What do those things have in common? They’re all prettier than tonight’s steaming pile of an excuse for a ballgame. And yet, in the end… I wasn’t totally sorry I watched. That’s thanks to the go-ahead Curtis Granderson homer in the 10th inning, and Marian River’s ultra-dramatic white-knuckle save to preserve the Yanks’ 6-5 win. But, lord, you did not want to watch them making that sausage.
I began the evening feeling sorry for Dontrelle Willis – a fun, charismatic player who I loved watching in his prime, which feels like it was a long, long time ago now (…but then, the third inning feels like it was a long, long time ago now). An hour or two later I mostly felt bad for myself and anybody else still watching the slow-motion tragicomedy of errors well after 1 AM on the east coast. The fact that the Yankees eventually came back from their self-dug grave and pulled a win out of their caps made it more bearable, of course, but still, all traces of this game should probably be scrubbed from the archives immediately to protect the public.
You will, I hope, forgive me for not giving you a complete blow-by-blow of this game, but it’s late, I’m tired, I had to delete most of the writeup I had ready in the ninth, and this is a family website. Willis went just 2.1 innings, gave up two hits, and walked seven. It was excruciating to watch, and he left, head hanging, after walking Alex Rodriguez to force in a run. The fact that the Diamondbacks got out of that inning with the score tied at 2 is a testament to how sloppy the Yankees were playing all night – numerous outs made on the bases, often dumb ones; swinging at all kinds of things they shouldn’t be swinging at. By the end of the game the Bombers had amassed 10 hits and 13 walks (!) with six runs to show for it; early in the game that ratio looked even worse. Damaso Marte added some nice flourishes in the sixth inning with a balk and a wild pitch. Going into the ninth, the Yankees were down 5-4 and I was not exactly brimming with confidence, despite the reassuring presence of old friend Aaron Heilman on the mound.
“They play 162, and they can’t all be Rembrandts,” someone wrote to me on Twitter while I was bemoaning this festering eyesore. Which is true. But surely there’s plenty of middle ground between a Rembrandt and this, which is really more of a monkey-painting-the-cage-wall-with-its-own-feces sort of a game.
Or at least that’s what I was thinking before the ninth and tenth innings. It wasn’t a Rembrandt but maybe it was, I dunno, a lesser Basquiat or something. In the end, I was glad I’d stayed up for it – it certainly wasn’t dull. That said, as I wrote last night: just because you made it home okay, doesn’t mean it was all right to drive drunk and high on meth, you know?
Runner-up titles for this post:
This Game’s so ugly, it couldn’t get laid in a prison with a handful of pardons.
This Game’s so ugly, I took it to a haunted house and it came out with a job application.
This Game’s so ugly, even the tide won’t take it out.