My sister doesn't believe in holding off on 3-0 counts or resting your starters. She thinks if you're gonna take the field, swing away and sustain momentum above all else. I disagree on the first, and go back and forth on the second. Since the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays at the hands of Roy Halladay's 1-hitter, tonight I'm going to say I disagree on her second belief, too. You don't have to win them all. Just enough to make the playoffs, but not enough to put anyone's health at jeopardy.
So...good thinking, Yanks! Watching the game tonight at my go-to bar, I heard "throw-away game" tossed around more than "put it on my tab." It was eerily reminiscent of the Giants-Vikings regular season-ending game last year. The east beasts handed over the W to Minny...and then lost in the first playoff game. But then again, Roy Halladay isn't a bad pitcher. And the weird permutations of fielders and batters made it seem like the Yankees drew names from a hat to determine who'd play.
I can stomach this loss. I won't lose sleep over it. Let's see what they come up with tomorrow. Was tonight, in fact, a throw-away game? Had they shifted downgear for this one? Stomp on Toronto tomorrow, and all will be forgiven.
As for tonight...
- Before "throw-away" game was tumbling out of patrons, the anxious, desperation jinxes of "Look! It's a perfect game perfect game perfect game" played like staccato notes up and down the bar. It worked, thankfully. First by Jorge Posada's walk, then a no-no broken with Ramiro Pena's double. In fact, Pena really was the only Yankee who put ANY numbers on the sheepishly empty scoreboad. 1 hit and 1 error. MLB binary code for 3. As in only 3 men other than Pena even reached a base.
- Or 3 is the number of innings it took for Joba Chamberlain to do a sufficient amount of hands on research for his dissertation on "How to Completely Negate the Whole Point of the Joba Rules: Simple Ways Your Reliever-Starter Can Erratically Stuff Innings with Pitches, Much Like a Bank Robber Would Stuff a Large Sack with Twenties." He threw 59 pitches in 3 innings. 59 pitches it took him to let up 6 hits and walk 2. Very economical. How that's protecting his arm, I have no idea.
- Or 3 is the number of men on base when Alex Rodriguez struck out looking at a beautiful no-doubter. He was waiting for the outside pitch, but did he really think Roy Halladay was going to assess the bases-loaded situation, see that the tying run he's pitching to happens to be one of the best hitters in the game, and decide, "I'm gonna roll the dice and throw an outside 4-seamer. Why not! We're spoilers!"
- Or 3 is the number of batters Michael Dunn walked in his Major League Debut. I felt a little bad for him. He looked so uncomfortable up there, but based on how the rest of the team was playing, he probably thought that was the standard demeanor amongst the team--awkward and uneasy.
- Or 3 is the number of hours Halladay kept the game under. Despite the legions of pitches thrown, (253) the game was 2 and half hours long, thanks to Halladay who managed to deal all game, even with a 111 PC. (Beckett/Papelbon, take note...)
- Mark Melancon. I'm not a fan. Mainly because he walked in a run, which is right up there with fouling out with a bunt in my baseball gripes. The skeleton crew Girardi syphoned from the bullpen was really a scrappy-looking bunch today. Which is fine because if we're gonna lose, I'd rather see a bunch of "Don't Unpack Your Suitcase Just Yet" relievers, instead of wasting Hughes' filth (and Aceves's, uh, quasi-filth. Dust.)
- Adam Lind keeps my fantasy team's slugging respectable. (3-4, 2 RBI). Him and Aaron Hill (2-5, 1 RBI) are an underrated three-four setup.
- The Red Sox got carved up tonight. 7.5 lead stays in tact. Another reason why tonight was a good night to lose.
Tomorrow we go back to conventional pitching practices of using a starter to start the game and allow him to pitch for a sufficient period. Andy Pettitte vs Brett Cecil. They'll get this one back. And start another streak, because that's what they do.