6 minutes ago
There's no feeling quite like going into a possible elimination game. None. Before the game, me and my sis were outside our office building, both in our Yankee tshirts and hats, looking indelibly nervous.
And, looking at her, I almost felt like I was looking at someone I may never see again. Like this could be the last time we have this pre-game pep talk. Like we were two arctic explorers braving the tundra and who knew we could die in battle with penguins or something.
Yep, so that's where I'm at.
But we're alive.
Amazingly. Despite being insanely nauseated by the whole prospect of potentially being knocked out the race, part of me felt a small modicum of calm. It was CC. Round Boy. He'd come through. If he couldn't do it, then we were doomed anyway. Even though we were 3-1, it felt like it was a 3-0 pitch for us. We knew what to do.
But now it's 3-1 (in this pitch metaphor thing) which is a little bit tougher, pressure and strategy-wise. I mean, yes the strategy is win, but whenever I played softball, 3-1 counts unnerved me. Because when the ball comes down, it's the toughest call to make, swing or hold.
You hold off on a non-perfect pitch and you're in a 3-2 hole and the entire power has shifted. You swing and miss and you second guess yourself about whether that was a ball that could've brought you to 1st.
And now the Yankees are in this somewhat equally uncomfortable spot of having to win 2 games on the road to get to the World Series.
Last night for the first time since the ALDS, I got to watch the game. I left work at 6. I refused to do anything after 4 but agreed to stay in office and be available "in an emergency."
I was home before 9.
It was amazing. And for the first time since the ALDS, the Yankees looked like themselves.
They took a 5-0 lead which I'm sure eased the fears of everyone at Yankee Stadium drastically. But, as Sterling the spoil sport pointed out, how many insurance runs are ever really enough against Texas? 3? 4? 5? 6? 9? 11? (I'm serious, he went through all these options.)
Without the bat of Tex in the lineup, the Yanks put Berkman at 1st who had an Austin Kearns moment when he slipped and completely bit it, sliding into the wall in the process.
Tex somewhere was shaking his head and telling his wife he was fine to play. "I'M FINE HONEY. FINE. MY TEAM NEEDS ME I GOTTA GO!!!" Kinda like the ending of Saw I...
So the Yanks are all secretly nervous but confident in public, spouting out things like "We got them RIGHT where we want 'em!" (Swish: "We're right we need to be." Um, ok.)
The Rangers are psyched to be going back home because I'm sure they're all pretty confident they're going to go to the World Series with Cliff Lee. I don't know about that. I mean, as Girardi said, "We came into this series on a 4 game win streak." So, yeah, wining 2 in a row on the road sounds impossible right now, but it's certainly doable.
Good grief, Big Puma.
The Yanks were still a LITTLE shaky in parts of their game. Fatso, while coming up huge (hehe) still gave up 11 hits and was uncharacteristically wild (I blame AJ even though I still inexplicably love him).
The bats were 2 for 11 with RISP, with 7 LOB. Hmm. Not BAD, I guess, percentage-wise. But number-wise? (Which is kind of funny since I've been spending most of my long hours here trying to demonstrate the opposite, that a small number can be significant when it's consequence is examined as a ratio.)
Grandy was 3 for 4, and I think announcers may be contractually obligated to remind us that he didn't know how to his lefties, but now he's getting better thanks to batting coach Kevin Long. It's like when you're watching Dateline or 48 hours or something, and after every commercial break, the voice over spends a good 3 minutes bringing you up to speed on everything that occured so far in the show.
(Destinos style! Raquel: "Bueno. Que paso.")
Jeter was kind of bad yesterday, but then he had an AB where he fouled off approximately 92 pitches before getting a walk, which I love--and so do announcers--because it gives everyone an opportunity to discuss Jeter's won't-quit attitude, as well as the impact of drawing pitches. (In case there's any confusion, to be clear, the "pitcher almost always ends up losing that battle." Where's Al Leiter's on-air pitching clinics when you need 'em?)
Texas threw in a couple of runs, but it was like they were playing with a certain nonchalance. (As evidenced by the complete lunacy of errors that somehow only amounted to ONE error, in the first inning, which allowed 3 runs to score on one hit, and even allowed Posada in all his sluggish glory to break for home and do so safely, in a situation where he'd be out by at least 44 miles.)
The Rangers were playing like they want to clinch at home.
But this is the Yankees we're talking about.
There's a reason everyone hates us.
Because unless you're a fan of this legendary franchise, then the Yankees are the ones that break your hearts and ruin your dreams.
The Yankees are the ones that pour hydrochloric acid on momentum.
The Yankees are the ones that bring you to brink of triumph...
...the Yankees are the ones who proceed to claim that triumph as their own.
If we win Game 6, we're winning the series.