When Mariano Rivera blew the game Thursday night, my foot slipped. When the 8-3 sure-fire-win on Friday night became another loss, my shoulder dipped. And when Mariano blew Sunday’s game, my ass flipped right over my head and I was lost in the Negative Zone. Not even winning Sunday could draw me out; I was adrift and doomed.
And I’m not coming back. Not this year.
CC Sabathia gave a decent effort when nothing short of his best would do. The Yankees didn’t hit Chris Tillman, who’s been good this year, but hardly Tom Seaver and the 4-2 loss is the latest nail in the coffin.
In the first inning Alex Rodriguez smacked a home run and things looked up for about a minute. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but CC Sabathia couldn’t hold the lead. Not even for an inning. Nick Markakis hit a lead-off double and scored two batters later.
The game stayed knotted at one, but the Yankees were never going to be the team that loosened the knot. Sabathia kept the ball in the park, but off-the-wall can still hurt you. A handful of doubles, productive outs and timely hits put the Yankees in a 4-1 hole after seven.
Tillman retired 13 in row at one point. He struck out three straight to napalm the seventh and then Lyle Overbay scraped the sky with solo homer to start the eighth, so Showalter brought in Tommy Hunter to strike out the next three. The Orioles struck out 12 Yankees in all.
Alex hit a blue dart to center to lead off the ninth. After two ground outs, Curtis Granderson hit a full-count fastball to the middle of the warning track in center. I can’t say what it looked like from your seats, but nobody here in the Negative Zone thought it had a chance.