The Yankees lost to the Orioles 5-2 tonight in a game so dull and unremarkable that I’m worried I might lapse and accidentally recap the drama at Manchester City on Sunday instead. The Yankees had a chance to sweep a two-game set with the division leading Orioles and with CC Sabathia on the hill and in form of late, what could go wrong?
Wei-Yin Chen. I don’t know if he’s really any good, but he’s pitching pretty well and the Orioles have now won six of his seven starts. CC wasn’t good on a night when he had to be. Adam Jones really smacked one out of the park in the second, and CC let up three doubles, but he could have survived if not for all those other base runners. Seven Orioles reached on via walk, hit by pitch, or infield single and CC was toast after six.
Chen kept the Yanks off the board for those same six innings. Curtis Granderson got him, the other way no less, in the seventh for the only two runs the Yanks would score and the game never seemed like it would bend towards the Yankees.
Maybe with a little bit tighter defense and a few decent calls from the umps at key moments and if we could swap those three rally-killing double plays for hits… oh hell, forget it. We’d have to start over and play this one again to find a way to make a Yankee victory plausible. They were the second best team at the park and that’s because the rain scared away that Little League team that was planning to attend.
Moving over to basketball and soccer, let’s just say that if your Mother’s Day celebration did not include the Manchester City game versus Queens Park Rangers, you missed out on the best sporting event of the year. No doubt, lock up the prize, no one is topping that. It was the 2004 Red Sox, but if all that craziness of the Games 4 and 5 of the ALCS happened in Game 7 of the World Series instead.
In the NBA Playoffs, I’m rooting for Lebron I guess, though I’ll be plenty psyched if Roy Hibbert and the Pacers keep winning. I just want Lebron to win one and then to see what happens after that. Will he break through and become something different and better than he is right now? Will he slide back after grabbing the ring? I also would like him not be the terrible choke artist that many paint him to be.
Then I look at the play-by-play data from tonight and I see he disappeared at the end of the game only to pop up and miss the two biggest free throws of the night, ones that would have turned a one-point deficit into a one-point lead with 54 seconds to play. He didn’t get a shot off for the final three and half minutes, clearly deferring to Wade, who managed to pump off five and was fouled shooting a sixth in the same time span.
I wish I watched that game instead of the Yankees because I’d love to know what the hell was going on there. I don’t think we’re asking Lebron to win or lose by himself. We’re just asking him to play the final minutes the same way he plays the rest of the game. Did anybody watch?