But it's difficult to predict these types of things when your starter whiffs 12 in 6 and lets up only 2 hits, while the opposing hurler walks 7. My buddy texted me "Why isn't Texas better? They're [expletive] good. They should be running away with the division." Baseball's a funny game.
And now cue the frantic talks about the Yanks' records against playoffs teams despite our 5-game division lead.
The Yanks aren't used to losing series, and I'm not used to watching them do so. But since Game 1 of this set, they were killed, above all else, by 2-out hits--a stat that overshadowed any pitching implosions or offensive explosions. The Rangers did what the Yanks have had trouble doing all year: hit with 2 outs.
And yet at the same time, they won the Yankee way: by going deep.My sister texted me sometime during the 4th inning to inform me she was eating Chinese food and watching Desperate Housewives with her cats.
CYC: "Why aren't you watching the Yankee game? AJ's dealing, Jeter's engaged, and the Tex pitcher is an anagram of Pinstriped Nut."
CYC's sis: "Jeter's engaged?!"
5 minutes later, with 2 outs and after 4 innings of half-serious perfecto thoughts, AJ walked one. Ok, no-hitter still in tact. Another walk. No problem. Just needs one more out.
CYC's sis: "I just put on the game and someone hit a 3-run homerun. AJ ≠ dealing."
CYC: "Shut the tv off. You're a jinx."
In fairness to my sister, the only reason she can be tagged such with such ignominious fame is because it may be the ONLY way to explain how the Yanks managed to lose this one. Because I'd like to think that I live in a world where a balanced 6-hit game on each side, coupled with a grossly imbalanced defense (in the loser's favior) doesn't amount to such an aggressively imbalanced loss.
But there were, of course, some other issues to consider beyond my sis's brief departure from Eva Longoria:
- Texas left 2 runners on base. 2. The whole game. The Yanks stranded 600% more than that.
- The Rangers were 3-4 with RISP. The Yanks: 2-12. What's sadder, the fact we had runners in scoring position 12 times to the Rangers' 4 or the fact that 4 of Texas' runs came with 2 outs?
- Ian Kinsler went yard 2x, including a 3-run blast off AJ that made our paltry Mark Teixeira RBI a lot less significant. Chris Davis chipped in his own 3-run ding off Phil Coke which was when the air officially started seeping out of our tires.
- On the subject of Phil Coke, and since I haven't second-guessed Girardi's bullpen moves in about a month, what's the reasoning behind putting in a shaky, comparatively less dependable, and ultimately unpredictable reliever when our tried and true golden boy is currently dusting cobwebs off his arm on account of a total of 9 August appearances? The "protecting our youth's pitch count" defense doesn't hold as much water when Phil Hughes' has played a whopping 6.6 innings this month.
- Alfredo Aceves was the only pitcher brave enough to depart from the "Let's All Give Up At Least One Homerun" bandwagon. Even our boy David Robertson was taken deep (after striking out the first two batters of the inning, of course. Unbelievable.)
- In terms of our bats, we should have known it wasn't our day when Jeter struck out to open up the game. I'm not kidding when I say that if he goes hitless tomorrow, I will 100% off
Memo ParisMinka Kelly and not skip a beat.
- Even Gameday was completely confused about the strike zone. I'm trying to imagine how the control room conversations went there. "Um, we need a strike check on monitor one! Yeah, so is this blue or red? It was a foot outside, called strike. Yes, again. Ok, and wait, so now it's called ball 4 on a fastball down the pipe...I still have to make it red? Um, alright."
- The bottom of our lineup, the one I claimed was so terrifying and scary, was useless for us today. Way to make a liar out of me, batters #5-9. You know who you are. Melky, still starved for some Brett Gardner to bring him back to June-July form, did manage to get off 1 hit.
- At least we ran well! 3 SBs from Damon, Melky, and Jeter. Annnnnd, that's where the offense bright spots ended.
A 5 game lead is still respectable. And hey, maybe Junichi Tazawa will remember he's not that great, and the White Sox will forget to get swept. But regardless of how the Sox-es perform tonight, the depressing fact remains that a day loss means 27 hours of marinating in it.
Until football season starts, I'd like to avoid the discomfort that is the Next Game Waiting Period. Here's to sweeping Chicago and righting the ship tomorrow.