So I missed yesterday’s funfest because I was at work and only monitoring the Gamecast every once in a while. I’ve also been away from the computer a lot lately due to both the day job and some freelancing. I did see Matsui’s walk-off, which was completely and totally adorable. We usually only see him with the stoic face on. It was nice to see a smile. And, btw, doesn’t he look about ten years younger with his batting helmet off?
Anyway, yesterday was apparently a roller coaster of dropped fly balls, tremendous pitching from AJ, amazing catches from the same person who brought you the drop, uneven pitching from Bruney, Phil/Mo awesomeness, and ice cream metaphors. That’s the kind of craziness I can get behind.
I haven’t seen highlights of Swisher’s drop in the third inning, but it looks like he more than redeemed himself with this:
Notice the clete marks. I’ll admit, it’s hard to advocate for Swish when he has his lapses in the field. But seriously, who’s going to try to argue that Hinske makes those two plays? Not a chance. And how was Swish able to make those plays after he’d botched one so badly? He’s able to put things away right after they happen and focus (relatively) on the next play. People undervalue that skill.
Oh, intangibles. How we love you. Or hate you. Depending on who we are. If you’re a stat-head, you don’t care about the psychological aspects that come into play. But Swisher certainly has a boatload of those qualities: he’s a good teammate, he’s not afraid to get banged up out there, he’s patient at the plate, he’s relentlessly positive, and he likes playing in New York and handles everything that goes along with that well.
To wit, this quote via NorthJersey.com: “That’s when I’m at my best, when I’m having fun and laughing and
joking around,” Swisher said. “I think there’s a lot of people in this
world who would trade their right arm to trade spots with me.” Which brings me to Brian Bruney.
I’m not one of those fans who writes people off without ample evidence, so I won’t write Bruney off as a pitcher. However, the one thing I really can’t stand is when someone acts like the friendly, goofy guy when things are going good and then turns around and becomes a sarcastic jack*** when he’s forced to take responsibility for a mistake. Sure, you can be disappointed in yourself and you don’t have to be a shiny happy person like Swish. Just say, “Yeah, I know I still have some stuff to work on.” How hard is that? Apparently, snapping at the beat writers is just easier.
I hate rain delays. Last night in Texas, the delay was more than two hours, forcing me to go to bed without watching a pitch. Apparently, it also gave Joba too much time to think, and the results were not good:
He only gave up three runs, but he left in the fourth after 85 pitches, leaving the bullpen to blow up the game. Which they promptly did.
Then, there was this:
Oh sure, one of the few guys who’s actually hitting in clutch spots jams his arm against the wall trying to make a catch? They said last night that tests were negative, but Melky will have an MRI today. Remember when people wanted the Yankees to send Brett Gardner down because Melky was hitting better? Now, it’s a good thing he’s around.
Not to mention that he’s the only one who seemed to do his job last night, going 3-for-5 with three stolen bases and a run scored. The rest of the team’s batting can be summed up perfectly with this image:
Matsui says, “I can’t believe we left 12 men on base and went 2-for-12 with RISP!” To be fair, Matsui wasn’t the biggest culprit here. That honor was shared by the foursome of Mark Teixeira (4 LOB), Nick Swisher (4), Francisco Cervelli (4) and Robbie Cano (3). Grounding into three double plays also didn’t help.
I know that the last couple of weeks have been great and that one or two losses are not a big deal. But this game uncovered some issues that will only get worse as the season rolls on. Or maybe the rain delay just put them all to sleep. What the hell do I know?
That was a frustrating one. And eye-opening. Who knew Toronto fans would be so bitter over something that happens to bunches of teams every year. Players go where the money is. They go where they think the challenge will be. They go where they think they’ll win a championship. Trust me, the sooner you get over it, the better off you’ll be.
What cracked me up was the announcers for Toronto saying this was a big test for the Blue Jays. Okay, I know why they were saying it, but it sounds kind of silly when you consider all the Yankees injuries and the line-up they put out there tonight.
And speaking of injuries, Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui are the latest casualties. Maybe if they try real hard, they can get every guy in Scranton to the show by the All-Star break. Don’t stub your toe, Johnny Damon. We need you.