With a debate raging over our reactions to yesterday’s draw with England, we went to bed a Banter divided. Tonight, because of a tie of a different sort, a tie for first place, we’re reunited in contentment, or as our esteemed founder would say, as a bunch of heppy kets.
The Yankees completed their sweep of the Astros 9 to 5 just before the Marlins won their series with the Rays, dead-heating the AL East rivals at 40 and 23. The Rays’ funk came after the Yankees’ rut, but they are remarkably similar. After a blistering 21-8 start, the Yankees lost one to the Red Sox and proceeded to gag 12 of 20. The Rays were a mind-boggling 30-11 before getting swept by the same Red Sox on their way to losing 11 of 19. At least the Yankees can point to some injuries – the Rays can only blame gravity. And the schedule plays a part in this too. The Rays benefitted from a soft start, the Yankees are currently enjoying the Snuggle Fabric Softener portion of their schedule en route to a fluffy-fresh bounce back – 11 wins over the last 14 games.
If Phil Hughes falls short of any statistical milestones this season, I think he’ll look back on the rain-soaked battle with Tony Manzella in the sixth inning today and the ensuing four runs will stick between his teeth like broken pieces of sweet summer corn. Six innings, five hits, one inconsequential run and six strikeouts would have been another fine plank in his pleasantly plausible Cy Young platform. As the box score reads, he got bombed by the weak-hitting Astros. I was miffed about Jeter’s inability to get to Manzella’s topper, and before I could finish the grouse, Cash had homered.
As Cash rounded the bases, I was already composing a recap based around this terrible reversal of fortune. But it ended up not mattering to anyone but Phil Hughes and his agent. Is that a typical fan thing, or is it just me? Trying to peg the future narrative based on the current event?
Yanks winning 3-1, ump blows a strike 3 call, Teix boots an easy grounder, I see the foundation of a crushing loss. Jeter makes two outs in the same inning, leaving the bases loaded in the process, can’t come up with a ball in the hole and adds four runs to the Astros ledger, I’ve already assigned him the goat’s horns.
The thing is, when I played, I would never worry about the narrative. If something bad happens, fuck it, just got to find another way to win. Wish I could bring that mindset to my fandom.
Paul O’Neill called the game today and with the bases juiced in the fifth, he zeroed in on the 2-0 pitch to Posada. He wondered if Posada was going to be aggressive with the new reliever. While I thought he was timely with his analysis, I also was saying to my dad, “C’mon Paulie, we know he’s ripping here.” I bet Paulie knew Jorge was looking for something to drive and just got caught explaining the general when he would have been better off giving us the specifics. And if the at bat had lasted a few seconds longer, he probably would have done just that. I haven’t seen a game in a while, and I was glad to hear him back there today, whatever that means. Posada’s grand slams were the killing strokes to both weekend games, so I thought the curtain call was well deserved.
Back on top. Hope they don’t look down.