If ample time has been devoted to addressing the duo of ump-fan hybrids behind homeplate and the horrors of the red hats (awful), then there's the business of the rest of the action going on in the game. Which, according to Suzyn and Sterling, "was languid. Boring. Slow."
After Robinson Cano goes yard in the second inning to put the Yanks on the board, it was then a game of Russian Roulette for the next 4 innings around what Topic-Other-Than-The-Game the broadcasters would unearth and explore. During this time, Brian Tallet allows 6 hits over 6 innings, and somehow manages to escape from a bases loaded, 0 out inning relatively unscathed.
Whether this speaks to Tallet's resiliency or the Yanks' complete disinterest in moving once they've stepped foot on base, is splitting hairs. This aversion to moving kills them in terms of runners left on base (7 on the day) but works to their advantage when at the plate and are subscribing to remarkable restraint and patience. Alex Rodriguez even managed to lay off a 3-0 pitch.
Tallet just came undone. He's an average pitcher, with decent-to-not-bad speed, but his control is as reliable as MapQuest ETAs. He walked 4 and let 2 runs come in without the ball even leaving the infield. A bases-loaded walk to Mark Teixeira and a ball flopping past Raul Chavez padded the score to 3-1, though that's a little like winning a game of pool when your opponent scratches on the break. Scraped out the win by doing the least amount of work possible. (The offense, anyway...)
ARod delivered the final blow with an opposite field ding to leave the game at 4-2--his 5th longball in the last 8 games. Probably wasn't clutch enough though, because it didn't come in the 9th and the Yankees were already up by 1. He's useless.
The defense was a refreshing improvement from last night's sluggish scrimmage. A.J. Burnett blanked 7, with a nasty fastball and curve combination, his velocity never showing any real signs of stalling. Francisco Cervelli once again demonstrated his Melky-like versatility and ability to run a hard 90. The Philpen split the 8th, and as shocked as I am with the anemic numbers Phil Coke's been posting, I'm just as nonplused with Phil Hughes consistent depletion of every batter he faces. That's your set-up pair, Joe. It's as simple as that.
Tomorrow I know I'm going to see Mariano Rivera trotting in for the 6th or something, and Brett Gardner coming in to close, because Girardi may or may not be trying to determine exactly how many permutations of pitchers there are.
But this hyperbolic situation still isn't even a fraction as terrifying as the reality of tomorrow's rubber match.
Chien-Ming Wang vs Roy Halladay.
I predict the Yanks win by 4.