Bummer. A waste of Randy Johnson’s spectacular game. 8 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 11 strike outs, 1 walk. That’s a pitching line that deserves a win. Then Farnsworth equaled The Unit’s dominance in the ninth, only tossed 4 pitches. But the Seattle arms had our number too.
The Mariners tried running on Stinnett 4 times. They were caught twice in strike ’em out, throw ’em out double plays. Only Ichiro was fast enough to beat the throw on both attempts. One of his stolen bases gave the Mariners the winning run when Stinnett’s throw bounced into centerfield. Ichiro advanced to third and scored on Ibanez’s sac fly.
The way I approach baseball is that luck finds the team who deserves it. When you win 1-0 in back to back games against the worst team in the AL, you’re doing something right that makes stuff align perfectly for you. Scoring only 2 runs in 16 innings against the team with the highest ERA in the American League is kind of pathetic. It isn’t impressive and it doesn’t deserve two wins. But you have to give credit to those Boston pitchers, stepping up when they needed to. They have an ERA of O.OO in the last 23 innings and an ERA of 2.40 over the last 5 games during which they have 4 wins. Streaks like this happen for every team, so I’m not giving up hope or heaping the praises on Boston. Nevertheless, I am impressed by Boston’s last two games. Winning a 1-0 game twice in a row seems like a challenging thing to do. I’m just down right now because we lost this game with no offense while Boston managed to win two straight games with no offense. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.
And over the coming 4 game series against Toronto, the offense will need to show up. The cold weather above the border must freeze the better part of those Blue Jays’ arms (except for Halladay’s and Ryan’s), so putting on a fireworks display might not be a challenge for the Bombers. The Blue Jays have the ninth best ERA in the AL. Only the Royals and Orioles have allowed more home runs in the AL than Toronto. And I’ve read that their bullpen averages about 7 walks per 9 innings. Except for Halladay they don’t have a reliable starting pitcher. Lilly’s been ok, leads the team in strike outs, but walks about 4 or 5 batters a game. Burnett’s only pitched 7 games, has a losing record and an ERA above 4. He averages about 6 innings a start and has 41 strike outs and only 8 walks in 42.1 innings. Their offense leads the AL in batting average. They’re second in home runs and fifth in runs scored. So they’ll pose a threat, but I think the Jays are a bit overrated. I agree that the AL East is a three team race, but the Jays will finish in third because the Sox and Yanks are on a higher playing level. The Jays do have one of my favorite players though, Frank Catalanotto, the Prince of Palermo.
I was looking at the rankings for blown saves in the AL and here’s what I found, from most to least:
Royals…20 blown saves
I’m not sure what this means. You hear a lot about how championship teams are made of great pitching and great bullpens, so I suppose one way to read this is that the A’s and Rangers have no chance if the Angels can put together a major league lineup. And maybe we should consider the Twins more of a threat in the Central. I have no clue, but I’m sure it means something.
I’m reading this book called Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964 by Peter Golenbock and something in it caught me by surprise. It’s just a minor detail, nothing big, but here it is: "With the score 2-1 (Yanks losing) Maris doubled, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a bunt by Mantle". When I read that Mantle was asked to lay down a sac bunt, I was thinking, "why?". Maybe they wanted to spare his arms and legs any more abuse, which I know were killing him. Anyway, I found it interesting and felt like sharing.
I also found it interesting that this author makes it seem like the people who didn’t want Maris to break Ruth’s record were the minority. I’ve heard the story about Maris losing clumps of hair and I thought that happened throughout the whole season. But this author says it happened for the first time just a week before season’s end. I was also told by a Red Sox fan (and college professor) that Yankee management didn’t want Maris to break the record, so they batted him lower in the lineup to decrease his number of at-bats. According to this book, that’s completely false. I was also surprised that Maris recieved a full house standing ovation when he hit home runs 60 and 61. In the past I’ve heard that Yankee fans hated him because they were too much in love with Mantle. I don’t think the author is writing through rose tinted glasses because he does include extensively how much stress and pressure Maris was under. However, from now on I’ll be cautious of all the dramatized stories. The manager batting Maris ninth….bologna. Don’t know why I believed that.
Great way to win a ballgame. That’s how we’re winning the World Series this year. Game 7 at Yankee Stadium. Bottom of the ninth, down a run. Runner on first base, two outs and Melky’s at the plate with two strikes. We’re playing the Mets so of course Wagner’s on the mound, one strike away from winning the World Series. He tries to throw that slider, but no sir, you can’t fool the Melk Man. Melky Cabrera creams it, crushes it, a tape measure no doubter moon shot. It looks like we had Ruth or Reggie or Mantle back all over again. And Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Yankeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By that time I assume Matsui and Sheffield will be back, so I don’t know why Melky would be in the lineup. But trust me, it’s going to happen. And it will be sweet.
Ponson pitched very well. Sterling was very impressed and gave him the "player of the game" award. Hopefully Ponson can repeat this. Maybe he’ll manage to get that third out next time to make it 7 full innings. 5 hits and 5 Ks is pretty good. He even picked off a baserunner. That home run to Sexson was the only mistake. Too bad there were runners on.
Once again our bullpen was fantastic. Did exactly what they had to, held off the Mariners and gave the offense enough time to score. Villone, Wilson, Farnsworth and Proctor combined for 4 1/3 innings, struck out 4, walked only 1 and allowed only 2 hits. Well done boys.
Hopefully The Unit can seal the deal on a second consecutive sweep. Go Yankees!