September 29, 2005
September 29th @ The Orioles
I'll take "Scott Proctor" for "closing," Alex.
And, the "answer" was not "How will the Yankees blow this must win game that seemed to be in the bag?"
Wow. I'll get back to that in a bit.
The bigger story tonight was Small Hobbs once again doing his Lucky Charm thing. The guy has made 15 appearances this year and is 10-0. Can it get any better than that?
And, congrats to A-Rod for becoming just the 3rd RH batter in Yankees history to have 120+ runs and 120+ RBI in the same season. The others? Joe DiMaggio and Ben Chapman. Now, there's a trivia question for you.
Was Jason Giambi locked in at the plate in this series, or what? I just hope that he keeps it up in Fenway now. And, perhaps Sierra can muster up one big night tomorrow against Wells in Boston? (By the way, Big Rube, a bright red silk shirt and matching tie on the YES post-game? Way to mack there fella.) And, this is just a hunch, but, I'm calling a big series for Matsui this weekend. He often rises to the occasion on the big stage. This is the perfect set up for Godzilla.
Now, to the bad news: You have a six run lead in the 8th and you have to use Gordon and have Rivera up and tossing as well? That's flat out sad. It's almost as sad as watching Sturtze served up nightly these days - cooked ala' Torre. It's a crime what Torre has done to so many promising pen men over the years.
Back to Proctor, it was scary on a couple of levels to see him closing tonight. First, well, because he's Scott Proctor. And, the second reason is because he started the Yankees big run this year with a surprisingly good spot start. I hate to think that a surprising good close-job might be the other bookend to frame this collection of stories on great Yankees wins.
Speaking of a couple of reasons, the Boston win tonight was bad for New York in two ways. First, it was a Boston win. And, second, it was the way that they won - with a run in the 8th and 9th both delivered from Big Papi. Giving those guys some steam is the last thing that you want to do before a big three-game set.
In any event, it's clear what the Yankees need to do now - win two games in Boston to lock up the A.L. East. Or, at the least, win one to force a tie-breaker game on Monday in the Bronx. And, if the Yankees win none, it's over.
Knowing this, I keep thinking back to the Kevin Millar mantra during the ALCS last year - "Don't let us win one game." And, I truly feel that this applies for this year as well. It will serve the Yankees well to win on Friday and have Big Unit win on Saturday - and not let the Red Sox move from the line of scrimmage, at all. But, that's easier said than done, right?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at September 29, 2005 11:04 PM
Last year, these guys celebrated on the Stadium grass. I hope this year, the Yanks can return the favor.
Does anyone have any footage of the Sox hamming it up last year after game 7, taking pictures and whatnot? If so, go ahead and forward it to Torre so he can just let it roll before the first pitch. Or maybe they can just play the ending of Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon running wild (or so I've heard).
You know, if the Sox can pick up Stanton for 4 days, who can we pick up? Is Rick Honeycutt out there for the taking? How about Dave Kingman? Can we re-acquire Paul Quantrill? Or do the Sox already have a bid in on him?
So what are the odds that this thing comes down to a Stanton-Womack showdown, top of the 12th?
Posted by: JeremyM at September 30, 2005 12:29 AM
Blue Jays had a shift on and that is where Ortiz hit the ball. If the SS was in his position its a DP.
Posted by: Don at September 30, 2005 02:10 AM
To overstate the obvious, better to go into Fenway 1 up than tied or behind. And to moblize the next cliche, momentum in baseball vanishes with the next day's starting pitchers. I am going to the game tonight, and the only safe prediction I can make is that the atmosphere will be electric.
Posted by: Paul in Boston at September 30, 2005 06:46 AM
Too bad about Toronto's shortstop screwing up in the 7th, blowing a chance to get Papi's weak grounder by blocking the 2nd baseman who had the play. If that doesn't happen, Manny doesn't get up and hit his 2 run shot to bring it to 4-3. It would've been unrealistic to expect Toronto to win 3 out of 4.
Now we go to Boston needing to win 2 out of 3. I hope Joe manages this game like he would manage a Game 3 in the World Series. Go for the win, kill them early and finish the game. If we can win tonight, then having Randy go on Saturday will really be big for us. Hopefully Wang and Unit bring their games to Boston. As long as we win tonight and tomorrow, I am in favor of putting Mussina out there to get bombed. Keep him in for the complete game 29-0 destruction. I don't care. I just don't want anything coming down to Mussina. I hate that guy.
Posted by: MJ at September 30, 2005 07:50 AM
Wang has been superb for us this year and I love the guy but....I just don't like him matched up against the Sox. I'm just hoping he can repeat his Baltimore performance and have them hitting little dinkers back to the mound all night.
Posted by: JJay at September 30, 2005 09:03 AM
In his only start against Boston this year, way back in May, he went 4 2/3, gave up 6 hits and a walk but only 2 earned runs. Not stellar but not horrendous either. I'll chalk it up to him being relatively new (it was his 3rd or 4th start) and hope that his last couple of starts are more indicative of what he brings to the table.
It's Boomer I'm worried about. He's pitched pretty well of late and had at least one start against us where he just shut us down in innings 3-7. Moreover, 2003 Game 5 notwithstanding, the guy does pitch pretty darn well in big games.
Posted by: MJ at September 30, 2005 09:17 AM
Doesn't Wells have an injured knee that's still bothering him? I thought he got shelled his last time out...or was that the time before?
Posted by: JJay at September 30, 2005 09:27 AM
1) The Sox had to beg and steal for a split with the Blue Jays.
2) The Sox had to claw and scratch the for last 14 days to stay within range of the Yankees.
3) The Yankees always have the edge in pitching with MR.
Of course this guarantees nothing for this weekend, but I'd rather be the Yankees right now.
Posted by: Jason O. at September 30, 2005 09:27 AM
I'd rather be the Yankees all the time. At least the players and their fans shower once a day.
Posted by: MJ at September 30, 2005 09:50 AM
//So what are the odds that this thing comes down to a Stanton-Womack showdown, top of the 12th? //
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at September 30, 2005 09:58 AM
I'd love it if we made it to the 12th inning and Stanton was the guy on the mound against Womack. That would mean that Mussina didn't shit a brick like he always does.
Posted by: MJ at September 30, 2005 10:23 AM
C'mon MJ, Mussina has pitched one very good game and one very bad game coming back from injury. He's been far from consistent this season but overall he's been good for the Yanks since he was signed. You would rather be without his contributions in all of these games?
Posted by: A at September 30, 2005 05:06 PM