I’m still trying to figure out why I was so calm when we were down 3-0. Half of me wants to chalk it up to the fact I opted to not watch the game in my usual bar, and thereby removed the unavoidable alarmist sentiments dominating such a locale.
The other half of me wants to say it’s because all sports fans–regardless of your affiliation–every now and then have these gut feelings about their team when watching a particular game that just says, “Nah, I just have a feeling they’re going to come back.”
Or maybe my buddy whose apartment I watched it at, had the foresight to just slip a Valium in my beer when I got up to go to the bathroom.
Whatever the reason, it played out to my favor. I managed to never near the ledge, and the Yankees came through for us.
And when I say “Yankees,” I mean it quite literally in the sense it was, indeed, the whole team that came through for us. Every last player chipped in to this win. Yeah, even Swisher.
The Phils took an early lead off battling Andy Pettitte, starting with Jason Werth’s solo rocket (which made him 3 for 15 against Pettitte–all homeruns.Weird.)
Anytime a team takes a 1-0 lead against the Yanks, I recall some of the most fascinating words of comfort I’ve ever heard: “Yankees can’t win unless they score 1 run anyway, so it’s irrelevant that their opponents have one.”
But…then it was 3 runs when Jimmy Rollins walked with bases loaded and Shane Victorino hit a sac fly to score Carlos Ruiz.
You could say, “Three runs is NOTHING for this team, the Yanks have the best offense in the league and they’ve come back from MUCH worse.” True, but the Yanks had scored only 4 runs total in the first 2 games, and our comeback-generator A-Rod was still hitless in the series.
It’s nothing short of unbelievable how much things have changed: our “playoff choker” has become to guy we rely on to bring us back from deficits when we need it most.
Which is exactly what he did in the fifth inning, driving in 2 runs in what was undoubtedly the play that changed the face of the game.
(On a side note, I had steam coming out of my ears this morning when I read the AP recap of this.)
Their lead paragraph:
PHILADELPHIA — Guess who showed up for Halloween dressed as sluggers?
The New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez, whose double clanked off a television camera in the right-field corner and was ruled a home run in the first instant replay call in World Series history.
Yes, it was realllly out of character for the Yankees to bash the ball all over the park. I’m sorry if I wasn’t completely shellshocked by the sight of a beastly order teeing off on National League pitchers.
And who edits this crap?? A-Rod’s double?? Seriously? I challenge ANYONE to give me a compelling, or even remotely supported, case for A-Rod’s shot not being a no-doubter homerun. Absolutely no chance in hell that that shot didn’t easily clear the wall.
Thank God for Instant Replay. Thank God.
And guess who brought in the tying run? Pettitte’s impressive single to left center, with the most awkward swing ever. (I hate pitchers batting when it’s my own team’s pitchers. But I have to admit, when the outcome of the game isn’t important, I love it. One of my all-time favorite moments in 2009 was the game where Mariano Rivera has his 500th save AND his 1st RBI. Against the Mets. Of course.)
Johnny Damon’s double brought in 2 more runs to give the Yanks the lead. Werth homered (again), to make his record off Pettitte 4 for 16 with 4 dings. That should be about it for the fastballs to him.
The Yanks weren’t done with their resurgence though, not until everyone on the team had a chance to pull his weight. Swisher broke outta his slump with unequivocal bomb to left that still hasn’t landed yet, Posada added an RBI single in the 7th, and DH Hideki Matusi went yard in the 8th to cap off New York’s offensive production for the day.
I can’t decide whether I’m more disappointed in Phil Hughes, who came in for a cup of coffee and promptly got taken deep…or my buddy who announced mid-Yankee comeback that he was too tired to watch the rest of the game and went to bed.
In terms of who had the most unacceptable postseason performance, it’s splitting hairs.
Joba and Damaso Marte built a hasty bridge to Mariano, (which I suppose is better than Girardi’s usual bridge to Mariano which is Mariano himself). Mo is not a real person, he’s immortal. And no one should ever take for granted the value of knowing that this guy is in our bullpen.
Some people [read: Boston fans] aren’t as enamored of this unassailable class act, though:
Yep. Words fail me.
Last year’s WS MVP Cole Hamels looked miserable about there. The “no-hitter” chatter that overwhelmed the first 4 innings of the game quickly dissolved to give way for the “last time in a Philly uniform” murmurings. It wasn’t even so much that he got chased so early to hand the game over to the motley crew of relievers, but it was how he looked up there. Tired. Scared. Defeated. If he had a solid outing last night, everyone would have forgotten about the fact his 2009 Postseason ERA is approaching double digits.
Instead, he drowned. And there has never been a better testament to what experience and aplomb can do for a pitcher.
While Hamels was coasting through the first few innings of the game, Pettitte was throwing about 2,129 pitches per batter, discernibly laboring just to make it out of the 1st and 2nd innings. But he battled.
And conversely, when the wheels started loosening for Hamels, he imploded, letting the Yanks take Game 3 and a series lead.
Two more notes:
1.) I really would like them to put the kabosh on the Cole Hamels commercial where the dad comes to the mound to give him some pitching tips, because every time it came on, I mistook it for a real part of the game. Eh, guess it’s immaterial now. Unless today they start showing one with Joe Blanton and his dad.
2.) At 12:05am, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck launched into an 8 minute discussion of how good a bowler Brett Meyers is: “Strikes come easy to Meyers. He’s actually the best bowler on the team. Ooh, and there’s a pitch that would have been a gutterball if he was bowling.” It might have been the most ridiculous bit these 2 have given us the whole postseason.
And considering the sample size of items I have to survey, that’s saying a lot. I’m starting to notice that these complete departures from game analysis are generally a function of the Yankees getting the upper hand. Way to pretend to be impartial, guys.
On to Game 4. The city of Philadelphia is currently like some kind of alternate universe right now, with the Giants/Eagles game going on as we speak, a stone’s throw from their baseball stadium. The Giants have not scored yet, and if they lose, this would be their 3rd consecutive, and I’m realllly hope this is a case of “Ok, we’ll swallow that loss if it means a Yankee win later.”
Game preview to come later on…
Read 2009 Baseball Throwdown coverage for the New York Yankees.