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So here we are again. WHOLE new ballgame. Got my lucky hat. Lucky necklace. And a little buzz. And if Super Bowl 42 taught me anything, it's that high pressure situations are 100% manageable if I'm less high strung that I am at baseline.

Wang is reallllly pushing that, though. I feel like I'm on that MTV show Boiling Point every time I watch him.

1-0 Sux.

Ok, I need to pace outside.

Sterling: "Well, it's a good sign! At least he's throwing ground ball pitches." I do actually appreciate that. Thank you, Sterling for that noble attempt to keep me from punching a hole through my computer monitor.

So my plan to calm myself down with a beer falls into your all-time backfires. I return only to find a 3-1, nay, 4-1 ballgame. Yank-Sux games used to be fun for me. They aren't anymore. And honestly, whether it's a win or loss is immaterial. Because the road to either outcome is just paved with overwhelming anxiety and an impending sense of doom.

It's kinda like how I feel about New Year's Eve. I know I'm SUPPOSED to be fired up about it, but for my money, I'd just as soon take that temporary poison Juliet takes that would put me in a coma until it was all over.

Man, Waldman is just ripping on the Nats. She is pretty funny this year. Not really mincing words, and spending more time embracing her lack of filter, less time spitting out pitch speeds.

Ok, I don't even know what the score is anymore, but I'm leaving work and throwing things.

To be continued...

10:48am The Next Day

Nowhere near as disgruntled as yesterday's loss.

Watched the game with coworker after fleeing office and settling in a dive bar around the corner. Almost got into a fight with a guy wearing a beret and his 2 loser companions, who were "rooting for strikeouts." Sang "This is Why I'm Hot" and and dissolved any professional credibility, retreated uptown to observe my lunatic buddy training for a World Beer Pong tournament, defended Mariano Rivera against unknowledgeable haters, ate a chipwich.

And I considered the circumstances of the last 2 losses.

The fact that we can't beat them is extremely frustrating, if not hellishly bewildering. They're not a better team than us, they used to be, but they're not now. My buddy put it best this morning, I think:

"I am strangely unconcerned. It might be denial, but I think this is just the Yanks working out the kinks in their starting rotation and bullpen. Come October, when CC and Joba push it to 5th gear, and Pettite and AJ are your 3rd and 4th starters, I don't see them being bowled over as easily. Especially, with Phil Hughes and Coke in the bullpen.

They might even have a Maddux-ian approach (I hope I am the first to use that adjective); he famously gave up a homerun to Jeff Bagwell during the regular season because he knew the Braves would be playing the Astros in the playoffs, and wanted Bagwell to be looking for that same pitch in an October game to make it easier to get him out.
And a follow up comment from Iowa Jeff:

"God, I loved Maddux. Every nerd's hero. Brain > Brawn.

Yeah, I'm an outsider here, so maybe I don't understand. If you were 0-7 against the Blue Jays, but had the same overall record, would you care? You probably wouldn't even realize it. The only way head-to-head comes into play is who hosts the one game playoff, right? The odds of that happening are slim, so .... as my dad said when I came home from dealing with idiots one day in grade school, "Don't let the fuckers get to ya." The first time your Dad curses in front of you, it gets your attention, lemme tell ya."

I have the best internet friends!

And I concur with both comments. I make no bones about when I'm devastated over a loss so this is hardly a rationalization, whatever gets you to sleep at night kind of thing. We had 11 hits. Played hard. It wasn't a bad loss. It was a good game.

BUT, not that good or they would've won.

Which calls to mind the question once again, WHY with all the talent in the bullpen, does this team stick with a no-sinking sinker ball pitcher in the rotation?? And he hasn't had a win in ever, Jerry. In EVER.

How many more of these little Wang dry runs do we have to endure before we bite the bullet, cut our losses, and relegate this kid to the pen--AT BEST, or DFA him, at worst. When you look at the dizzying skills of Hughes, it really makes it all the more painful to know that his nasty cutter will only see the light of day once the starter has fouled up the game for us.

Hughes had 5Ks in 3.2 innings. Granted he did let up 2 runs, but that wouldn't have been so terrible if it were not for the 4 Boston had already tacked on the board courtesy Wang.

The pitching isn't the only cesspool of questionable decisions...trying to decipher Girardi's offensive strategies is like reading "A Brief History of Time" printed in Wingdings.

Why would you bunt Melky, the most clutch batter on the team? In the 8th inning, with Brett Gardner on 1st, pinch running for Swisher, Melky lays down a sac bunt to advance Garnder. Who could have just easily advanced to 2nd by running half speed with a steal. He's the fastest guy in the game, why would you put him in to do a job anyone else on the team could have just as easily done?

I mean, if you want to go the sac bunt route, Swisher could have easily made it to 2nd. But why not have Garnder steal? Okajima is the biggest freaking space cadet, Garnder could decided to host a tea party on the basepath and Okajima would still be doing God knows what in his head. You can't do anything about the fact both Jeter and Damon struck out to end the inning, but if Melky swings away and gets on, we likely score Garnder (provided he stole 2), and we're looking at 0 outs instead of 1 from a sac bunt.

The Yanks worked 8 hits off Wakefield that they converted to only 3 runs. They went a sheepish 2-15 with RISP, which doesn't concern me in it of itself, but I AM concerned that the team will revert to their default offensive of going yard in late innings, rather than working the pitcher and manufacturing runs.

Swisher quasi-redeemed himself for his earlier inning bonehead behavior, that nabbed him for an out on a double-play caught liner AND a completely catchable ball that he misplayed to parlay what should have been an out into a ground-rule double. So he makes an unbelievable diving catch in the outfield towards the end of the game, a play that I thought could only be the handiwork of Melk or Gardner. So his hustle was admittedly impressive, but if he hadnt screwed up at all, we're looking at a different ballgame.

So here's to avoiding the sweep tonight.

And here's to keeping in mind the sage words of Iowa Jeff's dad.


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