Friday, April 11, 2008

Game Eleven-Yankee Wars, Part One

April 11,2008

Apparently it is Anne Lamott’s birthday. I have never read her fiction, but her nonfiction is first rate.

Tonight, of course, is Athens vs. Sparta, Rock vs. Disco, Cats vs. Dogs, Common Sense vs. The Bush Administration-The New York Yankees at the Boston Red Sox.

First of 18 matchups during the 2008 regular season. Now, either team can lose 10 or 12 of the 18 and still win the division by ten games. But there’s a frisson, an extra something, at play in a Yankees-Red Sox game. It’s a symbol, a chance to fire a shot across the bow of the other team. Show them who’s boss. Or try to.

We’re without Lowell, and they have a hobbled and possibly out Jeter and Posada. I have to think that gives us a little advantage. But they are a tough bunch of hombres, and any win will be fully earned by either side.

Excellent Baseball Prospectus Radio podcast with Tommy John, talking about all sorts of issues. Tommy John, now better known as the nickname for a surgical procedure, was a left handed pitcher in the majors. Threw slop, especially towards the end, but got people out for a long, long time. Won 289 games, if memory serves. His autobiography, if he has one, must be pretty good. I don’t think I’ve ever read it.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post, on the pregame, makes a good point-both New York and Boston are trying to simultaneously win, with veteran position players, and rebuild, with young pitching.

Clay “The Boy Wonder” Buchholz vs. Chien Ming “Tiger” Wang

Nobody calls him Tiger any more. Is that a racist nickname? If it is, I don’t remember hearing about it.

It’s raining in Boston, and after 3 innings it is 0-0. New York has launched a couple of shots that Crisp managed to run down in center, but it’s still 0-0.

Part of my job (in fact, a pretty large part of it) involves being yelled at for things that are not my fault. It’s very frustrating to take abuse for things you can do nothing about and did not do in the first place.

Mike Timlin is active, and Brian Corey got sent down. Which is good, because it appeared that Corey could not get my grandmother out.

Clay is starting to struggle, as the Boy Wonder walks a couple, then allows an RBI hit to one of the Flying Molina Brothers, whichever one is playing for New York, to give the Evil Empire a 1-0 lead.

Then he walks the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, to load the bases for Cabrera…grumble grumble grumble…….


Clay Buchholz is dating a fashion model and is certainly leading a charmed life on the field as well.


He is hot as a pistol this year, though.

2 out in the Yankee sixth, then a single by Slappy Rodriguez and a double by Matsui sets up a threat, second and third. Posada, who kicks our ass with regularity, grounds out to end it.

Another bullet dodged by the Boy Wonder.

Yankee seventh, with Timlin on now. Buchholz gave up some shots, but you have to give him credit-he got some outs, and battled them hard.

He’s a bit of a Yankee Killer, but they can hit him, too. The Yankees can hit anybody, including Bugs Bunny.

The Giambino homers, then The Flying Molina Brother nails a double off of Timlin right off the bat, so to speak. The Attorney General bunts him to third.

Man on third, one out, and it’s time for Okeydoke, Hideki Okajima, to face Cabrera.

Cabrera gets a sacrifice fly to score Molina II (it’s not Benji, and it’s not Yadier…who’s the other one?) for a 3-1 Yankee lead. Now Cano. Okajima gets out of it, but we’re running out of time.

Wang cruises through the 7th, retiring Pedroia, Ortiz, and the Bad Man. Not looking good.

Javy Lopez, Pitching Version, on now, top 8. He manages to load the bases, then Alphabet Man, David Aardsma, strikes out Jose (that's his name!) Molina to end it.

Wang cruises through the eighth on three fly balls, and then Aardsma gives up a run when Alberto Gonzalez (?) doubles and comes home on an Abreu single. Wang shuts it down in the ninth to seal a 4-1 win.

Sigh. A loss is a loss, but I have to be cheered by Buchholz' performance. He did okay-dodged bullets, but put zeroes up there. Middle relief let us down, but they always do-nobody has great middle relief any more.

Wang shut us down-a two hitter, and if Abreu grabs Drew's ball that lands in the bullpen, a shutout. We got our butts kicked, plain and simple.

Oh well.

Yankees tomorrow afternoon, then Sunday night. Let's not get swept, eh?

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