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Pulling a page straight out of Volume #21 of "Cliched Examples of 20-20 Hindsight," I'll cite 2 preliminary concerns that struck me in the beginning of the game:

  • Whenever I hear the words, "...making his Major League debut tonight on the mound..." my heart aches for the doomed Yankee offense
  • Tex's maybe-an-error-maybe-not-but-either-way-it-wasn't-good play at first in at-bat #1 of the game was terrifying. But nowhere near as disconcerting as what ensued after. While Ichiro continued to fly around, Cano and Swisher lolled around retrieving the ball. I've seen catchers tear after wild pitches with no baserunners faster than that. Their lackadaisacal movements were utterly baffling. It was like they thought they playing in some kind of rain delay scrimmage. You know, if those existed.

I received the requisite doom and gloom texts within about 27 minutes of the first pitch: "Fatso strugglin." And it wasn't false. CC just didn't seem to have his bowling ball-sized head in the game. He doesn't just average 7 inning starts because of his extreme pitching, it's because you can tell he's dialed in every. single. time. If he was a cartoon--which sometimes I think he should be--he'd have a cheeseburger dangling from the brim of his hat or something, motivating him to finish the game.

It's hard to say whether the Yanks fielding was half-speed, or whether the Mariners were just somehow managing to consistently hit jusssst a bit outside their gloves. I can think of 4 hits that, seen quickly, almost resembled errors. But with the 394 replays shown for every single at-bat, you could see the shots deserved to be scored as hits, albeit only missing the defense's glove by a foot or less.

When Melky isn't making catches in the outfield, you know it's just not their night. He covers the entire field, and plays every fly ball like it's a hand grenade that'll detonate upon hitting ground. So if there's shots being hit outside of his range, the rest of the defense is in trouble. When balls are richoceting off the mitts of the 2 best corner infielders in the league, I gotta just abandon my pinstriped optimism for the night and recognize that the stars aren't aligning for the boys this time.

As they say, you can't win em all.*

Other game notes:
  • I have never in my life been more bewildered by the opposite sex, never been so helplessly at a loss to understand, and never been entirely clueless when it comes to deciphering his actions, than I am right now with Joe Girardi. I could probably offer more of an educated hypothesis on the mysteries of dating than I could on what's going through a Joe's mind when one night he uses a pitcher per batter, when tonight he adopts a "Pitch-A-Thon" mentality, when last arm standing gets the loss. Was it really necessary to bring Aceves back after he'd already pitched 2? And yes, it's a coulda/woulda/shoulda (though Girardi would never say that) but Branyan teed off on that pitch like he was playing Wii homerun derby.

  • My mouth must have resembled the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel when I saw what the Kinko's of Ks‡ did to that pitch. Those 2 runs scored on that? First runs allowed by Aces since June 13. Now I know how people who are in politics feel. I never understood why or how people got so worked up about foreign policies and senate and passing bills and stuff. But I'm starting to feel that kind of frustrated sense of "I KNOW YOU ARE MORE EXPERIENCED AND THERE MAY BE A METHOD TO YOUR MADNESS BUT RIGHT NOW I FEEL LIKE A SHOE BOX FILLED WITH LINT COULD MANAGE THIS TEAM BETTER."

  • Here's the other thing. The middle of the lineup was the only patch of offense tonight. I understand leading off with Jeter, he's great off lefties. I understand Tex/Arod in 3-4 spots. But I don't understand why Cano, who according to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, is a .349 career hitter in July, is batting 5. Why not maximize his at-bats and try him at the 2 or 3 spot? Something's not right when you got a line-up like that and Cano can go 3-3 and have it be the 12th game in a row without an RBI.

  • The Yanks were 0-6 with runners in scoring position. I don't know which of those 2 numbers is more depressing.

  • If it wasn't for our 5-6-7 hitters, PARTICULARLY Godzilla, then the Yanks aren't in the game at all. It seemed a couple of times like the Yankee Magic was going to come around, but I guess it caught the Hamptons Jitney early to beat holiday weekend traffic. In the 8th inning, ARod hit a deep fly ball, and it might have been the most ridiculous overreacting from Kay I've ever heard over a ball that may not have even gone to the warning track. I really can't imagine what Sterling must have sounded like if Kay was that bad.

  • Then in the bottom of the 9th, the Yanks put Swisher and Cano on with 0 outs. Hideki pops up, but that's ok because he was the only one who showed up for the first 8 innings of the game. Then Melky pops up. Also not a crime because he's Melky, (or as my sister says, "A fat-faced ARod.") Then Posada strikes out (as least it was swinging), which means in his last 32 ABs, he's struck out 9 times, 2 of which were today. I don't know if that's who I'd PH in the bottom of the 9th with 2 on and 2 out, trailing by 4. I think I might have taken my chances.

So the Yanks fall to 3 behind. And bid a wistful farewell to their winning streak. In 2003 I went to Game 2 of the WS with my buddy who had his choice of the 1st and 2nd home game. When I asked him why he went with the latter, he said it's more important to see how they respond, whether it's responding to either a win or a loss. And similarly, I think the first game after a streak has that same kind of consequence. We need a win to start the series off right, especially a divisional matchup, and especially a divisional matchup that concludes on Sunday with the must-see game of the year:

Wang vs Halladay.

God help us.

*1972 Dolphins excepted.†
† Right, Pats?

‡ Swift producer of strikeouts


  1. Harvey said...
    That guy that sent you "Fatso strugglin" sounds like a real handsome devil.
    Crazy Yankee Chick said...
    True story. But he's more trouble than a moose on an interstate.

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