My wife Emily is composed and polite and very careful not offend. Too careful. However, she also works in a hospital emergency room and it is not uncommon for her to come home at night swearing like a sailor. I love this, not just because it is amusing to hear such obscenities coming from such a nice girl but also because it allows me to curse with equal vigor without fear of being scolded. Em’s had a tough week and last night as I watched the game, she blew off steam in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. She vented about just about anything that came to mind. “…And another thing…” And she carried on some more, preaching away from her little soap box. At one point I had to put a cap on what turned into a seemingly endless tirade. “Okay honey, I get it, you are pissed off, that’s fine. I appreciate that. Now, you’ve got 15 more minutes to get it all out, do your worst, but then you’ve got to shut the f*** up.”
In the spirit of tantrums, Joe Girardi got himself run from the game with one out and a man on in the ninth inning last night. A belated third strike call was what set him off and it was clear from the moment he left the dugout that Girardi was going to leave it all out on the field and get tossed. Girardi looks smaller to me as a manager than he did as a player. Maybe it’s because he is usually wearing a Yankee jacket with the collar up or maybe it’s the thick white soles of his spikes or perhaps the TV just shrinks him. Whatever the reason, he reminds me of Chico Marx half the the time (a terrible call, but nevertheless, it is what pops to mind). He put forth a decent showing with the home plate ump and then the crew cheif said calmly, “You made your point Joe.”
Girardi fumed and carried on near home plate which prevented the pitcher Jim Johnson from staying warm. When the game resumed, Johnson walked pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu on five pitches. Then, with men on first and second, Robinson Cano lined a fastball into left field for a base hit, Hideki Matsui rounded third and beat a good, but high throw from Jay Payton to the plate for the game-winner. A good end to a good overall night from the Bombers as they won, 2-1.
After the customary celebrating, Cano was greeted by Derek Jeter in the dugout. Jeter was smiling. He looked peaceful, like a mermaid that had been on land too long and had finally been returned to the sea, and looked directly into Cano’s eyes and said a few words. It was as if he was saying, “That’s more like it, boy-o. Winning is fun, remember?”
There was a lot to be pleased about last night. Cano’s hit, Damon collecting three of his own. The game moved quicky (all three games were played under three hours each, which must be some kind of a record for the Yanks and O’s) and the pitching was crisp. Ian Kennedy had his best outing of the season. After retiring the side in order in the first two innings (thanks in part to a double play that ended the second), Kennedy gave up a one-out single and then triple in the third. Then, he walked Brian Roberts and Payton to load the bases. But he rallied to strike out Nick Markakis, who has been striking out a lot these days, and got Aubrey Huff to fly out to left. It was the biggest moment of the season for Kennedy, who went on to pitch six innings. Jose Veras pitched the seventh, Kyle Farnsworth the eighth, and Mariano tossed a perfect ninth to put the Yankees in position to win it.
For the second time this season, Orioles’ starter Brian Burres pitched well against the Yanks, the lefty throwing on the corners, lots of breaking stuff. He was impressive. But this was just the kind of game the Yankees needed to win and they did just that. A weak Seattle team is in town this weekend but they’ve got Bedard and Hernandez tonight and tomorrow which is no walk in the park. Still, let’s hope they can win another series and keep it rolling in the right direction.