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Two For the Road
Posted By Alex Belth On June 14, 2004 @ 9:34 am In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled
The Yankees beat the Padres 3-2, in a taut game on Saturday afternoon and then won again in dramatic fashion on Sunday, 6-5 in twelve innings . As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t watch Saturday’s game. I was hanging, talking baseball with the likes of Mike Carminati, Jay Jaffe and Alex Ciepley. When the BP/PB book talk was over, and a group of guys headed east on 42nd street to find a place to eat, Steve Goldman informed Cliff Corcoran and me that the Yanks had won. A block later, we spotted the scores on the hood of a taxi cab. Not only had the Yankees won, but the Dodgers  beat the snot out of the Red Sox to boot.
I did cave in and ask Em to tape the game however. And when I got home late Saturday night, I watched the good parts. Gary Sheffield had the game-winning hit, and the Yankees made several good defensive plays which proved to be the difference. Jon Lieber  gave up a ton of hits, but managed to work out of trouble all day long.
I headed out to the Stadium just before noon on Sunday afternoon. On the subway, I encountered a brood on their way down to the Puerto Rican day parade. I wished them a good time and was met with indifference. But I made eye-contact with a boy, wearing a tank-top with a Puerto Rican flag on it, and said “What’s up?” We talked baseball until I had to transfer. The kid’s name was Michael. He’s ten years old and has been to three Yankee games in his life. I shared with him how much I love the Yanks, and showed him my scorebook. We had a great chat, no matter how unfriendly the rest of his family was.
As I was waiting on the 145th street platform to catch the D train, I spotted a pair of Japanese guys and couldn’t resist approaching them. The guys were a few years older than me, and have followed Hideki Matsui since he was in high school. This was their first trip to Yankee stadium. Well, that was all I had to hear, and I proceeded to give them my 20-minute introduction to the stadium, the team, and everything New York. Both guys spoke English well, and I happily played host.
It was a warm day in the Bronx, but by the middle of the afternoon, it was mercifully overcast and breezy. Jay Jaffe  and I watched the game together. Both David Wells  and Javier Vazquez  were both excellent. Wells pitched seven innings and left with a 2-0 lead. Actually, the Yankees were down to their last out before they made it a contest. Trevor Hoffman, the Padres’ great closer, had retired the first two men in the bottom of the ninth. Then Godziller Matsui hit a bomb deep into the right-field bleachers. Kenny Lofton  then pinch-hit for Tony Clark. I wasn’t ready to get too excited yet. “He’s got to hit a home run,” is what I was thinking. And on a 2-1 pitch, he did just that; a line drive into the right field seats.
Good gosh, is this team charmed or what? The Padres came back and touched Brett Prinz (who pitched out of a jam  on Saturday) and Felix Heredia for three runs in the top of the 12th. Have no fear though. The Yanks put together an assembly-line  rally in the bottom of the frame and scored four runs to steal the victory. Fittingly , Boriqua Ruben Sierra had the game-winning RBI. Jay and I were exhausted and elated. Oh, and Alex Rodriguez has now reached base in 50 straight games.
For a look at the San Diego side of things, head on over to Duck Snorts  for the skinny.
The Red Sox  beat L.A.  last night to remain three-and-a-half back. These were two crucial victories for the Yanks, as they head to Arizona and Los Angeles this week with a patchwork pitching staff. Tanyon Sturtze and Jose Contreras will pitch in Arizona and a mystery pitcher will get a turn in L.A. In addition, Mariano Rivera  was unavailable yesterday due to tightness in his back. He expects to be fine on Tuesday night.
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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2004/06/14/two-for-the-road/
URLs in this post:
 6-5 in twelve innings: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/14/sports/baseball/14yanks.html
 Dodgers: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/gd2004.html?2004_06_12_lanmlb_bosmlb_1
 Jon Lieber: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-splieber133848580jun13,0,3359723.story?coll=ny-yankees-print
 Jay Jaffe: http://futilityinfielder.com/blog/2004/06/double-comeback_14.shtml
 David Wells: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/202673p-174861c.html
 Javier Vazquez: http://www.nypost.com/sports/yankees/22996.htm
 Kenny Lofton: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/202670p-174856c.html
 a jam: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyanks133848577jun13,0,6310007.story?coll=ny-yankees-print
 assembly-line: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gameLog?gameId=240613110&full=1
 Fittingly: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/14/sports/baseball/14vecsey.html
 Duck Snorts: http://www.ducksnorts.com/weblog/062004.html#14
 Red Sox: http://www.soxaholix.com/tp/2004/06/i_hate_second_p.html
 L.A.: http://www.bambinoscurse.com/archives/2004_06_13_index.php#bc108721553469812135
 Mariano Rivera: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-sprivera143849974jun14,0,4258855.story?coll=ny-yankees-print
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