When the subway arrived in midtown this evening the Yanks were down 2-0 in the 8th. I didn’t check the score until I got to the Bronx and was surprised and happy to see that they’d tied the score. The game went to extra innings. I was home, cooking, listening, as Preston Clairborne got a big double play ball against Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the 12th.
Brendan Ryan led off the 13th against the former Yankee Jose Veras. I was sat on the couch and watched. That’s when it hit me–Brendan Ryan is one of my favorite Yankees in a long time. I don’t care that that is overall game is lacking. I love the fact that he’s expert at playing short stop and I dig watching him play. Makes him human that he doesn’t hit well. Let’s face it, he’s a scrub. But scrubs can be lovable and scrubs can be gamers.
I felt Ryan was about to do something good. And he did, ripped a one-hopper to third, too tough to field cleanly. The ballpark was quiet, a lot of the fans already gone, which made the clear sound of the ball hitting the bat sound magnified. It was a sharp, definite sound.
Port Jervis walked and then Preston Clairborne laid down a fine bunt to advance the runners.
It was evening in Chicago now. Most of the infield was in the shade. A strip of light ran down the third baseline and across home plate. Looking at Wrigley Field at this time of day reminded me of being a teenager in the Eighties watching Cub games after school on WGN (which we got in New York). There was something so scrubby about those Cubs in a shaggy, appealing, budget, Chris Makepeace My Bodyguard kind of way. Jody fuggin’ Davis.
Now, my favorite scrub Brendan Ryan was on third and Jose Veras–a scrub’s scrub at this stage of his career–was on the mound. And since this is the Cubs and this is Wrigley Field, who do they think they are trying to sweep the Yankees? What does Veras do but uncork one behind JR Muphy’s head. Ryan scores the go-ahead run.
To add scrubbiness to scrubbery Murphy got jammed by Veras and hit a horseshit blooper to short right field. And since these are still the scrubby old Cubs it dropped in for a run-scoring base hit.
David Robertson pitched the 13th, got the save, and the Yanks leave Chicago with a split.
Final Score: Yanks 4, Cubs 2.