I was walking past Madison Square Garden last night when I looked in the window of a restaurant and saw Alex Rodriguez batting on a the giant screen TV inside. He popped out but the Yanks had a 2-0 lead. By the time I got home to the Bronx–following the action on my Gameday App and listening to the radio call–the Jays had tied it. (Severino pitched well.) I watched the game with The Wife, doing my best to behave in the face of what seemed like pending doom.
The home crowd cheered like nuts when Rodriguez whiffed with the bases loaded in the 7th. The Yanks went ahead the next inning on a solo home run by Carlos Beltran (which was similar–just not as long–as the one he belted as a pinch-hitter last time the Yanks were up north), and then Dellin Betances courted disaster in the bottom of the inning. With a man on second and two out he walked Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista and went 2-0 to Edwin Encarnacion. And those two pitches to Encarnacion weren’t even close. Beatances looked shook (when did he turn into the ever-dramatic John Wetteland?). But he gathered himself and spotted a fastball right over the plate and then threw another one in the same spot–Encarnacion swung through it. Betances put his man away with a slider, well out of the zone–Encarnacion missed it by a couple of feet.
The Yanks had runners on the corner with nobody out in the 9th, primed for insurance, when Ellsbury hit a fly ball to right field. Medium deep, I’d say. Bautista caught the ball and then uncorked a strike to home plate where Chris Young was tagged out to complete the double play. Just a great play by Bautista. The Jays got out of the inning without giving up a run.
Which was pivotal when, with one out in the bottom for the 9th, Dioner Navarro launched a home run into the left field seats.
Bring the noise, Toronto.
Now, one thing you should know about The Wife. In the almost 14 years since we’ve been together she does not find self-pity arousing. I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve never been able to get any action by playing the sympathy card (curious, but women just don’t find it sexy). Now, I’m not saying she felt bad for me, but when the 9th inning ended and the game went into extra innings she turned to me and gave me a choice: baseball or bed.
Now, the disgust was starting to wash over me but I stopped myself right there–am I crazy?–and clicked the TV off and The Wife and I went and had some fun. When we were finished I turned the game back on to see what’d happened and there was Andrew Miller still pitching, 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th, the Yanks now leading 6-4. Turns out Greg Bird slapped a 2-2 change up just over the wall in right field for a 3-run home run. Encarnacion got a measure of revenge nailing a solo shot off Miller but Miller got the last word when he retired Navarro on a fly ball to left to end the game.
Say it like, John: Yankees win, Thhh-uuuuu Yankees Win!