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...that for the first time since the playoffs started, I was annoyed at something other than the Yankee bats.

Justin Verlander pitched almost a complete game shutout. He was pitching 99 mph in the 9th inning, with well over 100 pitches already under his belt. THAT is astounding. Mind-blowingly impressive. I can be objective, contrary to popular belief. Or, well, what my nickname may suggest.

That said, he wasn't nearly as stifling as the announcers have made him out to be. Yes, his W put the Yankees in an 0-3 hole. Yes, that 0-3 hole will subsequently trigger a non-stop barage of "the LAST time to come back from a 0-3 deficit..." reminders (which, not for nothing, is almost as bad as the loss itself. I'm not kidding.)

But Justin Verlander did not mystify the Yanks in the way that Sanchez did. He whiffed 3. And, most importantly, the Yanks were batting the ball all over the place. And "by all over the place" I mean, wherever there were fielders.

Seriously! I know everyone is going berserk right now, and have already written off the series. But I think a lot of that has to do with the fact every Yankee fan had TBS drilling it into their brains for 3 hours that Verlander was absolutely unhittable.

Not true. He was hittable. They made contact--good contact--with the ball. I wasn't mad at the Yankee bats.

Maybe this had something to do with the fact Arod and Swish were out of the lineup, leaving me with...what? A bunch of people who I can't get mad at because they've either just been introduced to the playoffs, like, 8 hours ago.

Or because they aren't some "overpaid player blah blah who keeps striking out." Grandy and Cano strike out all the time, no doubt about it. But they aren't overpaid. And for some reason, Grandy has become Sean Casey/Jim Thome's successor in the over-the-top perception of Mr. Congenialty assignation.

So, while I am in fact really sad about this pickle we've gotten ourselves into, I want to be clear that it ain't over til it's over. The Yankees hit the ball. Phil Hughes let up 1 freaking run. PHIL HUGHES. One run.

It's eerie, really. That a team that was Georgia-asphalt-in-Augusta hot, COLLECTIVELY went hooking-up-with-your-best-friend's-ex cold. All of them (as indicated in "Collectively"). Not even staggered. A simultaneous hush over the bats. It's like Ibanez and Tex and Sneach were absent from class the day xyz-Disney-villain put a ridiculous curse on the protagonist.

I like how 80s cartoons pushed
the envelope in terms of terrifying
their target audience. Unapologetically.
I wonder if they have survivor guilt for being spared from whatever evil has been bestowed upon the rest of the lot.

So TECHNICALLY Sneach had the only 2 hits for most of the game (of course), while the Tiggers posted 2. Then the 9th inning comes around and it's 2 outs and the Yankees are down to their last strike, and Tex works a walk.

Cano's up. Gets on base. Yeah, nbd. Cano got a base hit. See ya, hitless streak.

Ibanez is up, who is the ONLY person on that entire team, with the possible exception of an amputated Jeter, that can bat in that spot with carte blache.

Swish really dodged a bullet there, because you know that if he got up with bases loaded and 2 outs, he wouldn't 100% popped it up and inspired a riot. It also would've have been the last time he ever held a bat wearing Yankee pinstripes.

I swear, Swish almost looked PO-ed when Nunez went yard.

Nunez went yard. That felt weird writing it. I don't know what the hell is going on anymore. Is this real life?

Alright game 4 tomorrow. No one's going to sweep the Yankees with Round Boy on the mound, so rest easy, Yankee fans. One game at a time.

And buzz off to all the "only time a team came back from 0-3" dramatics, because you know what, sports world? The Socks were only the first baseball team to do it. Hockey had been doing it for years. It should also be mentioned that Boston was the last team to RELINQUISH a 3-0 lead in the playoffs.

I heart you, Flyers.

Ahh, I apologize for the brevity here. It may be because I know there's a win in store for us tomorrow. It may be because I've been losing my sleeplessness endurance. It's painful to write right now. I miss being invincible.

Annnnd the MVP award this week goes to Matt in the Finance department, for giving me a 1-year old box of Valentine's chocolates that tasted like dusty bubblegum mixed with a yodel. It was the thought that counted though, and maybe I should give my entire office MVP for accomodating me during the playoffs.

Ahh, the MLB playoffs. The great unifier, the great divider.

I'm happy to be on the same side of the fence as Yankee fans.

And as my dad would say, "Don't worry about the game tomorrow. It's a rerun. I've already seen it, and the Yankees win it 4-2."

Potissimaque res in vita, est bonus amice et bonus bullpen.


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