I thought it was gone. I already knew they had lost the game, but when I watched the ninth inning on replay I still thought Nick Swisher’s deep drive to center was gone off the bat. But his bid for a second homer in the final two innings settled into Coco Crisp’s glove at the centerfield wall for the final out of the game.
The way the Yankees are playing right now, ignore the fall and enjoy the bounce. The A’s dragged the Yanks around the field for seven and a half innings last night like a corpse. Trailing 6-0 with two-out in the eighth, the Yankees pounded out five runs and came a few feet shy of four more. It was a loss in the end, 6-5, and with the Red Sox winning big in Texas, that matters. But as losses go, give me one that falls just short of an amazing victory.
If you care about justice, it was a fair result that Swisher’s blast ended up an out instead of a game-winning grand slam. The batter before Swisher was Robinson Cano, and with a full count, the umpire gave him first base on what was clearly strike three. But even if the call was bad, the pie would have still tasted as, er, mediciney.
The 2009 Yankees have really spoiled us. This year’s team probably has a few sweet comebacks but I barely remember them. Down 4-1 at Toronto in the eighth? One time they were trailing Baltimore by four runs early? This game would have blown those out of the water. But as it stands, there’s a lot of extra pie to go around this year as the Yankees win early and big, and lose close. Luckily, they do the former way more than the latter.
So your scorching hot shortstop has three hits on the night and represents the winning run at the plate with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. Do you like that sac bunt there? You want to avoid the double play and Jeter is ground ball machine. But he has only nine GIDP this year, fewest of any of the regulars apart from Gardner, who has five. Before Jeter’s injury, the bunt is a no-brainer. But right now, I’d like to see him hit away. If you must put on a play, how about a hit and run? Even if Jeter grounds into a double play, Granderson still gets a chance to tie it with one swing.
Bartolo Colon did not spot the A’s all six by himself, though he was charged with five runs. He was not good against a terrible offense and Boone Logan couldn’t strand two of his runners in the seventh. Hector Noesi also got nicked for an insurance run which ended up being the difference, though at the time it just made the score 6-0.
Brandon Allen enjoyed his first trip to New York, hitting two home runs. If you’re reading this in the morning, heads up and cover your coffee mug as the one he hit in the second inning should be landing somewhere around breakfast tomorrow.
We celebrate comebacks because they remind us not to give up. Not be pessimists. Not be fatalists. This was a comeback that didn’t result in victory, but it should teach us those lessons just the same. Hopefully there a few more chances to wear pie this season.