• May 16th vs. The Rangers

    Posted by on May 17th, 2006 · Comments (8)

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    Early on, I was given a clue that tonight was going to be a special night – but, I missed it.

    I left my office in Little Falls, NJ at 4:30 pm to head to this game – and at 5:10 pm I pulled into one of the parking lots at the Stadium. Forty minutes, door-to-door?

    That just does not happen. It had to be magic.

    To the game……

    After one and a half, the Yankees were down 9-0. That was a bummer.

    Still, since I was attending the game with Alex Belth of Bronx Banter fame, it wasn’t a total bummer – as Alex and I were passing the time talking about the Yankees, blogging, and all sorts of fun stuff. (By the way, every Yankees fan should have the pleasure of attending at least one game with Alex. He’s a great guy with some incredible stories to share.)

    After a while, and some Aaron Small luck, it’s the top of the 6th and the score is 10-5 in favor of Texas. It’s still not a great position – but, it’s looking much more like a ballgame than 9-0.

    And, in the top of the 6th, when it looks like Texas will add to their lead, Jorge Posada blocks the plate like a brick wall on a throw from left field – saving a huge run.

    Then, more magic happens – the Yankees plate 6 in the 6th to take a 11-10 lead. Not too shabby, considering they were down 9-0 just 4 innings ago.

    But, back to Bummersville – Scott Proctor allows a moon-shot 2-run homer in the 7th giving Texas the lead again, 12-11.

    Then, magic again – the Yankees tie the game in the bottom of the 7th.

    Still, the unthinkable – with the score tied 12-12, Mariano Rivera allows a guy hitting .218 to drive in a run in the 9th and put Texas up 13-12.

    Down 9-0, leading 11-10, losing 12-11, tied 12-12, and now losing 13-12 (in the 9th). This is not an easy game for a Yankee fan’s heart.

    But, in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs, Jorge Posada hits a homerun to win the game for the Yankees, 14-13. It’s time to high-five as many strangers as you can. And, this was without Giambi, Matsui and Sheffield in the line-up.

    Like I said before: That just does not happen. It had to be magic.

    I hope they put this one into the Yankees Classics rotation. I want to see this one again. In terms of being at “Great Games In the First Half Of A Season,” I had the pleasure to attend that July 1, 2004 game where Jeter dove into the stands, and, this game might just be as thrilling – if not greater. (Even with that 7/1/04 game being against Boston.)

    Heck, the Yankees have only come back from a 9-0 score three times, ever, before this one.

    For what it’s worth, in 2004, the Yankees went on to lose 5 of 6 after that big win. Let’s up the carry-over from this crazy win is more favorable.

    Come on magic, just stay around for a little while longer.

    Comments on May 16th vs. The Rangers

    1. May 17th, 2006 | 7:41 am

      I caught the last three innings of the game on TV. It must have been a wild ride, Steve.

      I think the best thing about last night’s win is that it reminds the team not to pack it in just because the big bats are sidelined for a while. Just how bad the Yankees are banged up was driven home to me in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 7th when I saw Posada step to the plate after Rodriguez. But he got the job done in last night’s game. It’s great to see the homegrown veterans Jorge and Jeter leading by example.

    2. baileywalk
      May 17th, 2006 | 9:58 am

      R.I.P., Scott Proctor’s arm. Even Kaat, who never criticizes Torre, said he was being overused. I believe Proctor has thrown more innings than any reliever in baseball. Not only is Torre using him a lot, but it’s for multiple innings. All this talk about not burning out his guys, and he does it all over again.

      When did Ron Villone become a lefty specialist? He can pitch innings, Torre. Did Ron bump into Torre’s wife or something? Why does he hate him?

      Thank God for bad Texas pitching. Wow, what a pitiful pitching staff. This was an amazing comeback, but the utter lack of pitching by the Rangers sure helped.

      It was good to see everyone — Phillips, Cairo — get in on the offensive act. It just goes to show that even a horribly-constructed bench can come through SOMETIMES.

      Anyway, I’ll admit I thought the game was over after two. But it was a truly exciting game that ended fittingly.

      Small still needs to go. Torre is blind to his problems, too. Yeah, he eventually settled down, but he looks more and more like a fluke.

      Torre needs to start getting Mo regular work. He’s giving up a ton of hits, not striking anyone out, and walking people — and the walks are the disturbing part. He hasn’t been sharp this year at all.

    3. JohnnyC
      May 17th, 2006 | 10:45 am

      bailey, I’m unsure of what’s really going on with the pattern of Mo’s usage. Is it strictly a strategic decision (only save situations on the road, only close games at home)that often means days without an appearance or is it, perversely, Torre’s way of trying to preserve Mo’s arm (since he believes that his is the only arm actually worth being careful with)? Is it as simple as Torre believes the amount of innings a pitcher can throw is proportional to his size? If that’s true (and he always referenced Sturtze as an “animal” in baseball parlance), that is sad.

    4. JohnnyC
      May 17th, 2006 | 10:53 am

      BTW, Kaat’s remark about how it would help if Yankees’ starters pitched more complete games…uh, I thought that was the reason for 12 man staffs like the Yankees have. A 7 man bullpen should be able to share the load of innings if managed efficiently. Many teams have become accustomed to shuttling arms in and out of the pen throughout a season as par for the course…this only works if there isn’t a protracted period of “trust-earning” that effectively reduces your staff from 12 to 8 or 9 “trusted” pitchers. It seems as if earning Mr. Torre’s trust is slightly harder than being voted into the HOF or making the All-Star team (hello, Jeff Nelson).

    5. May 17th, 2006 | 12:11 pm

      In terms of recent mid-season classics, I’d have to rank the Jeter-dive game as better, because it was way more intense. Remember, we still had a grip on that Curse thing, and it ruined Nomar’s career in Boston.

      Also, the 13 runs we scored last year in the eighth inning against the D-Rays after Randy got racked around. If you watch that now on Yankees Classics, they have to go to commercial a few times, because that half-inning was a major assault that lasted over half an hour.

    6. rbj
      May 17th, 2006 | 1:00 pm

      i’m still in awe. Nice recap Steve.

    7. Jen
      May 17th, 2006 | 1:13 pm

      Paul, I agree that the July 1 game was more intense (because it was Boston and the game was close the entire time). But last night was, as Steve said, magical. For me intensity doesn’t necessarily make a game better. I went through a range of emotions last night, none of which was the same as how I felt on July 1. This game was a thing of beauty, almost cinematic. That may seem like an exaggeration to some, but that’s how I saw it. I still have a buzz from last night.

    8. May 17th, 2006 | 1:51 pm

      Jen – Ditto on still having the buzz – now over 12 hours later.

      The difference, for me, between last night and 7/1 was that the Yankees were never losing on 7/1 until the 13th inning. And, last night, they came back (from losing) three times – with the first comeback from being down 9-0.

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