When my cousin texted on Monday asking if I wanted to go to Game 4 with him and his wife it didn’t take long to respond—Yes! They live in Houston, season ticket holders for the Texans, and are the kind of dedicated sports fans who love rooting their teams on but don’t lose sleep when they lose. They wore Astros hats and orange jackets last night while I sported a crumbling El Duque Yankee T-shirt over a long sleeve shirt just so I wasn’t associated too closely with the enemy.
Scorecard in my lap.
Funny how games are always harder to follow when you are there. There was that strange sequence of events with Aaron Judge in the fourth—and later, was that fan interference on his double, and if so what did that mean? We didn’t have TV screens near us so it was all unclear. All we could tell was that there was some low comedy—a ground ball slowly rolling up the third baseline, sure to stay fair, that kicked foul at just the last minute and was snatched by Todd Frazier, and a pair of bumbling errors by Starlin Castro. Later on, of course, Chase Headley slipped on a banana peel rounding first and turned excitement into peril into relief when he recovered and reached second safely with a deft tag.
The Astros struck first with a bases clearing double after the Yanks had loaded them on a couple of walks and an error. They added another on Castro’s second Benny Hill move. And so my cousins were feeling good, their boys up 4-0.
Now, I am not an In-Your-Face kind of rooter. Not unless provoked I suppose. So it wasn’t as if there was any trash talking going on. But a rowdy Yankee crowd was quieted. It was the simmering quiet of angry New Yorkers.
And while we saw some other Astros fans they were not a noisy bunch.
Once Aaron Judge hit a moonshot to start the seventh, the crowd woke up, and you can say it didn’t relent until after the final out, well past the moment when the Yanks scored six unanswered runs to win the game and even the series. (Final Score: Yanks 6, Astros 4.)
All I know is that it was loud. The Stadium didn’t shake the way Yankee Stadium II did—where the thrill was mixed with terror—but it was impressive. I didn’t let out one yell, I stayed calm—jumping and clapping on the inside—didn’t want to be rude to my cousins. Instead I took great satisfaction looking out over the Stadium and seeing everyone stand and waves their arms and yell and scream. My cousins left with two outs in the 9th but I stayed and after the last out put my fist out to fans passing by, enjoying the hard thump of hearty congratulations.
I stayed and listened to Sinatra and everyone sing to Sinatra on repeat. I sung a little myself.
So many big at bats, but was most thrilled for Gary Sanchez and Judge for coming through in the heat of the moment.
Today gives that sombitch Keuchel who just owns the Yanks. He’s got a beatin’ coming to him one of these days. Hopefully, that time is now. Those Astros are bound to up jump the boogie and score a bunch of runs sometime soon, too. Let’s hope that ain’t today.
Never mind the shadows:
Let’s Go Yank-ees!