We’ve been away for much of the past two weeks — Seattle, Portland, and Palm Springs, in case you’re interested — and whenever I get away from the day-to-day and hour-to-hour kvetching about the Yankees, I find that the new perspective does me a world of good. In Seattle I stayed with a college friend and met his seven-year-old son who loves — get this! — the Mariners. A quick glance at the paper told me that the Mariners had lost almost 70 games, and there at the top of the American League’s Eastern Division, with the best record in baseball, sat the New York Yankees. Suddenly I was less worried about Javy Vazquez’s dead arm, Joe Girardi’s managerial quirks, and Alex Rodríguez’s power outage. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be worried, nor am I saying that I won’t be worried about all those things tomorrow, I’m just saying.
Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, a bottom-dwelling team that’s given the Yanks fits all year long, was the first game I’d watched end to end in quite a while, and it was a great way to get back in the swing of things. The Score Truck started rolling early, modestly at first with a run in the first (courtesy of Mark Teixeira’s 90th RBI) and another in the second when Eduardo Nuñez beat out a would-be 4-6-3, allowing Jorge Posada to score, but then things started really heating up. Toronto lefty Marc Rzepczynski (somewhere, Diane Firstman is smiling) was walking a fine edge in the first two innings; he’d fall off in the third. (And by the way, you know that old probability bit that says if you put a hundred monkeys into a room with a hundred typewriters, you’d eventually get “Romeo and Juliet” if given enough time? I think if you give one typewriter to one monkey and put him in a closet for thirty seconds, you’d probably get “Rzepczynski”.)
With one out in the third, Teixeira launched a shot to left that warranted no more than a courtesy glance from left fielder Travis Snider. Robinson Canó walked, and then Marcus Thames launched a shot to left that warranted no more than a courtesy glance from left fielder Travis Snider. Next up, Jorge Posada launched a shot to left that warranted… you get the idea.
It was 6-0 at that point, but the Score Truckers weren’t finished — Curtis Granderson added a three-run blast in the fifth, and two batters later Derek Jeter homered, his tenth of the year, but his first hit over the fence since way back on June 12th. Another run would score in the sixth, bringing the total to eleven, and that was enough.
The beneficiary of all this was my friend Dustin Moseley. He skipped through the first three innings, and when he finally saw some trouble in the fourth, allowing a run by giving up a walk and two singles to open the frame, he minimized the damage by setting down the next three hitters. He gave up another run in the sixth on a bases-loaded single by John Buck, but this time it was Granderson who minimized the damage as he threw out Adam Lind at the plate to end the inning. Later in the game, as Ken Singleton and John Flaherty were making small talk in the closing innings of a blowout, Flash said something I never thought I’d hear someone say: “This was a good game for the Yankees, as they got Dustin Moseley straightened out.” Really? Dustin Moseley is that important? I think I’m starting to worry again.
Chad Gaudin coughed up a few runs in the eighth, Kerry Wood closed out the ninth, and everyone went home happy. Yankees 11, Blue Jays 5.