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Would it be terribly whiny right now if I bitched about west coast games? Half of me loves them, loves the fact that when the Yanks are playing Anaheim, Seattle, or Oakland, that I actually get to see what the first half of the game looks like, as opposed to the lion's share of games that almost always begin when I haven't even begun to leave the office yet.

But the other half of me is not a fan of the delirium that occurs when these games end in the ante meridian hours.

In fact, with this game in particular, I was starting to wonder if my delirium was making me hallucinate or something. Everything seemed a little weird in this one...

To recap:

Home plate ump Ed Rapuano leaves the game in the middle of the game on account of being hit by a foul tip a whole inning prior to his exit. Then mid batter he just gets up, shakes his head, and books it outta stadium. If I didn't know any better, I'd think he just got a text from his girlfriend saying she loves him, but she's not IN love with him.

The worst part of this completely minor yet inconveniencing situation is that it means we gotta cut to Bob Lorenz (who I love) vamping for an indefinite period of time. Like a rain delay only worse because at least with the weather, you can see if it's letting up and can estimate how long til the game resumes.

With a departed ump, you just have to sit there and wait. Like some annoying joke: "How long does it take 3 umps to decide how to proceed?"

It actually must not have been THAT long (I'd estimate around 19 minutes) since the game itself only lasted around 3:21.

The Yanks got on the board early, staking Javy to a 3-0 lead in the 1st on a 2-out rally. Then no one scored until the 5th, when Arod's 3-run bomb put the score at 6-0.

Our YES announcers (who sounded like they were flying a little low to the ground today) very astutely note as the bottom of the 5th is underway, that Javy would be better off the score was 1-0 instead of 6-0, because when you're up by that much, you start to lose focus and you start thinking of the game in terms of getting out of innings, rather than getting through pitches and individual batters.

Very interesting, and very perceptive. No sooner had this insight escaped the broadcast booth that Javy gives up a solo shot to the 8th batter in the A's lineup, Travis Buck. Javy follows this up by walking Pennington.

And that was when I realized what my problem with Javy is: his mental game. He gets intimidated. He loses focuses. He gets rattled when batters take him deep. And none of those things are present in the rest of the rotation. Every hurler has a shitty outting once in a while. And even in great starts, a pitcher can find himself in a jam.

But CC, AJ, Andy, and Hughes all have a psychological toughness that never quits. Javy doesn't. Or if he does, it's discernibly hibernating. Either way, he needs to dial it in. Relax, kid. You're a good pitcher. Really good. Settle down, you'll do fine.

Speaking of raucous criticism, I was pretty much blown away by the overwhelming Booing that could be heard throughout the A's stadium. I mean, you can always hear the booing through the tv when the Yanks are at Fenway or Citi.

But I honestly think this was the loudest. Maybe because at other places, boos are usually replaced with "AAAAAAAA-ROID....AAAAAAA-ROID" etc, or some kind of contentious chanting rather than old school booing. Especially impressive when you consider it's a Tuesday night. In Oakland. Only 19,849 in attendance. Barely half full.

Javy lets up another ding an inning later, cutting the Yanks' lead in half. Posada tacked on the final run, when his checked swing accidentally put the ball in play, scoring Nick Johnson, getting Cano out at second, and advancing Tex to third.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this play is the fact that POSADA BEAT THE THROW TO FIRST TO AVOID A DOUBLE PLAY. How many times has the phrase "Posada beat the throw" ever been uttered, ever? Not a lot. If at all.

These stats on the day also contributed to what I felt like my delirium was making me see a screwy version of the game:

Between 2 teams, there were...
...only 13 hits
...21 strikeouts
...15 walks

Joba came in in the 8th and probably was the only thing that made sense to me. Even when everything else is a little off, you can always count on Joba to throw a first pitch slider. Always. Always. He entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and struck out Kouzmanoff, then started the 8th by striking out Suzuki and Chavez, and ending the inning getting Rosales to ground out.

And to think we made this guy a STARTER for a year. Absurd.

Marte comes in in the bottom of the 9th to walk Jaime Fox. Mo comes in the get us out of this game. Final score: 7-3. Nice work, Yanks.

And nice work, Laur, by taping Jeopardy every night and consequently seeing (and photographing) one of the best "answers" ever. Certainly the most uplifting, anyway.

Tomorrow, same time, same place. Hughes faces Sheets. (Sounds a little like a law firm?)

On a side note, Sheets falls into my silo of professional athletes that instantly inspire my ire (at worst) and suspicion (at best) for their shadiness about their middle names.

If someone can tell me what the M in Ben M. Sheets name is, then I'll send you a prize. Unless it's something like "There is no name, it's just M."

Which is like when I ask someone at a store if they carry something, and he/she thinks about it for a second, then answers "no," which I always just take to mean "I don't know" and I continue looking.


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