How important was this win?
I can't decide it was more important or more necessary. There's a difference, in my head. Necessary because it regained the hit we took in the standings yesterdays, thanks to TB's narrow defeat against the Tiggers.
Important because it ignited the fireworks.
Yesterday I said the fireworks were gonna start on the 13th, but it started early.
It was weird, because as I listened to the game in my office (I'm almost immune to the Sterling Suzyn cacophony now), I was started to feel that usual sense of deflation that I get every time I realize I'm gonna miss a game due to work. I'm not immune to that.
And that feeling of deflation was just further exacerbated (is that redundant? Further exacerbated?) by the fact that the 1-1 game swiftly fell apart in the middle innings.
3-1 in the 4th. "Ok, that's not too bad. 2-run deficit early on is winnable..."
Then 6-1 in the 5th. "I hate everything. Work is unrelenting, I feel as undone as the Yankees look tonight."
(I know, I know. Defeatist attitudes insidious traps that I avoid at all costs. But it's the truth. I felt this moment of surrender. Like this tired acceptance of "Ok, you win. This is it for me. I simply cannot outsmart the rat race.")
And then it happened.
My coworker walked in my office, another monument to frazzled and delirious. "We did it," she said. "It's done. We finished a day ahead of schedule. We can submit on the 12th instead of the 13th."
I was free. (For now, anyway. But still.)
I headed to my sister's place, mere blocks from the office, to watch the rest of the game there.
When I got there, she greeted me with, "Let's get pizza. The Yanks are making a comeback."
Everything was turning up Milhouse!
6-4 with runners on 2nd and 3rd, we kept refreshing our Blueberries while we waited at Dominoes. "UGH, Swish struck out."
I was getting nervous. This wasn't right. This was my moment of celebration! I was unshackled from the office after virtually 3 months of hell. WHY COULDN'T THE YANKS JUST GET 2 MEASLY RUNS IN TO TIE IT UP AT LEAST?
When Laur and I returned to her place and turned on the tv, we both sort of looked at it with our heads cocked.
"Why does everyone look so little?"
"Bowno. Everything is bigger in Texas, makes Yankees look small in comparison?"
"Seriously. Everyone looks miniature."
"Maybe it's the-- HOLY %@& LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE UMP."
Paul Emmel is f'n huge. I don't know why I've never noticed this before, or maybe the dirt behind the plate is raised or something, but juxtaposed to the batters, he looked terrifying.
So odd. We couldn't figure out what it was. Because it wasn't just that they looked LITTLE, it was like they looked YOUNGER. Jorge looked 12. I think he shaved or something.
They all also looked like they were dying in the heat. Basically just phoning it in, but against their better judgement. Like they were TRYING to get it together but were physically unable to.
Timms cut the deficit to 6-5 with a shot that looked like he was hitting a tennis ball. So effortlessly, so f'n smooth, so far gone.
One of those shots that was too simple looking to really wrap your head around the fact that it was a no-doubter. Sometimes you see a swing that's like Yep, that's gone-zo. (cough, Sheffield, cough).
But a shot like this, you think, "Uh can of corn? Warning track? Wait, is this live? Or is this a flashback...? GOOD GOD, THAT'S OUT OF HERE."
GGBG got on based shortly thereafter with a similarly confusing shot. Well, the thought process was similar, not the actual shot. A bloop shot that gave him and Grandy pause, it somehow managed to look both foul and fair at the same time. But either way, it looked like an out regardless and wasn't anything close to an out.
Jeter comes in and hits yet ANOTHER "whaaa" shot.
My sis: "This entire inning is confusing. What's going on? None of these shots look like hits til the last second."
Jeter's looked like a high-hopping quasi-routine groundout, but ended up morphing into a CF single, which tied the game.
Timms comes up again, a mere inning later, in the Yanks' last AB, and hits a grounder down third which, AGAIN, had me thinking "kind of basic ground out.." Instead, it scored the go-ahead run.
Mo closed it out in the 9th, thanks to an amazing Sno-Cone catch (that should have been a Choco-Taco catch, but whatever.)
Excellent work, Kearns. I'm actually shocked he made that catch, since when he bats, his mentality resembles the token guy in the movie who lives an unhappy life to please his parents, but ultimately breaks away in the end when he announces, "I don't WANT to be rich. I want to be happy and follow my dream of owning a fleet of Mr. Softee trucks! I need to be my own person!"
Yeah that's Kearns. His dad is making him play baseball, because he sure as hell doesn't look too excited to be there.)
Guerrero steps up with 2 outs, winning run on base, and Laur says, "If I was a pitcher, that'd be the last person I'd ever want to face. Not because he's the best hitter or anything like that. But because it's like, where the hell do you throw it?? He swings at EVERYTHING."
He grounds out to Arod, game over, Yankees win with a BIG rally. And, oh yeah, they managed to do this despite STRIKING OUT 17 TIMES. Yeah, all in one 9-inning game. That Cliff Lee.. does he have bad games? Ugh, I'm starting to sound like Sterling.
Timms gets the Kim Jones post-game interview, and I'm pretty sure he started crying at the end. He looks like one of those people who has too many emotions. Really, not unlike John Coffey in "The Green Mile."
Here we go, Yanks. Time to pull chocks and break away. The league is yours.