Well, I can’t imagine Red Sox fans enjoyed seeing last night’s game, You know it’s a bad night when the best part about it is your ace starter’s leg is only bruised, not broken. In a match that pitted the league’s most babied starter against the league’s most resilient, we saw what could only be described as a complete role reversal.
Honestly, the only logical explanation for the performances last night is something along the lines of Jon Lester and Joba Chamberlain accidentally aligning with the moon in a certain way, such that they successfully switched bodies.
I woke up this morning not only with a weird song from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia stuck in my head, and a pile of notes I was scribbling during last night’s game. Both the tune and my chicken scratch made roughly the same amount of sense.
The game started out interestingly enough, with Joba pitching a 1-2-3 inning, making that the first time sports writers everywhere were able to type that sentence.
Michael Kay tells us that he’s really like what they’ve done with Joba. And that Girardi has said the kid gloves are coming off. I had to rewind that to make sure I heard that right. Are they really acting like they’re being tough guys? Yeah, Girardi, you tell him! Let the administration know you mean business. One week left in the season, after 154 games of rearranging the planets to accommodate Joba’s arm, and now you’re all, “Yeah, no more baby games. I mean it.”
Nick Swisher makes a ridiculously awesome sliding catch. If a can of corn is floating his way, half of Yankee fans watching avert their eyes, because there’s a more than average chance Swish misplays it. But if some off-center rocket is launched in the vicinity of right field, our boy eats it up all day.
I don’t know WHY I’m the only person who thinks this, but I cannot look at Swish without hearing, “Is today…Jimmy Shakar day?” in my head. How does no one else see Gary Sinise playing right field for us??
Second time Kay has used “funky” to describe something that could be described better with about 7,891,003 other adjectives than “funky.”
Kay makes first mention of Joba’s perfect game. Just to state the obvious, the game has been going on for less than an hour. It’s the third inning.
First text from a Sox fan trying to jinx perfect game. Or make fun of Yankee fans because of Kay. Or both. “Kay just said Joba’s perfect through 3. I almost feel bad for Yankee fans. Almost. Girardi should pull him now.”
Joba, by the way, is dealing like he’s got someplace to be later, a much appreciated departure from his typical style of waiting for his food to finish digesting in between pitches.
Good God. A f’n bomb from ARod. There’s NO ONE I’d rather see have a good game against Boston rather than ARod. No one. Go to town, Alex.
Oh. My. God. My ears starting bleeding listening to the booth tell us about Boston’s big plans to “go crazy” if they clinch the Wild Card in NY. My sister calls, “I don’t understand. Is Boston bragging about being classless…or celebrating the fact they can’t catch the Yankees? Either way. Seriously, do you think the Sox are thinking to themselves how badass that is? Idiots.”
David Ortiz underscores the issue: “That’s how we roll.” How is that, exactly, Big Mammi? How do you roll? In the shadow of NY? Guided by tenets of complete classlessness? Explain, please.
Still on phone with sis. “SEE YA! AN A-BOMB FROM AROD!” I tell her to press “live” on her DVR. “Oh.”
I realize Joba and Lester have switched bodies.
I%^@*&uawer9283ies OUCHHH.. oh shit. That poor kid. Lester just got drilled with a bullet off the bat of Melky and he’s down. Big time. Alright, I hate Boston as much as the next guy, but I have to say Jon Lester is easily my favorite guy on that team. “Sox fans hold their breath right now as Francona and the trainer race onto the mound.” Holy crap, he’s not getting up. The poor kid has already beat cancer and endured the indignity of playing in Boston, and now this. Geez, hasn’t the guy suffered enough?
Another text from Sox fan: “I’m going to go play on the computer now. And write about how Melky did that intentionally.” I know how you feel. Sort of. Last week CC was served a line drive that missed his head by about 4 inches and was fired straight into his chest. There’s about 329 pounds separating Lester from CC, though, so CC didn’t know what hit him. Literally.
The argument for mainlining BBQ into your best starters between innings is really mounting. (I think when this happened to CC, while every fan held their breath, lost the color in their face, and generally had a mild coronary, little yellow birds popped up over CC’s head to indicate that he’s a cartoon and will be fine.)
Kay: “I don’t think Francona’s really thinking so much about Lester as he is about his playoff chances.” Um.
Interminable rant from Kay about exactly how packed Yankee stadium is right now. “They’re everywhere! The bleachers, the seats. The Aisles. The standing rooms. You couldn’t fit another person in here, Al!”
HHAHAHAHA. Follows up his rant about the seats with, “Is everyone in Yankee Stadium asleep right now?” Well, the viewers at home are getting close to it, Mike. Al Leiter chips in his two cents, “Hey, where are the Marlins right now?” Seemed like a good time to check in on them, I guess.
“Tek is making sure Hideki’s not peeking at the pitches.” Where is Kay getting this stuff from? Also, Varitek looks very much like the dwarf-life character in “The Office” that parties with Ryan in the NYC club.
(The score right now, btw, is 5-1. No mercy.)
Kay: “Varitek is not a very good catcher. Or a good first baseman. Their catching arms are just really bad.” Beautifully said, Kay.
Hunter Jones is Boston’s reliever for Lester. Who? He looks like a preppy version of Joba. Like the Joba that would have turned out if he had gone to UVA or something. Even got the same number #62.
Well, good meeting you, Hunter Jones. Who ARE these relievers? Boston’s bringing in Michael Bowden? Their bullpen is like an f’n clown car.
Kay is officially not watching the game, or if he is, he’s lost any interest in factual accuracy. “Jon Lester is younger than Joba.” Younger in…what sense of the word? In terms of total number of years in existence, Lester is older.
* * *
And that was the first half of the game. At the end of 4 innings, the Yankees led 6-1, the only run from Boston was a long ball from Victor Martinez. Later on in the game, David Ortiz would hit a 2-run shot, and I’d like to remind Red Sox Nation that they’ve spent the better part of their tenure classifying homeruns of those ilk as “MEANINGLESS” and “NON-CLUTCH.”
Jonathan Albaladejo (still can’t spell that right in one try) gave the Sox their only respite of the night, giving up 2 runs in about 45 seconds of work. Alfredo Aceves, Damaso Marte, Phil Hughes, and Phil Coke were all remarkably effective out of the pen. I guess old habits die hard. Even with Joba going 6, everyone under the kitchen sink was brought in to fill in the remaining innings. I’m not complaining–I think Girardi handled it perfectly. (Did I just actually say that?)
Stat of the night: Yankee batters saw 213 PITCHES. This is one of my proudest moments of the season. Lester threw 78 pitches in less than 3 innings. Joba threw 86 in 6 innings. Unbelievable.
Second best stat of the night: 7 STOLEN BASES. In 7 tries, off Jason Varitek. The most SBs in a game since they stole 8 in 1996. (At what point is “stolen base” no longer an automatic cue to cut to Dave Roberts reels?) They never stopped running, and the Sox were constantly left scrambling on defense.
No element of the Yankees’ game was underplayed. The pitching was tremendous, the running game was extraordinary, defense tight as always, and offense was overwhelming. 14 hits, only 1 of which was a long ball (the record-breaking 127th ding of the year was off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, who went 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs).
The Yankees manufactured runs all. night. long. It was like they never stopped to look at the score, just put their heads down, hit, got on base, and kept going.
The Sox never knew what hit ’em.