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Ahh, today is the EPITOME of summer baseball. It's 80 degrees out, I followed the game while lying out on the roof of my building, dousing myself with a hose when it got too hot, and gulping Snapple lemonade which did nothing to hydrate me but everything to bring joy to my afternoon.

(I love the word EPITOME, because it reminds me of a time in high school when the teacher was reading out words for a vocab quiz and after he reads out that one, my buddy Darrel's hand shoots up: "Um, Mr. S, I think I studied the wrong list!" To which Mr. S sighs and returns with, "No, Darrel. Epitome is the same thing as EP-ih-toam." "OHHH, ok.")

Before I go into the wonderful comeback win of today, I'd be remiss in not mentioning Halladay's perfecto yesterday. I called home last night and was talking to my mom about yesterday's debacle.

Cyc: Did you watch it? What happened was so awful! (referring to Huff's head getting in the way of Arod's liner)
Mom: I KNOW! THEY NEED TO GET RID OF HIM! (referring to Joba)

Confusion ensued.

It continued to ensue when I started bitching and moaning about how the Jays wanted Joba last year as part of a deal for Halladay and the Yankees essentially scoffed and got all insulted a team would even SUGGEST we'd deal the royal Chamberlain.

"And now look, Halladay's throwing a perfecto. Wait, is the game over? Did he get the perfect game."


"He did?"

"He did what?"

"Throw a perfect game."

"Joba threw a perfect game???"

"No! Halladay!"

..long pause...

"Wait, what about the holiday? OH! Are you coming home for Memorial Day?"

"Mom. Roy Halladay. The pitcher. He was throwing a perfect game."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Kristen. You can't talk to me about names like that. I have no idea who that is. Let's just stick to the Yankees."


So to add insult to injury, not only did Joba blow a perfectly good lead and throw away the game for us, but in another part of the country, at the same time, the guy who could've been in pinstripes, was retiring batters with about as much effort as Matt Damon puts into math problems in "Good Will Hunting."

Yeah, good thing we held onto ol' Joba. We're really showing 'em what we'd been missing out on. Grumble grumble.

But today, the Yanks acted more Yankee like. It's almost as if they were playing like the Lakers in the NBA finals. I'm not a big follower of basketball, but I am admittedly fired up about the Celts-LA matchup.

When the Lakers were playing the Suns last week, they seemed to start out the series as if they were just phoning it in and already looking to the Finals. But after Phoenix started winning, it was like Kobe growled and said, "Alright, you wanna put up a fight? Put up a fight. See how that works out for you. You really want play us when we're dialed in? Do ya? Giddy up."

And that's how the Yanks have been playing. I think they were starting to play on autopilot, relying on the innate talent and skill of a lineup that could be one of the best in history. But nothing comes without working at it. And it's easy to get complacent against a team like Cleveland or the Mets. But no matter what, you can't lose focus. The second you do is the second you admit defeat.

Today, the Yankees seemed unfocused for most of the game. Then it's like something clicked. They remembered who they were and what they were supposed to be doing. And they shifted into the same mentality that Kobe has. "Alright you wanna do this? Your loss. Literally."

After Justin Masterson completely blanked the Yanks for most of the game (and whoever had "5th inning" in the "How long before Sterling calls him 'Justing MasterFUL' pool"'re the big winner today!), thing weren't looking good, and I thought my restful day of sun and peace was about to be deeply soiled by a shitty loss.

Then with 2 outs in the 7th, the Captain lassos them all in and refuses to let another loss settle upon his team. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Jeter singles to center and we got a 1 run game.

(Of course, there was the requisite "And now that 2-run rally in the top of the inning is really looming large. How important was that stolen base by Valbuena? Um, REALLY important. SOOO important." Thanks, Sterling.)

Jeter makes it a 3-2 ballgame, and Grandy gets on base next to set it up for Tex who sends a moon shot into the left field stands. Text message, you're on your mark, etc etc. Excitement abounds all around!

I need to take a moment to comment on the completely unhuman speed with which Granderson returned to form. You know how after a guy comes back from the DL, you're not quite sure you want to move him from your DL slot to your active fantasy roster? Especially when it means you gotta drop someone like Austin Jackson who's been a more than adequate replacement for your sidelined superstar for the last month.

But I dropped A-Jax without batting an eye, and Grandy didn't make me regret it. It's almost like he's involved in some kind of "Dave" scenario, that movie about the president who's in a coma, so he gets a body double to act in his stead to keep things on the DL from the public.

After Tex's ding makes it 5-3, the Yanks managed to hold onto the lead for the rest of the game, undoubtedly thanks to the MASTERFUL pitching performance from AJ, whose 8Ks and 0BBs were perhaps not as significant as the fact he took us through 8 innings and consequently allowed us to sidestep the bullpen landmine.

(As Suzyn Waldman rightly noted, "At what point do you stop referring to a pitcher as an 8th inning set-up man? I mean, if he's blowing every lead, he's not really a set up guy so much as a bridge-breaker to the 9th inning.")

Tony Sipp came in (thankfully) and he's not really going to be heading back to Cleveland with too many fond memories of this town. Not only did he give up the salami to Cano 2 days ago, but today he gives up the bomb to Tex (but is only charged with 2 runs.) In fact, Sipp only had allowed three earned runs in 21 appearances before this weekend, but during his NY trip has only been able to retire 1 batter in the 8 he's faced so far.

(Anagram of "Anthony Sipp" = NY Sap Hit On)

Jeter, Tex, Cano, Swish, and Miranda all had 2 hits a piece. Arod went 0 for 3 the day after he Charlie Brown-ed Huff. Sterling made an interesting comment today: "The Yankees aren't going to be the team they need to be until Teixeira and Arod start carrying their offense. While it's great that they're seeing so much help from the bottom of the order, those 2 have a job to do, and the offense can never be solid until they start performing up to their level." I COMPLETELY AGREE.

Great win today, now we just gotta close the book on this series tomorrow.

What's one more blow to a city like Cleveland?


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