An IM I received at 10:28 tonight:
"We are so awesome. Its almost like girardi wanted to give this game up or was willing to but we are just too good."
For the first three quarters of the game, it was what I had feared: the Yankees, all but guaranteed to steamroll the Orioles, were in dead heat with this cellar dweller, locked in a 1-1 tie. Trouble from the bottom. Always the most insidious of threats.
But I had nothing to worry about it, after all. The Yankees acted like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, when he's under the Mola Ram spell...and then the 9th inning rolled around and a fire is lit under them to jolt them into consciousness--"Oh my God. We're in CAMDEN. Wait, is that a 3 or an 8? 3? We've only scored three runs in 6 innings? Wow. This is awkward."
And then...17 hits in the game, 7 runs in the 9th. Juxtaposed to CC's 9K, 1-run game. When you're in the position of wondering what's more impressive--your pitcher or your offense--it means life is good. It means you're a Yankee fan.
Other game notes:
- Alex Rodriguez's 3-for-5 night delivered 4 invaluable RBIs. I really think the DSM-IV is going to have to list "Calling ARod a choker" among their symptoms for delusional mania and clinical insanity. Because while his BA is "only" .274, a significant number of his hits have been in critical spots. Today, those spots included two 2-run singles that broke open the 1-1 tie and then later put the Yanks ahead 5-2. Yeah, he's totally useless. Zero added value.
- As my buddy pointed out in his IM, GIrardi seemed to be back to his old tricks of bobbing for bullpens--a game he created that involves clumsily grasping at relievers completely indiscriminatingly. In a 3-1 game, we're treated to the exciting-game-generating stylings of one Brian Bruney.
- If "holds" is a stat, which I think is ridiculous, then there should be a stat for the opposite. Because if Bruney's going to continue to make us sweat with his every appearance, then his line score should suffer with an inflated "Unheld" stat. He "holds" leads like a guy spoons a chick: he knows he should be doing it and the hold makes her happy, but yet he does it as tentatively and noncommitally as possible to give him the option of slipping away.
- ARod got his 2500th hit. It still counts in my book. I believe at least half the league's on steroids. But half the league doesn't hit the way he does. I mean, it's like Ortiz said of Bonds: "To hit the ball, the guy makes it look easy, but it ain't. I don't know how you can have that swing, consistently. I don't know how steroids can do that," Interesting perspective, Papi.
- 6 BB for the Yankees. Patience is a virtue, indeed.
- They left 11 runners on. And still scored 10. It's like thinking about the fact we still are leading the division, despite losing the first 8 games to the Red Sox.
- 11 also is the number of game the Yankee have lost since the All-Star Break. 11. Out of 45. .755 winning percentage.
- 7.5 is also the number of games we're up on Boston.
- I get protecting Phil Hughes. Not to open up the Joba cesspool of debate, but no one was worried about him going from pitching 25 innings to 100+. ("Because he's a starter!") You know who else was a starter? Hughes. There's no need to blow his arm out, but sweet Christ, he's not made of porcelain. I know I'd have liked to see his filth a little earlier. And by filth, I mean his penchant for striking out the side.
- When you think about it, Girardi's task of selecting a pitcher is comparatively easy when you consider that some poor guy in the YES department has the charge of selecting only one player of the game.
It's like Joe Esposito cantillates in the final scene of the Karate Kid:
You're the best around.