Sometimes I think the new Yankee Stadium was built in Narnia. Or through the looking glass. Maybe mystique characterized the House That Ruth Built, but the 2009 season has been trotting out one "Nope, didn't see that one coming" experience after another.
If it's not a 12K loss from AJ, or 3 straight walk-off wins in a row, or a game going scoreless for 15 innings, then it's our 2B overcoming his RBI allergy to end a rainy 10 inning night in the Bronx with a win.
When I went to pick up Chinese food in the 4th inning, I was legitimately concerned that by the time I returned from the corner, the game would be in the 8th inning. Just like the aforementioned 15 inning marathon, there was the definite kernel of expectancy that this game was flying by so fast, we'd wrap this up in no time.
CC was dealing, as CC is wont to do, eating up innings, collecting Ks like they're stamps on his Tasti-D-Lite card, shutting down Chicago, as economic with his pitch output as he is liberal with his caloric intake.
It was so seamless that I went into a food coma post Lo-Mein, only to awake to a 2-1 game in the 7th.
Serves me right. It was like the gods of baseball were punishing me for catching some Zzzz's during the game. If CC can wait til the game's over to eat, I should be able to, too. (I'm sorry, his girth will never, ever, ever cease to send me into fits. It's at an all-time high today on account of my buddy at the game alerting me that his music selection is "I love it when you call me Big Poppa." Few things have made me happier than this information.)
But despite the shallow 2-run comeback, the Yanks were able to best the White Sox, bookending the game with long-balls--a solo from #1 hitter in the captain's first at-bat of the game....and then a 3-run rocket from our #7 hitter in the 10th inning. (Check out those numbers. Interestingly enough, the historical Mega Millions numbers for tonight? 1, 17, 31, 37, with Powerball 31. What's more, the only innings either team scored were in the 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 10th.)
And for some more relevant information on the game:
- CC deserved the win, but his ND is proof that baseball always evens itself out in the long run, as he certainly didn't deserve a W in the last Chicago series. Even though the ND broke his 6-game winning streak, his pitches are somehow improving with every game. His control is so impeccable at this point that he could probably knock a beetle off the ump's shoulder on command.
- Brian Bruney got the win, and I just realized that this sloppy clown is 4-0. Eh, the race doesn't always go to the swiftest, I guess. Congrats, #38. Way to save the game.
- Phil Hughes is beyond filthy. If Girardi hadn't pitched him, I think Yankee fans would have staged a coups. This Thor-like supergod of relievers threw 14 pitches, 10 for strikes, and struck out Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and Jermaine Dye in his 1-2-3 inning, all of which were called out on swinging strikes. I actually got chills watching him work.
- The agility and sure-handedness of our fielders can't be discounted in this win. A-Rod made 2 key run-saving plays that keep the Sox at bay, including one beautiful diving stop to keep Jayson Nix's screaming shot in the infield. He really makes it look easy sometimes.
- Outfielders should be able to throw out runners at home. It's part of their job description. I don't ask my boss for a raise for coming into work on time. That said, I still gotta give credit to Swish for his throw to the plate that enabled Molina to tag out Ramon Castro. After watching the defense so determined to not give the Sox the lead in that inning, I realized just how resolute and unflinching the Yankees have become.
- Melky Cabrera certainly likes him some Mark Buehrle. Our sparky outfelder's been in a bit of a slump lately, but once again came to life against Chicago's ace. Hopefully this fires him up enough to get back into the black.
- Yesterday I said that if Jeter went hitless today, I was going to be delivering to his locker Minka Kelly's cheerleading vest with a fish wrapped inside. Fortunately, he saved her from this fate literally right off the bat. That's love.
- The wind was a discernibly mitigating factor in tonight's game, and flyouts fooled me on more than one occasion. I can't even think about what this meant in terms of Sterling warning track antics, without my head starting to hurt.
- The RISP situation: 1 for 7. Chicago was 3-8. I'll take any kind of win, and knowing how poorly the Yanks tend to work in the rain, I am thrilled about the way they played, particularly in light of the other Sox coming back to beat the Jays.
- The more significant RISP situation: When Robbie hit that blast, you could see in his face the liberation he felt from the statistical stigma branding him up til that point. "You see the statistics up on the board," he said. "I want to get better." Consider yourself unshackled, kid. That shot meant more than the win. It meant the start of an RBI tear.
We're mere days away from September, and the Yanks are still in first, as they've been for now 40 days and nights, and I expect Robbie and the Yankees to tear through the next month, plowing through their opponents like an army of Pac-Men who just binged on power pellets.
Let's keep it going.