In the top of the seventh inning, David Robertson walked Matt Treanor to load the bases with only one out. The score was 3-1 Yanks, but Robertson did not seem to have good command of his fastball and the game was on the line. That’s when Larry Rothschild sprint-trotted to the mound (check the grass for scorch marks) and saved the game. With the aid of slow-motion replay and the lip-reading techniques listed on Wikipedia, I captured his motivational speech verbatim.
“Young Robertson,” he began “what afflicts thee?”
Roberston could be seen lowering his head. He didn’t have a ready answer.
“Ho, man, return my gaze and steel thyself,” he continued. “From yonder perch I observed this right arm lagging through the delivery and sailing offerings high into the ether, but now that I have ventured forth I see it is not an arm at all, but a thunderbolt! Who among these hapless mortals with their paltry wooden clubs can meet a thunderbolt and send it back with equal force? None, I vouch, except maybe Butler, but he’s not due up until the eighth.”
Robertson lifted his chin at this point and you can see Martin give him a “WTF is he talking about” kind of look if you pause it just at the right moment. But Robertson didn’t notice.
“That is not all,” Rothschild confided as he glanced sideways at the upcoming batter. “Once you have established the thunderbolt and you feel the fear in their hearts, rotate your hand thusly, cock thy wrist and turn this crude ball into a twisting mirage. It will appear to him at first in the middle, but when he strikes, it will disappear completely from his sight. I entrust you with the magics of my people, young Robertson. Now go forth and conquer.”
Then he spit on the ground to consecrate the pitching area. To complete the ritual, we’ll assume Francisco Cervelli sacrificed his kitten in the clubhouse. The YES cameras really dropped the ball on that one.
Sufficiently roused by the visit, Robertson proceeded to strike out Escobar on one of the most beautiful curve balls you’ll ever see. And then for good measure, he struck out the next guy too on another wicked deuce. I didn’t think Getz went around, but he certainly deserved to be out by that point. He was just taking emergency hacks trying to stay alive. But between the thunderbolt and the mirage, he didn’t have a chance.
That was basically that, as Rivera and Chamberlain faced only six more batters and the Royals never threatened again. Yankees 3 – Royals 1. Mariano allowed a hit and went to three balls on the two other hitters he faced. But he whiffed Hosmer and then started a spectacular game-ending double play.
Jeter continues to get some non-infield hits. Alex Rodriguez emerged briefly from his funk to guide the game-winning hit up the middle in the fifth. Swisher made a run-saving catch in the top of that inning and Freddy Garcia continues to get the job done. I’m glad they won this one because every time they lose a good game from Garcia or Colon, I feel like they’re burning found money. And hey, Melky hit a home run. Got that out of the way, now he can go 0 for the rest of the series.