Saturday, Tim and I set off to the gleaming new palace in the Bronx at 7:30 a.m. Our trip consisted of an uneventful drive to New Haven to pick up the new Yankee Stadium Metro North train. This is unquestionably the best thing they ever did. (And, after the game they have separate trains leaving for those who are only going as far as Stanford and those going on to New Haven, so no overcrowding. Bless you stadium planners, whoever you are!)
The Stadium itself is really a lot to take in all at once. Tim and I agreed that it is now an awesome place to see a game.
Before, it had the mystique but not the comfort. Here’s my sad little no-zoom-lens picture of Pettitte and Molina warming up:
In fact, we had a perfect view of the Swisher Salute during the roll call. I think Tim might have sprained his muscles from rolling his eyes so much. Then, just because it wouldn’t be a Yankee game for us unless Tim felt tortured, they played a montage of Swisher highlights on the enormous screen during the changeover in the middle of the first inning. Delightful. Here are two of the many Swisher fans in our section (I thought I would be in the minority):
Andy looked good through the first six. The game was flying by. Everything was going good (well, not everything. WTF, A-Rod???). And then, the wheels came off. Andy suddenly couldn’t throw a strike; they took him out in favor of Aceves. I have a lot of faith in Aceves, but on this day, it was not to be.
Now, it might have been something I said. Something that was not so nice. About the family of a certain senator from the great state of Massachusetts. I don’t even know why we were talking about that. But whatever it was, Tim said I was about to be struck down by lightening, and immediately Aceves started coughing up runs. Finally, David Robertson got the Yankees out of the inning. With a 6-1 deficit. Great.
At this point, Tim and I had spent our first-born’s college money on bottles of water. I had brought a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen, which was down to its very last bit. But I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m a ride-the-game-out-no-matter-what kind of girl. So, we baked in the sun some more, and I was rewarded with a two-run homer by Jeter that just barely went over the fence and a sweet right-field shot by Tex.
In the top of the ninth, Nomar Garciaparra came up to bat, and the fans booed him as they had been doing all day. Tim, once again, rolled his eyes. “He’s been on three different teams since his was a Red Sock, ” he said. “Well, they’ll stop booing him when you guys stop booing Johnny Damon at Fenway. Get over it.” (Note: I actually like Nomar. I don’t consider him part of the Boston teams that I have grown to hate.)
“Get over it” may have been a little too strong, considering my karma wasn’t that great at the moment. We did get to see Brett Gardner make two great catches in center field, but later found out he’d broken his thumb. The Yankees ninth-inning comeback didn’t materialize, and I was forced to ride the train back to New Haven with a smirking hubby. Here I am smiling before things took such a disappointing turn:
When we got home that night, I told myself that I was not going to watch the game on Sunday. I held to it for about an hour and a half after game time. I didn’t want my terrible karma to interfere with another Yankee win.
But soon curiosity got the better of me, and I turned on the tv….just in time to see Phil Coke give up the lead! Poor Phil Coke – I definitely have a soft spot for him. Thankfully, the Yankee bats came back this time, and Hughes, Bruney, and Mo tied the win up with a nice, neat bow. I guess three out of four isn’t bad. Next time I’ll be nicer in my thoughts about the Kennedys.
The other night, after a coma-inducing rain delay, Joba Chamberlain was only able to go four innings. I believe he left with the game tied 3-3. Perfect spot for Chien-Ming Wang to come in and get some work, no? No. Instead we got Aceves, who has been good but had pitched a wholly unnecessary inning in the previous game. Things did not end well.
Pete Abraham covered this the other day, questioning why the Yankees would leave a pitcher they once considered an “ace” twisting in the wind. So, last night, when they brought Wang into an 8-2 game, I threw my hands (and the remote) into the air as if to say, WTF?
He did well, considering he was handed a mop. No runs, no hits, two strikeouts, and he threw 18 of his 26 pitches for strikes. Does anyone else feel that he would not be in bullpen limbo if he was more of a squeaky wheel, so to speak?
Forget the Joba debate being ridiculous, this is idiotic. If he’s shown in rehab, minor league stints, and bullpen sessions that he’s much stronger now, why not put him back in the rotation. I don’t think that Phil Hughes deserves to go back to Scranton, but I certainly think that Wang, with his seniority and his overall success, should be given preference. I love Phil, I really do. But I want to know why it’s okay for Wang to sit in the pen and it’s not okay for Phil. Someone, please explain.
This was not good:
Then, this was even worse:
Turns out that, even though Joba was hit in the knee with a line drive, the x-rays were negative and he only has a bruise. The way this team handles the injury information, though, you can never be sure. Joba, stop scaring the **** out of me!
The real problem – or so I thought – was that he had to leave in the first inning. That’s a long stretch of game for the bullpen to cover. But Aceves was good, Albaladejo was okay, and the Yankees had built up a lead before Veras could get in there and ruin it completely.
The star of the night goes to our man Robbie Cano for being generally awesome: