So I guess it's true what they say about the Royals. They're actually a decent hitting team. So in the last 2 days, the Yanks have gotten 29 hits. Same as their opponents.
15 yesterday. 14 today. 13 tomorrow?
Which would suggest, by no logic other than my weird fascination with number coincidences, that tomorrow is the day #13 has a big day.
OR, does he hit #600 on his 35th birthday, on July 27?
Or does he do it Saturday, on the anniversary of the infamous Pine Tar game against the Royals 27 years ago?
My bet is he does it tomorrow. My instincts want to say Saturday because I think he probably will do better without the thousands of camera flashes going off, but I don't think Arod is the same player he was when was chasing 500. He doesn't choke, doesn't buckle under the spotlight. He thrives on it. He knows NY loves him, knows NY is pulling for him.
And he's happy. Or it looks that way anyway. And isn't perception reality anyway?
So the Yanks pull off an offensive hemorrhage against the weirdly skilled, weirdly bad Kansas City Royals.
You know what this game reminded me of? Have you ever been to one of those castles or museums in Europe? Or even a cathedral? EVERYTHING is so...rich. So ornate. Nothing subtle, everything in excess. Indulgent. The handiwork of legendary artists who were the earliest OCD perfectionists.
That's what this game was like, in the same that everyone was excessive. Nothing subtle, nothing sparse. Ravenous and overwhelming. Just like European architecture, and just like CC Sabathia.
Tubby usually is actually the most economic arm on the team, for the obvious reasons of wanting to expedite the post-game meal. But today he the anti-CC. (Psh, guess that's what happens when you turn 30, you start getting into the mentality "Well, Ima die soon anyway, so may as well LIVE IT UP.)
Live it up= 11 hits, 9 Ks, 4 runs....and 120 PITCHES.
What the hell, Joe? I don't get you AT ALL. You treat Hughes like his arm is made of porcelain, you treat your other starters like they're Gumby.
I had a softball game, but watched the game on Encore, and I discovered that you really have to WATCH the Royals to make sense of their stats. The obvious observation upon seeing their batting line scores is to be impressed, then baffled. They're a f'n ridiculous hitting team. The best in the league actually.
But good God, how deceiving those numbers are.
Their defense is a step above a quasi-competitive beer league softball infield.
Their clumsy error or whatever it's called when someone runs head-on into a wall, resulted in Jeter's 2 career inside the park homerun.
A base-running moment of idiocy cost them at least a run, when GGBG made the 3rd out before Podsednik could make it home. I'm inclined to lambaste him for not running it out, but then I thought better of it when I realized that Scott Podsednik is approximately 78 years old, and hence I should just let him enjoy his jogs around the base paths.
(Fantasy Nostalgia: I remember drafting him about 6 years ago...to up my steal numbers.)
And then there's oddity #1,120 of the day. You see something like that and you're thinking, "Sweet Christ, KC. No wonder you guys can't capitalize on your hits, you're unmitigated nightmares on the bases." But no, that's not really true either.
KC had not 1, but TWO double steals tonight. To lay it out, the Royals had 14 hits, 11 off one of the league's more lethal pitchers, 5 walks, and successfully executed 2 double-steals...and in the same game, lost by 6 runs, and left 14 RUNNERS ON BASE. 14.
I don't know, it was hard watching this game. I feel like lately the Yanks have been winning games that aren't exactly going in the clip reel of defensive best practices. There was a balk, a wild pitch, an error, overthrows..it's like watching a bull in a china shop.
But...do we WANT to pull in the reigns? I mean, think about it. Last year, the Yanks were successful for a lot of reasons, but one of them was because they were playing with heart. They had personality, they had life in them.
In other news, I'm growing close to my wit's end in terms of hitting a homerun in softball this year. I told my dad last weekend that my new plan of attack is going to just swing the bat as hard as I can at every AB, and hope at one point the bat accidentally hits the ball.
"Uh. Wow, your teammates are gonna be thrilled about this strategy, Kris."
Is that how the Yanks are playing? Swinging as hard as they can (metaphorically) and hoping they find themselves on the winning side? I have no idea. I trust Girardi and I think there's a method to his madness.
Hell, the bullpen has been looking sharp as a tack since the ASG (knockonwoodknockonwoodknockonwood.)
Oh, there's Justin, of course. Who managed to load the bases in a desperate attempt to let the Royals know their hitting ebullience wouldn't be in vain. (This has zero to do with anything, but I just realized that KC is just brimming with B's. It's like they're a cartoon in "Highlights for Children" teaching about the principles of alliteration. Something to think about. Or completely ignore. Either way.)
Here's the best part about the game: the top of the line-up played like the top of the line-up. The first 4 batters were 10 for 20 (.500 I did that in my head, no kidding), with 8 ribbies. The way it should be. We don't need our 5 batter holding the slugging column in place (though he always does he part anyway), nor should we rely on the Penas and Mirandas and Cervellis of the team to propel the line-up into runs.
The Yankees functioned, offensively speaking, like a paragon of a productive batting order. Excellent work. I like neatness.
The Royals have 5 players on their team hitting over .300. Seriously. I've never seen such a good hitting team be so starkly conversely bad at everything else. They're like the Butterheads of the American League.
Also, it should be noted that Wilson Bettemit still exists, joining the All-Star Team of Players Who I Had Been Convinced Just Evaporated Upon No Longer Playing for the Yankees, Either Confirming my NYY-Centric Tunnelvision Or Supporting Said Players Lack of Relevancy in Life.
Bettemit's teammates on ASToPWIHBCJEUNLPftYECMNCTOSSPLoRiL include: Giambi, Bruney, Hawkins, Cody Ransom, Wang...
I swear, I still half expect to see, like, Ruben Sierra skip out to the outfield sometime.
Maybe I need to cut back on my work hours?
So that's the long and short of it. Yanks win their 2nd in a row and improve to 60-34 (.638). CC improves to 13-3. D-Rob looks great, Chan Ho didn't blow the game (BUT LOOK WHO DID, HAHAHAH GOD HE IS JUST SO F^@#ING BAD!!!!)
Ah, but the Sox managed to overcome the formidable M's in 13 innings. Who cares, Papelbon blew lead #89,128 of the year, and the Sox had 3 ERRORS.
Nevermind, I take back everything I said about the Yanks playing like wild hellions.
Compared to the guys 7 games back in the division, the Yanks play the game like they're managed by Sgt. Hartman.
See you tomorrow, when GOOD AJ faces off against Brian Bannister. More B names. Both pitchers are 7-8. AJ's gonna win though, because that's what NY does.
They best the B Teams.