Start Them Up….They’ll Never Stop
1st Of Many Walkoffs for Yanks
Don’t you hate it when you are so tired and you know it’s late, but you don’t go to bed and then by the time you DO go to bed, you aren’t tired anymore? I usually hate this. But last night, I didn’t mind it one bit. I laid there for awhile, knowing I should get a good night’s sleep because it was only Monday (well, almost Tuesday at this point), but it was the peaceful kind of not sleeping. And eventually, I drifted asleep with comforting images of my Yankees. Yes, my Yankees…they played an amazingly dramatic game Monday night - I game I don’t think I will forget.
Pitching Analysis: Joe Girardi did what I thought he would do, although it didn’t please me. He skipped over my Javier in favor of the Phenom Phil Hughes to start the series opener. But to everyone’s surprise, Hughes struggled mightily. Hughes let a large lead slip away, on the strength of homers by Ortiz and Martinez. Phil only pitched 5 innings, and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, turning the once easy-night for the Yanks into an outright nail-biter.
Hughes…I can’t believe YOU made me nervous…
The bullpen sent me onto the brink of insanity. Boone Logan surrendered a solo home run to V-Mart. But he wasn’t the scary one. Chan Ho Park, fresh off the DL, couldn’t keep it in the park. Deja vu. He allowed Pukilis to hit a monster 2-run home run, which turned the tides into the Red Sox favor, because they finally had the lead. It was detrimental to my confidence, and, I thought, to the Yankees’ confidence as well.
Damaso Marte flirted with disaster when he put 2 men on base in the 8th inning. With 2 out, Girardi made a bold move: he brought in Javier Vazquez. This was it – it was Javier’s first time relieving for the Yankees since the ’04 Damon grand slam tragedy. It was Javier’s time to redeem himself and give the Yankees a chance to win. And he did. And they did. Javier stuckout the always-dangerous Youkilis, ending the Red Sox rally.
Good job, Javy ♥
Offensive Analysis: The Yankees got out of the gates quickly and scored a boatload of runs early. In the 1st, Jeter and Gardner singled, Teixeira walked, A-Rod hit a 2-run single, Cano hit an RBI single, Cervelli got an RBI double, and Thames got a sac fly. Add that all up, and by the end of the 1st, the Yankees smashed Dice-K around well enough for a 5-0 lead. In the 2nd, Tex added another run with an RBI double. That made it 6-1.
The Red Sox inched closer, and the Yankee bats died a bit. Marcus Thames added to the now-slim lead with an RBI double in the 5th, making it 7-5 Yankees. But after this, the Yankees failed to score again. Well, until later…..
After Park blew the lead, the momentum shifted in favor of the Red Sox. But after Javier struckout Youk, the momentum was back in favor of the Yankees. And just in time – it was the bottom of the 9th. Crunch time. Comeback time for the Drama Club. But they would have to do it off Jonathan Papelbon. They’ve already embarrassed him once this season – but Granderson was not around to hit another homer off him. It was up to heart of the Yankee order.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the 9th with a double. The Yankees needed 2 runs to tie, 3 to win. Mark Teixeira hit a deep fly ball to right-center, but it was caught for an out. I thought it was gone and jumped up. But it wasn’t. I thought the ball wasn’t carrying anymore. Thank God I was wrong.
Alex Rodriguez, the Drama King of the Drama Club, stepped up to the plate with hopes of keeping the rally going. I begged to the TV, “Ohhh….Come on A-Rod…Please, please do something baby…”
Papelbon threw the pitch, and A-Rod connected. I was ready to jump up, but I stopped myself – not wanting to jinx it like I did with Teixeira’s. Was I seeing things? I gasped, “Oh!.” It was really going. Going, going….GONE! A-Rod did it again! His 2-run, storybook home run tied up the game at 9, and sent the stadium and my living room into an unbridled frenzy of cheers. My Grandma and I high-fived. Our boys were alive. But they were more than that – they were revived, ready for a comeback. I knew then that the pie was going to happen that inning.
Haha…what NOW Papelbon???
After Cano hit a ball well for an out, my darling baby Francisco Cervelli came up to bat. Sensing his excitement, I too was excited. I thought he would get the pie. Papelbon decided to throw a hissy fit. He decided to ruin my fantasies, and send me back into a painful reality.
The pitch was too fast and too inside, I knew that right away. Francisco tried to get out of the way, but he couldn’t. All I saw was that it was up and in – I didn’t know where it got him. I was immediately thinking of his poor little head, although I knew it didn’t get him there. As it turned out, it his Cervelli in his sexy tricep, and he was mad. And I was mad. Rightfully so. I screamed when he was hit, and my little brother came out from his bedroom only to say, “Hey! I’m trying to sleep here…no more screaming!!!”
No one does that to MY baby on purpose….
Marcus Thames then came up, and I was still annoyed that Cervelli wouldn’t be the hero. But before I even had the chance to pout, or think anything, Papelbon threw the pitch. I knew Thames’s claim to fame was that he could crush a fastball. He was sitting dead-red. Indeed it was a fastball. Indeed, Thames crushed it. This was a no-doubter. Marcus Thames hit a beastly walkoff, 2-run home run off the most arrogant obnoxious excuse for a pitcher in baseball. He touched the plate, threw his helmet, and the celebration began. Ignoring my brother’s request for silence, I screamed. We won! How could I not?
Yankee teammates get ready to mob Marcus.
Everyone knew what was to come next: In Marcus’s on-field interview, all hears were on Marcus, but all eyes were scrambling around, looking for the Pie Man. Slowly, stealthily, A.J. Burnett emerged from the dugout, and squished that pie into Thames’s smiling face. Direct hit. The crowd went wild.
That’s a hot look for him
And so concluded my wonderful Monday evening. Yankees win it 11-9. The heroes for this Yankees Classic-worthy victory are Javier Vazquez, for proving he can do it and for shifting the momentum, A-Rod, for his game-tying big fly, and Marcus Thames, for winning it in walkoff fashion. Walkoff….the Yankees have a knack for getting into the knack of walkoffs. Once they get a pie, they want more and more.
If you start them up, believe me – they’ll NEVER stop…