"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

It’s a Clinch

The Yanks beat the Rays in the afternoon game today, 4-2, thanks to good pitching from seven different pitchers and some offensive muscle via Robinson Cano, and in the process secured a postseason spot – not that this had been too much in doubt the last few weeks. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Rays get a few wins in this series just to make the Red Sox sweat some more – there ain’t no Schadenfreude like Red Sox Schadenfreude – but as the night game went on, and the Sox lost, and the Yankees were poised to clinch the AL East, the whole enchilada… well, no complaining about that. It was 4-2 Yanks again, thanks to C.C. Sabathia and old pal and pinch-hitting hero Jorge Posada.

It was reassuring to see C.C. Sabathia looks slid after a few disconcertingly unsteady outings. The Big Man went 7.1 innings, allowed two runs, walked 2 and struck out 6. He did exit the game with the score tied at two, the bases loaded, and one out – but that’s what David Robertson is for. He entered and needed just a single pitch to get Ben Zobrist to ground into a double play and end the inning.

The excitement came in the bottom of the 8th, when Nick Swisher doubled, Mark Teixeira walked, Robinson Cano was intentionally walked, and then – somewhat to my surprise – Jorge Posada pinch-hit for The Jesus. You could hear a million Yankees fans, with the Al East title within reach, thinking “wouldn’t it be great if…” – and then he did. Okay, not a grand slam, the most dramatic possible outcome; but a nice two-run single that gave the Yanks the lead, the game, and the division. I don’t know how many more big ABs Posada has with the Yanks, but I’ll bet you can count them on your fingers.

I was one of those people who, before the season started, did not think the Yankees wouldd make the playoffs – I just thought they didn’t have the pitching. I’m not embarrassed by that prediction (unlike, say, my AL Central prediction, which I will aggressively suppress), because the Yankees’ staff, A.J. Burnett aside, has over-performed all year. No one expected Freddy Garcia, Bartolo freaking Colon, or Ivan Nova to be as good as they were- not Brian Cashman, not Joe Girardi, not even Garcia and Colon themselves. The team’s success is a testament to those guys, to the offense, and to the bullpen, with a hat-tip to Girardi – who drives me crazy at times, as all managers drive all fans crazy at times, but damned if he hasn’t pulled another good bullpen more or less out of his ass. Anyway, I thought they’d be good, but not this good, and whatever happens in the playoffs I am happy to’ve been wrong.

So many of this season’s big memorable moments have been about their aging greats – Jeter’s 3,000th, Mo’s 602nd, and now Jorge’s clincher, which while not supremely important – the Al East was not much in doubt – felt like a nice last hurrah. The old guard’s going out in a blaze of glory.

And you know, if the Rays were to win tomorrow…that’ll be just fine.

Categories:  1: Featured  Baseball  Emma Span  Game Recap

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1 thelarmis   ~  Sep 22, 2011 1:01 am

yay, an emma post!!! : )

2 thelarmis   ~  Sep 22, 2011 1:04 am

[0] wait, i think jorgie's division clinching hit was a single.

3 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Sep 22, 2011 1:23 am

today was a good day, all around. congrats to the 2011 Bombers.
Now, let's get rested and ready for #28.

4 a.O   ~  Sep 22, 2011 1:28 am

Emma, dope recap. Couple few things from the left coast:

You should be embarrassed by your prediction, but only to the extent youre a true fan and not shading over into that gruesome "pundit land.". Regardless, we forgive.
Jorge forgives.

DRob IS Houdini. Just ask Alex.

Can't wait to see the Scranton B team roll out tomorrow to help the Rays steal it from the Chokas.

That is all.

5 a.O   ~  Sep 22, 2011 1:29 am

Oh, almost forgot: According to Coney, it's a "clench."

6 cult of basebaal   ~  Sep 22, 2011 2:20 am

I know 20 wins is a nice milestone, but can I just ask WHAT THE FUCK was Sabathia doing throwing 127 FUCKING pitches tonight?!?!?!?

I mean, Girardi DOES KNOW we're going to be playing games in OCTOBER, right???


7 cult of basebaal   ~  Sep 22, 2011 3:22 am

Oh, one more thing, which really should have been in your post-game analysis. According to Jorge in his post-game interview, when he pinch-hit in the 8th ... he thought it was the 9th inning ... so he was confused when his hit wasn't a walk off.

*That* is the MOST perfect aspect of the whole thing.

God Bless You, Jorge, you're something special ...

8 RIYank   ~  Sep 22, 2011 7:23 am

Emma Span for the Division Win! It's a touching moment. Emma hasn't been posting much this year, because of, you know, all the concussions she got face-palming her forehead. Occupational hazard, yes, but it's a bit sad to see, since she participated in so many great Banter seasons. Everyone is pleased to see her smack this one into right-center in a clutch situation. True, a Grand Slam (= correctly reporting the Posada single) would have been more dramatic. But, the concussions...

[7] Yep, that's the clencher. (I think 'clencher' is this year's 'toooptimistic'.) And the fact that he just flat out admitted to Kim, when it would have been easy for him to keep his mouth shut. I love that.

But [6], 127 pitches is as nothing to The Fat Kid. He throws that many while eating lunch.

aO, Belth was a little disappointed that it took D-Rob so many pitches to get out of the inherited jam. Next time, the Alabama Hamma will be allotted one half pitch. In the post-season, though, he has to pick off all the runners without throwing to the plate at all.

9 ms october   ~  Sep 22, 2011 7:38 am

[6] [8] i think cc has to go on short rest to get lined up for game 1, so even more impetus for him to not have too taxing an outing in last night's start.

10 RIYank   ~  Sep 22, 2011 9:21 am

[9] You're right, I hadn't noticed that.
Maybe Girardi plans to skip him entirely?

11 rbj   ~  Sep 22, 2011 9:43 am

"– Jeter’s 3,000th, Mo’s 602nd, and now Jorge’s clincher, which while not supremely important – the Al East was not much in doubt – felt like a nice last hurrah. The old guard’s going out in a blaze of glory."

They're the old guard? I remember them as rookies. Ma, git me my blanket, gotta sit on the porch, the damn kids are on the lawn agin.

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 22, 2011 10:32 am

[10] I bet he does a truncated start on short rest, then gets his full rest before the ALDS. So no 20 wins this year.

13 RIYank   ~  Sep 22, 2011 10:43 am

[12] Maybe a truncated start could be five innings.
Yeah, probably not.

14 seamus   ~  Sep 22, 2011 10:47 am

They'll try to get him his 20 wins I think. Because they know it's important to him and they want to keep him happy.

15 Crazy8Rick   ~  Sep 22, 2011 11:36 am

Great write up Emma. I loved that line you wrote about Girardi "but damned if he hasn’t pulled another good bullpen more or less out of his ass." I gotta admit when we didn't get Cliff Lee, and Boston got Crawford, I just mentally gave it up to Boston and Philly. Hoping beyond hope that our boys would somehow find a way to get into the play offs. Who da thunk it? Deter, Mo', & Jorge in a blaze of glory!!

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