As a rule, I'm happy if Strange is happy. Like, sometimes when he kicks my ass in beirut, I'm livid and frustrated, but then he's jumping around and being all Strange-like, and it's like I'm a rookie pitcher giving up a bomb to Arod.
I was happy for him when Buehrle pitched a perfecto. I was happy for him when the Blackhawks won. But when it comes to the Yanks-Southsiders series, it's tough to muster up even a modicum of gracious losing.
Strange purports that his boys are even in striking distance of being contenders on account of 1 thing: INTERLEAGUE PLAY. Sounds about right. And while they were regaining momentum months back, going on 10-game streaks and shedding their No Chance Lance status...they were building hope. It was like they weren't going to play with the "nothing to lose" attitude anymore, but start playing like a team who could make something of themselves if they just put their minds to it.
Can I sound any more like a "The More You Know" PSA? Probably not. Fortunately, that's the end of my magnaminous interlude.
The bottom line? The ChiSox beat our boys last night, made AJ look stupid (hold the jokes on that one, please), and prevented the Yanks from amassing any kind of "Let's right the ship!" charisma.
The game was preceded by some ceremony where all the championship trophies were brought out. My buddy was talking about how teams that aren't the Yankees get the benefit of that "YEAH! WE JUST BEAT THE YANKEES!" sense of triumph on the rare occassion when they best the best.
If they lose to the Yanks, then it's like, well they're the Yanks. How do you compete? They buy their team, etc.
As my dad says, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." The Yankees really should build a giant Damocles Sword to function as the new "Bat" landmark.
They got off to a real rough start last night. AJ gave up 4 runs, and about 100 base runners.
AJ is now 0-4 with a 7.80 ERA in five starts this month which kind of puts his spot in the rotation in jeopardy. Burnett was charged with nine runs, eight earned, and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who also walked three and threw two wild pitches, is 3-10 with a 6.86 ERA in his last 15 starts overall.
"I've been through this," he said. "I'm strong enough to deal with it. I'm not going to pout. I'm not going into my next start thinking here we go again. It's a matter of being strong."
Ok, he was throwing like 97 mph and still getting shelled, soo...I mean, that's a location thing, obviously. So, once again, I'm sticking up for AJ. His stuff is there. It's just not THERE in the location sense of the word.
So we can work on that, right?? Cmon, I love AJ, he's one of the stronger guys on the team, and when I say "stronger" I mean that he doesn't seem to get fazed by adversity. Plus, he's insane. I like a little insanity in our rotation. The same buddy who commented on the Defeating Yankees principle above, also avered that the season is going to be decided by what happens with Pettitte.
He could be right about that.
How did the Yanks starting rotation go from unstoppable to, well, stoppable?
Overall, it wasn't the greatest game to watch. The Yanks got on early thanks to Jeter's ribbie ground out that brought in GGBG. They fell behind 4-1. GGBG scores Pena in the 3rd to make it 4-2, and that's when things could have been different. We could have overcome that kind of early game deficit.
But gradually, and then suddenly, it's a 9-2 game in the 4th. AJ was finally chased after the game completely got away from him. Mitre replaces him and gave a up a few, none of which were actually charged to him. In fact, he was pretty outstanding for the bullpen. Nearly 5 innings of 1 hit ball. Good work, chief.
Swisher hit a 2 run bomb in the 9th, but no one thought they were coming back. Sorry, I just didn't feel this one. The Southsiders had the edge from the second they took the field. And, for the record, Ozzie Guillen continues to be a starking raving lunatic.
If you haven't seen Strange's impression of Ozzie calling to the bullpen, you're missing out. Just saying...
Also, just saying, that Ramiro Pena is f'n awesome. And not in a GGBG kind of "scrappy little basehitter" kind of way. But in a legitimate way. Actually the only reason he looks like he'd be the underdog kind of great is because of his stature. But put that fielding and baserunner on someone who doesn't look like he's 11, and you're looking at a Granderson-esque player.
Cervelli made an error, and is it me, or does he seem to be a little wild lately? I love him, but dude pump the breaks, you're all over the place lately.
Final notes: ChiSox claim Manny off waivers. Weird. Also, TB lost to Sox, which kicks off my least favorite regular season situation: having to root for the Sox for the purpose of standings.
I KNEW there was a reason I was feeling a little off kilter...