Home > Uncategorized > Entry for September 16, 2007

Entry for September 16, 2007

While yesterday’s 10-1 drubbing was disappointing, tonight’s Yankees – Red Sox game was terrific. Maybe just a little too tense in the bottom of the ninth.
Maybe it was the timing. It’s hard to figure whether you want the Yanks to get out of there in the top of the ninth and bring on Mo or maybe you want them to get walks and string the inning out. Of course you want more runs but you get a sense that maybe you won’t. You’re so excited you’re winning this game and then you think about the Red Sox getting to Mariano in the past. You feel the crowd thirsting for Mariano’s blood. He walked the first batter and you could hear them exclaim, “HE WALKED HIM!” That was Varitek.
The Red Sox fans seemed so self-assured after yesterday’s game. They were sure they were going to win with Schilling on the mound and he was better than I thought he would be. That is until the 8th inning. His opponent on the hill, Roger Clemens had already been sent to the showers in favor of Joba Chamberlain. Schilling, I guess, is not quite as old a man as Roger and Francona left him out there for the 8th even to pitch to Derek Jeter with 2 men on and 2 men out.
Oh, get a hit Jeter, get a hit, you’re thinking but as the count progresses from a hitter’s count, 2 and 1, to an even one, 2 and 2, you start saying, hit a long one, Derek. Get a long hit. And BOOM! HE DOES IT! A 3 RUN HOMERUN to put the Yankees ahead 4-1. Oh, my, it’s all over but the crying now, isn’t it?
Well, no, given the game’s competitiveness. Joba Chamberlain had let the Sox have runners in the 7th but finally got the side out. He came back in for the 8th and after striking out rookie of the year candidate Dustin Pedroia and retiring David Ortiz on a fly ball, he unexpectedly gave up the long ball to Mike Lowell. It was the first earned run given up by Joba since he joined the Yankees from AAA. After that Ron Guidry visited the mound and had a word with the 21 year old right hander. Chamberlain was left in the game and struck out J.D. Drew looking.
It was when Eric Gagne came in that I started to wonder about timing. After Posada struck out, Robinson Cano came up. I’ve seen Robinson take swings at the first and second pitches a thousand times and there seemed to be a quickening to get the inning over and I started to say to him. No, stay in the present. You are at bat. Anyway, after it seemed like Cano would walk I started to feel the Red Sox fans and Cano grounded out. Melky Cabrera came up and flied out on the second pitch.
I think the Yanks were in a hurry to get to Mariano and I guess this has something to do with being in the visitor’s park. You’ve taken the wind out of his sails with a home run and he hasn’t come back from it. You want to get those last 3 outs.
Thank God, Mariano did get those 3 outs albeit after walking Varitek and allowing a double to Julo Lugo letting Boston get to within one run. Rivera hit outfielding phenom Jacoby Ellsbury in the knee bringing up Dustin Pedroia with the chance to tie or win the game with a single or extra base hit. As the count grew in Pedroia’s favor the camera caught horror novelist Stephen King’s enthusiastic beating on the wall urging defeat for Mariano and the Yankees. Mariano walked Pedroia bringing David Ortiz to the plate.
I often use a mantra wen these situations came up but sometimes the mantra is a crutch. I often say om namah shivaya. Shiva who looks just like a pitcher in the wind up in the classic Shiva Nataraj pose, seems to quiet things down. I’ve decided it’s something good for me to settle me down a bit. Maybe it was the mantra that told me that this was up to Mo and Mo could do it.
And Mo, Mariano, did it. Papi popped out to Derek Jeter for the last out of the game.
Many thanks were also due to Doug Mientkiewicz whose defensive play made you forget the errors and poor play of Jason Giambi the day before. I think I agree with Joe Morgan and Jon Miller who credited Mientkiewicz with saving the game for the Yanks.

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