after Allie’s bomb.
Wednesday, August 15th 6-3 L vs. Baltimore
How do you waste one of the most dramatic, unlikely bombs in years, by one of the most likable players? This was horrible. And it was at home, so after the bomb, the odds were in our favor. But the fact is we had nothing all day long, we never had a lead, and despite the dramatics, we were really only in this game for about fifteen minutes.
Thursday, August 2nd 13-9 L vs. Chicago
Again. You’re at home, you cough up eight runs in the second inning, and get every one of them right back with an eight-run bottom of the second. And then you lose. How do you not win that game? What a disgraceful waste… But again, we were never winning. So it doesn’t crack the top three.
So all of these represent one man’s opinion. I will also add that I may be biased because I was at every single one of the above games that was played at the Stadium. Feel free to add your thoughts.
Acc, Tony Sherry, and I will be in section 24 tomorrow (Thursday) night. Word on the street is Mikey Juice bailed, so it looks like we have a player-to-named seat. Talk about out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire. Guthrie to Cabrera to Bedard to Verlander. The good news is that the Yankee funks are usually over when they’re over. So expect Verlander to have some trouble with the Yankee offense tomorrow. They’re due. Seannie, we need your boy!!