2 hours ago
|April 9, 2012|
First of all, this.
My cousin Katie is crazy and awesome, so when she went to Camden Yards a few years ago to see a Red Sox game, she wore her Johnny Damon Yankee jersey, in a successful attempt to maximize the amount of ire she evoked from the stands.
I probably would have done the same thing (except I'd have thrown on an O's hat because I always root for the home team, and also because it would have just thrown every fan into a tailspin.*) But I've really come to like the O's, not just because they gave us the first win of 2012, but because they gave the Red Sox their last loss of 2011. And because Arod hit his first pitch of 2009 off them. And because Steve Dalkowski (the inspiration for my very first blog) played for them. What's not to like?
I'm going to of course be spatula-ing egg off my face tomorrow if Chen throws up a gem against us and Garcia gets pegged for double digit plates. But I'll cross that bridge if I come to it. Maybe. Maybe I'll just have an Indian help me across or caulk the wagon.
I think it's safe to say though that the O's aren't sharing the warm and fuzzy feeling right now.
I think it's even safer to say that Andino most certainly is not.
But we'll get to that. Apparently, the whole baseball-is-all-sorts-of-backwards-this-week thing is infecting my brain and capacity for sequential thought. Since, you know, usually I'm really a paradigm of cogent rhetoric.
(My sister: "I love how you think putting bulleted lists in your posts makes them logical. Like you'll spend an entire paragraph comparing a pitch to a baby rhino or something, and be all, 'well, it's cool because it's got a bullet so it makes sense.")
Hey, you work in advertising, you learn that bullets are serious business.
- Nova's stuff looked filthy. Exceptional, really. A lot of movement, and I'm really rather excited about this. He posted something like an 8-point-bajillion ERA during spring training, but Girardi was "encourage by his last bullpen session" so was impelled to start him. (Ha, as if he's so flush with options. Nova could've gone all Tim Robbins Bull Durham style on his catcher, and Girardi would've been like, "Well, he has a mitt, so I felt like he was a good choice for the nod.")
- His line for the day was kind of weird, though: 10 hits (not so great, but not quite an indication of control issues), 0 BB (really not an indication of control issues), 7K, and 2 runs. I think the kid probably does have the aforementioned control issues but basically made a deal with himself that he'd allow a playground of bullies to give him Indian burn arms for the duration of recess, if he started getting wild. I mean, that's the rational conclusion, yeah?
- It was our boy's 13th straight win, tying Guidry for the 3rd longest streak in Yankee history. Ok, read that sentence again. I feel like we need to give Nova more credit here. Even Girardi was just like, "Yeah he was ok, I guess." We officially have a stat that puts him in the same breath as a legend (and not a Fenway-esque '12th longest streak of games playing in sub 60 degree weather' kind of stat.)
- Maybe it's the year of 13? 13th straight win to mark our first win on 4/9. Opening day on the 13th?
- Jeter had 4 hits so maybe he needed that oddly placed Game 2 day of rest. Girardi is a genius! Maddon who?? Jeter is also showing age on the basepaths though. In a strike-em-out, throw-em-out play with Arod up, Weiters' throw to 3rd gave Reynolds ample time to compose a lyrical play in perfet iambic pentameter, before Jeter ever really neared the bag.
- Arod's swing, to be sure, was the hardest I've ever seen him swing before. No lie. It was approaching Sheffield proportions. He missed, though. \
- Andruw Jones went yard, and man, do I love it when that guy goes deep. (Pause.) No one looks more happier after a bomb than Andruw Jones or Arod. (Arod sometimes tries to pretend it's NBD, which is even funnier, but Jones is like the most emotional person in the world.
- (If he was playing in the Torre era, the two of them would've just been like Bubba and his caddy, after every game. (Topical! Masters stuff!) Marcus Thames was another candidate for "First to Lose in Games Where You're Supposed to Keep a Poker Face.")
- Everyone got a hit today except Swisher and Arod.
- Mariano Rivera came in a non-save situation, with a 4-run lead, and it was hysterical listening to Sterling and Waldman dance around this. Like their voices got that whole octave-higher thing going, when you're trying to awkwardly justify something. "Well, you know, I mean, Mo just needs to come in to get some pitches in." Which isn't really false, but the elephant in the broadcast booth was palpable, and you know they were thinking, "well, gee, a 4-run lead oughtta be enough to ensure he doesn't mess up!" 1 blown save and he's wading in Braden Looper waters? Good grief.
- This is not the only bone I have to pick with Sterling though. This was the first Yankees' win of the 2012 season. And I'm listening as Hardy lines out to left to end the game, and I get this WEAK SAUCE.
I'm glad the always divinely perceptive guys at IIHIIF noticed this too, because I felt like Debbie Downer in the Social Networking Milieu. Well, maybe he had a bad day? Though unless he was actually on the Oregon Trail, he doesn't have a whole lot of allowable excuses for botching the first win warble.
|Almost a legit excuse.|
But the whole passing-on-unethical-insider-info-on-pitches thing really just goes over my head, I guess.
They're coming in at 90 mph. It's not like Andino has the reflexes of Liam Neeson in Taken. Or the speed of mind of the MIT blackjack hustlers. So, I'm finding it hard to believe that he's finding the time to alert a player 127 feet away where a pitch is coming in.
Plus, come on, it's Mariano Rivera. He's throwing a 92 mph cutter. You know where it's coming. You know how fast it's getting there. You just don't know how to hit it. So, the entire argument is dumb. But mostly Andino is dumb. Because I love Russell Martin, and I love his whole lack of Jeter-esque PR grace.
I honestly could see him being like, "Nah, if a PR rep isn't a requirement, then I'll just pass. I'm a good dude." He is. And he's never said anything incendiary, like other unbuffered types.† He's just unscripted. Guileless. Which is refreshing. Kudos, K-Mart.
And stop whining, Andino. You'll gotta play them 2 more times, you know.
In terms of the rest of the O's: well, Wieters had 4 hits and a bomb. Matusz continued to have an annoying spelling of his name. Diet Buerhle. He also continued to be manhandled by the Yanks. In his last three starts against New York, Matusz is 0-2 with a 12.66 ERA. 96 pitches through 4 innings. 4 runs, 6 hits, 4 BB walks. 10th straight loss.
"It's a tough line-up." --Matusz.
A common lament, buddy. A common lament.
Here's to another 158 wins!
*Nothing drives a sports fan crazier than wanting to spit vitriol but being too confused about the target of this fury and/or the appropriateness of this emotion. I'm not kidding. Every time someone tries to poke the bear with "Yo, how'd the Yankees do today?" answer him or her with "They lost. It sucked." And then watch how blunted the verbal assaulter becomes.
†For the record, I don't like how Ozzie's getting so much heat over political comments. He's an insane baseball manager who can barely string 2 words together. Who cares what he thinks about Castro? He's more of a South Park character with a heightened knowledge and intuition when it comes to baseball. And throw in a little Christian Bale.