Game 132 – Red Sox
Yankees 5, Red Sox 3
Call me Ishmael. Wait, no, wrong story.
Call me crazy, but I was a bundle of nervous energy throughout last night’s game. Even as my head knew that it didn’t matter all that much, my gut still tightens when I see those pinstripes. And despite the fact that the game itself was a pretty entertaining one, the result – and the winning blow – left me more irritated than the situation perhaps warranted.
Once again, Daisuke Matsuzaka was victimized by a handful of ill-timed bad pitches. His lack of command in the first inning cost the Sox 2 runs, but they quickly erased that deficit. Then, he left a fastball up in the zone to Derek Jeter, who snapped a recent slump by ripping it into the rightfield seats. Sox got that run back courtesy of a Jason Varitek homer, and I was feeling pretty good about their resiliency. And about the good-luck squirrel that had taken up residence atop the right-field foul pole - the very same foul poul that signalled the Yankees' death knell in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS when Mark Bellhorn's homer clanged into it.
And then, in the 7th inning, Johnny Freaking Damon hit a popup to right that carried 315 feet, just enough to drop over the fence and give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. He got a curtain call for that one. Of course, the denizens of Yankee Stadium award curtain calls to groundskeepers who tie their shoelaces in a single motion, so I suppose that’s not worth much.
Instead of Damon, Yankee fans should be bathing J.D. Drew with flowers and chocolates this morning, because he was the wrench in the gears, the sugar in the gas tank, the annoying governor on an otherwise lightning-quick golf cart for the Sox offense last night. Several months ago, I took up Drew’s cause, preaching patience and the season-long view in support of his potential. Sorry, dude, last night was the final straw. And more precisely, the impotent wave you made at Joba Chamberlain’s 3-2, 2-out slider in the dirt with men on 1st and 2nd was the final, meager straw. Coming as it did on the heels of your impotent, hopeless, ass-out, foot-in-the-bucket pass at an Andy Pettitte slider in the 4th and the rally-killing double-play you hit into in the 6th didn’t help matters much.
The season is 132 games old – at this point you are what your record says you are, in the words of Bill Parcells. Drew’s .749 OPS says he’s basically Aaron Hill, or Kaz Matsui, or…Johnny Damon – damning both overpaid outfielders in the comparison. Drew’s 7 HR put him on pace for the lowest total in that category in his career – and that includes 4 seasons in which he played fewer than 110 games. Feh. I’m done with watching your languid swing sweep over breaking balls in the dirt, done with saying, “C’mon, J.D., make ‘em love you”, frankly, done with the J.D. Drew Experience in 2007 – which makes me just about the last guy out of the room. I’m turning out the lights and locking the doors. Pity.
Beckett against Clemens tonight with Manny’s back a question mark. You think the ESPN HypeMaster 2000 will get any work?