"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

I Can Lose That Game in 5 Pitches

My TV is busted. Been without the glow and hum since May 20th, and really, it’s not that bad. But it makes writing a game recap a little more difficult. There’s always the radio though, and I planned on listening to the game and relaying that experience to you. It wasn’t the best laid plan, but damn if it didn’t go astray anyway.

Photo by Greg Stone

What happened is the new public art project in New York called “Key to the City” and it’s unexpected popularity at 5:45pm on Friday night. The project is designed to recreate the experience of receiving a key to the city, but one that actually opens things – 24 locations scattered around the five boroughs. I work right next door to the kiosk where they are handing out the keys, and figured I would surprise my wife and bestow a key upon her, and make it home in plenty of time for the first pitch, natch.

Two hours later, the Yanks were already knee deep in Cecil-induced frustrations and I was finally getting that key. Starving, we headed to Bon Chon on 38th for some fabulously fried chicken wings and plopped down right in front of AJ Burnett and Jose Bautista facing off in the bottom of the second.

We stayed through the bottom of the fourth. As we left, I had a strong suspicion (and trail of garlic-soy) I had seen the five pitches that would be worth writing about. Here they are chronologically:

1) Bottom 2nd, none out, none on, 3-2 count on Jose Bautista. Blammo. A string-straight fastball, crushed appropriately. As he circled the bases, a YES graphic informed me it was his 17th of the year. What the shit?

2) Top 3rd, man on 2nd, 2 out, no count on Derek Jeter. Derek swung at the first pitch and was badly beaten on a change-up. He grounded out weakly to 3rd. I think a large part of why Cecil was so effective was his use of the change-up versus aggressive hitters in big spots. Jeter got totally abused there, as did Cano in the fourth when he struck out on five straight balls, none of them close.

3) Top 4th, man on 1st and 2nd, 0 out, 0-1 count to Arod. Ball in the dirt, scooted through Buck’s legs and he jumped up with no clue where the ball was. Swisher was not ready to take third. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. It immediately occurred to me as important, but that is not because of any prescience, it’s just because I’m a buzzkill.

4)  Top 4th, man on 1st and 2nd, 0 out, 1-1 count to Arod. Somewhat well struck one hop liner turned into a DP with a high degree of difficulty for both the shortstop and the second baseman. The former had to stick with the hard hit ball to his left and the latter had to barehand an errant shovel pass. Not only was this double play made possible by Swisher’s failure to run the bases aggressively, I think it was a base hit if Gonzalez is not playing at double play depth.

5) Bottom 4th, man on 1st, 1 out, 2-0 on Bautista. Hard to believe, but this pitch was even more hittable than the last one, and number 18 went even further than number 17 (or seemed to anyway, I don’t have the distances). To make matters worse, there was a guy on first via one of the cheapest hits you’ll ever see.

And then a nice subway ride home and a check on the score did nothing to inspire me to catch Sterling’s call of the final few futile innings of the 6-1 loss. Not a good game, and the Rays are only down 3 runs in the seventh right now, so that’s probably an 80-20 shot at another victory for them. Glad I waited on line for that key.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Game Recap

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1 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 4, 2010 10:41 pm

Shit does happen ...

2 randym77   ~  Jun 4, 2010 11:23 pm

That key to the city thing looks really interesting. I hope you post about where it leads you.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 4, 2010 11:30 pm

These games happen. The key is to win the next two games and remind everyone that Toronto is in fact still a distant fourth.

4 RIYank   ~  Jun 5, 2010 5:34 am

[1] I knew it!


Jeter got totally abused there, as did Cano in the fourth when he struck out on five straight balls, none of them close.

Actually the pitch Cano struck out on was right over the plate. The first four were not close. I remember that at bat -- shortly thereafter I decided to watch tennis.

5 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 5, 2010 6:27 am

[5] You're right, last one was OK. The 2-0 pitch in the dirt must have made me upset enough to imagine it counted three times.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 5, 2010 6:27 am

Sorry, [5] is for [4].

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 5, 2010 8:35 am

[2] The key comes with a booklet of the different locations and it's really diverse. And there are 2 or 3 right near Yankee Stadium.

And for those interested, they are giving keys away until 6/27 in Times Square, and the line figures to be much shorter than last night, which was the first full day of the event.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 5, 2010 10:01 am

The Rays lost.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver