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.
Yes, three wild pitches and four walks are not ideal. But when he needed an out, he buckled down and got an out. That’s the kind of resilience I want to see. Joba should stop arguing with Jorge and start asking A.J. what he does to calm down in those situations.
Speaking of needing to calm down, and people thinking you need to calm down, we have Phil Coke and Nick Swisher. Always eager to add to the adventurous nature of a game, Phil Coke seemed to have a bit of a hyper moment out there, giving up a home run to Joe Mauer. I often want to tell him to count to ten, do some yoga, picture Joe Mauer in his underwear. (Whatever works.)
Swisher on the other hand loves being out in the field so much that he needs to dispel some of that pent-up energy with little hops, skips, and jumps up against the padded walls. He must have been an exhausting little kid. I kind of understand why Girardi talked to him in the dugout about it, but I tend to think that Girardi is Debbie Downer. C’mon man, Swisher is high on life and you’re just killing his buzz.
All in all, the game moved a little slowly for my taste. My boy Brett Gardner was actually the only one trying to inject any speed into the proceedings. My fondness for Brett continues to grow with each passing day. I don’t care what people think the racial implications of calling a white ballplayer “scrappy” or “gritty” are. That’s not how I see it. White, black, Latino, Native American: if you exceed expectations, prove you can help the team, and don’t take your spot there for granted, you’re good in my book. I want you on my team and I will call you scrappy, gritty, gutty and, occasionally, awesome. Keep it rolling, Brett the Jet.
Finally, I just want to say how endearing Francisco Cervelli’s comments were about his time in the big leagues. Now that he has returned to AAA-Scranton, and even though I have a soft spot for Jose Molina, I think more people than just CC and AJ are going to miss him.
2nd Inning: Dear Ozzie Guillen, Thanks for being such an asshat and helping to usher in the Nick Swisher era in New York. Love (only in this instance), Kristin
Wild pitch, Andy Pettitte. I can’t blame that on Kate Hudson. Here comes the out-of-control circus inning.
RBI single by Tampa Bay’s hobbling catcher; David Cone is calling it “quick damage.” How about a quick rebound for Andy and the guys in the field?
Nope. Tie game. Aww, hamburgers.
Michael Kay, ladies and gentlemen, lecturing BJ Upton about having dip or chew in his mouth in the outfield. My personal thought is that it’s a disgusting habit, but there’s no reason to pick on one guy – especially when several of the Yankees have that permanent bottom-lip or cheek bump during games.
5th inning: Andy Pettitte looks confused as to what is happening here. You need some outs, big guy.
Ask and you shall receive. Double play. Nice play by Jeter. I would prefer it if Michael Kay didn’t call it a “dance step,” though. Might as well call him “twinkle toes.”
Ha! Kay just brought the hammer down on Swish for the dip thing. Cone was awesome, saying, “Wow, you’re the tobacco police!” I don’t know about telling grown men they can’t do something that’s perfectly legal. If MLB ever tried to outlaw it, I picture Josh Beckett saying something like, “You can pry my dip from my cold, dead hand.”
6th inning: Quick work by Pettitte. This is what makes pitching interesting for me. What made the light-hitting Gabe Kapler so dangerous at that moment, but you can strike out Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena twice each?
Johnny Damon! Nice work, there, Caveman. Gotta take those hanging curveballs and deposit them in the seats where they belong.
7th inning: Please welcome to the stage The Phil Hughes Bullpen Experience. I’m one of those people who thinks it doesn’t help him at all to get sent back down to Scranton. He’s a pro pitcher right now…as evidenced by that masterful inning right there.
Melky, see, what you’re supposed to do there is prolong the inning so my husband can get more and more annoyed at close-ups of Swisher on base. You just had to cut my amusement short, didn’t you?
8th inning: My question is why? Why take Phil Hughes out for Phil Coke? Why is Michael Kay so corny? Why is my husband so threatened by men in pinstripes? Why is Phil Coke walking people on four pitches?
Derek Jeter jacks a homerun. My husband says, “That’s an out in Fenway.” Man, is that annoying.
9th inning: Mo time. Long tirade from hubby on Mo’s age. Mo, apparently, is 75 years old. He hides it well. Oh, how I love when they swing at the high fastball. Game over.
And, of course, CC was kickin’ it.
He’s another guy who must have that selective amnesia thing down pat. Even after a mistake, he just goes back and tries something else. I guess you can do that when you’ve got a bunch of options in your arsenal.
- This isn’t Yankees news, but last night Dontrelle Willis (Detroit) pitched well and got his first win since coming back from an anxiety disorder. I’ve always liked Dontrelle, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him to continue doing well. Anyone who knows how debilitating anxiety issues can be should be thrilled to see him get back on track.
- This trend is somewhat disturbing. Really, Phil Coke? You’re a nice blonde California boy – what are you thinking? Anyway, it looks like the razors are here to stay. I’m still trying to make my peace with this:
This is why chicks dig the long ball:
The crack of the bat, when you know for sure that it’s gone, is one of the coolest sounds ever. Tonight, Mark Teixeira went yard twice, one from either side of the plate. A-Rod also hit a bomb. It was nice to see the two of them jumping on some pitches.
The defense was great behind Pettitte tonight. I am lovin’ Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli. And Texy gets the gold star because in addition to his two jacks, he also made a couple of great plays at first.
And, although, he gave me a minor heart attack at the end, I love that Phil Coke got the save. I’ve actually been pulling for him – out of all the bullpen guys in there – because I think he can be really good behind Bruney and Mo. He’s definitely a work in progress. It was nice to see him strike out Justin Morneau in convincing fashion in the eighth.
Last year, nobody could get it going at the same time as anybody else. This year, it’s so much fun watching different players contribute in bunches. I’m looking forward to seeing them play in person in July.
PS: If you have some time on your hands, check out the clip of CC, Swish, and Bruney fishing from Yankees on Deck on YES. Bruney is the Trout Master, apparently. Swish, like my husband and Joey on Friends, just wants to sit around eating sandwiches.