"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: silver surfer

Breaker Breaker

The Yanks were ahead by a run in the bottom of the eighth when Brett Gardner lead off with a single. The game slowed down considerably as he plotted to steal second, which he eventually did, and made it. Then he stole third, too, but still, the Yanks couldn’t bring him home. The inning seemed to take forever–pitch-outs, visits to the mound, failed bunts–and all the planning and counter-planning didn’t amount to a thing.

In the ninth, Mariano Rivera gave up a single to start the inning. The next batter hit a line drive up the middle as the runner on first took off for second. Watching on TV, I saw that the ball was well struck, and knowing that the runner was moving, I sighed, seeing the inevitable: first and third, no out. Instead, Robinson Cano, who was shaded up the middle, caught the ball and walked casually to second where he tagged out the helpless runner. Dumb luck is all. Dumb luck.

Mo struck out the next guy–the ending was routine at that point–and the Yanks had an unspectacular but pleasing¬†5-4 win.

Not a bad way to start a day off.

[Illustration via Rotomangler]

It Never Gets Old

I watched the end of the game last night by myself. The wife had gone to bed long before Mariano Rivera appeared. I lay on the living room floor, stretching, and appreciated the moment–another chance to watch Rivera pitch. Endy Chavez, a slap-hitting left-hander, led off and Rivera pounded him with cutters inside. Chavez was tough, fouling off pitch-after-pitch, until he was caught looking by a pitch on the outside corner. A generous call by the umpire it seemed to me, a Rivera call.

J.J. Hardy, a righty, was next, and when Rivera got ahead of him he kept the ball outside and Hardy popped up to Robinson Cano for the second out. Which left it up to Nick Markakis, who was 6-17 in his career against Rivera. He looked at a fastball on the outside part of the plate for a strike and then broke his bat on a cutter inside–the ball went foul. Rivera threw another cutter, high and inside, that Markakis didn’t offer at and he also looked at the next pitch, the outside fastball. The pitch went straight to the catcher’s mitt but it was just outside for a ball.

I was lying on my back now. My cat had curled up next to my left shoulder and I wondered what Rivera’s next move would be–back inside with the cutter or double-up on the outside pitch? He went back outside, painted the corner beautifully. The pitch was better than the one before. Markakis didn’t swing and was called out on strikes and alone in my dark living room I laughed so hard that had to cover my mouth so I wouldn’t wake the wife.

[Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images; Drawing by Moebius]

 

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver