Last year the only teams the Yanks had losing records against were the Nats and the Marlins. This year we've been pretty good at not letting no name teams embarrass us, but we only NARROWLY escaped our first sweep of the year against the O's.
I wouldn't say it'd be humiliating, per se, but I think it would have sent us into a frenzy. Yankee fans aren't conditioned to handle slumps, and a 4-game losing streak would have undoubtedly been the straw that broke the camel's back in our determined efforts to avoid alarmist mode.
Seriously, can you imagine what we would have done if in the last month of the season, we had to deal with a litany of obstacles* compounded by the fact we were absorbing the novelty of a SWEEP? Against the worst team in the league? As the 4th straight loss?
- Injuries from key players with vague information on the extent of ailment as well as duration of ailment
- A very shaky starting rotation that has but one consistent ace, and then 4 hit or miss guys. The worst part is that the H/M guys aren't like middle of the road pitchers that can get us through a game. They're guys that are either lights out brilliant or getting chased in the 2nd after giving up 98 runs
- A captain who couldn't hit water if he fell off a boat, but who excels tremendously at producing outs. On offense. Not defense
- A profound penchant for leaving runners on base
- A discernible lack of spark that was always evident in spades last year
On Wednesday, it looked like we were going to start panicking. It's 1-0 Yankees early on, when GGBG plated Grandy on a fake triple. And by fake triple, I mean he tried to use his Mighty Mouse-PF Flyers-Cartoon rodent legs to stretch a double (single by any other man) into a triple. Sure why not? It works all the other times.
Nope. Not gonna fly, old man.
Eh, could have used that man on base, too. Ah, alls well, etc.
Then 2 innings later in the 5th, young Matt Wieters knocks a 410-ft bomb out, scoring Adam Jones, giving them the lead, and deflating all of the NYY getaway day game goers and Gamecast viewers.
Ok...ok...still had 4 innings left, and all we had to do was score 2 measly runs to take the game. And it's BALTIMORE. How hard could that be?
Harder than I thought, apparently. The Yanks were useless against some guy named Brad Bergenson. Our boy Supernova is decidely effective (for now) and got the job done, save that one little homerun thing he gave up.
Joba (notice how I don't call him Justin anymore!) was stellar in relief. Struck out 2 in the 9th to hold the O's at 2.
My, how the tables have turned.
Who'd have thought in September that our biggest wild card was going to be Derek Jeter? I mean, you know that AJ is always a loose cannon, but Jeter going 0 for 4? Throwing errors?
And Joba winning games? Wtf? This time last year Jeter was just days away from passing Gehrig in Yankee hits.
So we head into the bottom of the 9th, and I'm listening to the radio broadcast while trudging through work, and my Yankee Coworker Partner in Crime, if Listening to Games At Work is a Crime, comes in my office and we share a rally pound. Put our hats on backwards, and no sooner had we finished adjusting our brims, then we hear Sterling climaxing.
And you can TELL when he's for real and not just being an overexcited yahoo crying wolf.
Done and done.
The Yankees' 4th walkoff of the year. MLB-leading 44th comeback. Really? That many? Huh. Didn't feel like it. The Yankees are outstanding, but I'm not seeing that same rally propensity as last year, but whatever. You live in the past, you die in the present.
Thank you, "Swishalicious."
So the Yanks win 3-2, resume a 2.5 lead over the Rays, and avoid being swept at home. No team has ever swept the Yanks in the new stadium. Thank God the O's didn't do the honors.
Now onto legitimate AL teams.
Here's hoping we don't find them as troublesome.