If you were watching at home, the middle game of this Subway Series was probably a little rough on the eyes at points. It was probably a little annoying to sit through a 40–minute rain delay. If you’re a Yankee fan, you probably could’ve done without the scare in the ninth. If you were at the game, it was a different story.
The crowd was insane, and even if you had an annoying female Mets fan who insisted on opening her yap every two seconds about something completely nonsensical sitting next to you, the atmosphere was electric. The game featured four home runs, 8 stolen bases, 1 sacrifice bunt and four lead changes.
As predicted, Tom Glavine and Tyler Clippard were absolutely horrible. Clippard should be on the next plane back to Scranton-WB, any number of warm bodies can provide the Yanks with more than Clippard has as the number five starter. The Mets, however, are stuck with Glavine (4 IP, 7 earned, 8 hits, 3 walks, 0 Ks), for better or for worse, and he was actually worse than Clippard (3.1 IP, 5 earned, 5 hits, 3 walks, 2 Ks) today.
A-Rod’s home run was a no-doubter from the second it left the bat. “Mr. April” now has 26 HRs, 70 RBIs and 63 runs scored.
In a game that ended up 11–8, it’s going to sound odd, but I think the turning point came in the second inning, on a bunt of all things. The Yanks were shut out on Friday night, and they stranded two runners in the top of the first. Honestly, they were struggling to get the key hit at the right time. Melky Cabrera came up with runners on first and second, no one out. He laid down a perfect bunt to move the runners to second and third, Miguel Cairo then drove in Matsui with a routine ground ball. That broke the ice, Damon followed up with a single to score Cano. Small ball, people. When you’re struggling to score runs, sometimes the simplest thing, like using a bunt to set up a cheap run, can change a team’s fortune. The Yanks may have scored 11 runs today with or without the bunt. Then again, they may have failed to drive either of those runs in, and given Glavine a psychological boost. When you’re struggling to get the clutch hit, you have to push runs across, no matter what it takes. Moneyball be damned.
When Mo came in to start the ninth with a five-run lead, I turned to my brother and said, “This is a mistake.” Mo never does well in non-pressure situations, he just doesn’t. There was no reason for him to start the inning. If I had my druthers, Bruney would’ve started the ninth, Mo would’ve only been used if needed. He’s getting plenty of work these days, Joe should’ve held him in reserve. Anyway, Mo gave up five ground-ball singles and two earned runs before I could finally breathe easier. With the bases loaded and the go-ahead run at the plate I had a momentary scare, then I realized who was up: Carlos Beltran. I harkened back to game seven of the NLCS last year, and let out the breath I was holding. Beltran quickly fouled out to Posada to end the game. The biggest concern is that Mo probably won’t be available tomorrow (he threw 33 pitches). Luckily, neither will Farnsworth, who gave up his usual run in the eighth and was actually in quite a bit of trouble.
What was a spectacular day at the ball park was marred a little bit by the train ride home. My brother and I were sandwiched into a car on the 4 train next to a couple of clueless Mets fans who spent the entire 120 block ride making comments like, “Beltran always gets out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, he should really work on that.”
Check out Loge13 for the Orange and Blue side of things. Happy Father’s Day.
Player of the Game: Derek Jeter, 4 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 1 HR, 1 SB.