• August 7th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on August 7th, 2009 · Comments (23)

    This post is a chron-job…set to publish at 11 pm ET…

    Went to the Stadium tonight to watch this one…so, my commentary won’t appear on this contest until I get home…which will probably be after 1 am ET (allowing for traffic and travel time). In the interim, if you want to leave your thoughts and such on this game, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

    Update 2:13 am ET, 8/8/09:

    It was the game that time forgot…and, eventually, the game that no one seemingly wanted to win…but, in the end, it was the game that was great to win – and one that must sting like a mother to have lost…

    It was interesting to attend this one in-person. I do have to confess that I left at the stroke of midnight. At that point, I had seen 13 full innings and close to five hours worth of baseball. Normally, I would never leave a contest like this one. But, I had my father with me, who’s 73-years old – and who lives 75 miles south of the Stadium. So, leaving at midnight gets him home at 2 am ET. And, I really couldn’t ask him to stay until “Who knows when?” and then have him getting in closer to dawn than anything else.

    For the record, we were not the only ones to leave at midnight. There was just a shade over 48,000 there for this game. And, by the 12th inning, I would offer that there were probably about 36,000 fans left in the park. And, come midnight, when the last out was made in the bottom of the 13th inning, it was as if the house lights came on and it was time to leave…people were streaming out…and I would bet that there were only around 20,000 fans remaining as we left. Maybe less…

    We did get to listen to the 14th and 15th innings on the car radio driving home – along with the post-game wrap-up. So, whether you go by innings or time, we saw 87% of the game in-person and listened to the remaining 13% of it on the radio. Sure, it would have been great to stay for those last two innings. But, even if we knew it was only going to be two more, that would have got my father home at close to 3 am ET. And, again, the guy is 73-years old and usually in bed before 11 pm most nights.

    Moving to the game, you can’t say enough about what A.J. Burnett did in this one. If Josh Beckett really is the best pitcher in the league this season, which some claim him to be, Burnett went toe-to-toe with him and matched him, goose-egg for goose-egg, etc. It was great to shower A.J. with cheers when he left the mound in the 8th inning – because he deserved it. You also have to give Alfredo Aceves the unsung hero award for this one. Without what he did, the Yankees do not win this game.

    It’s funny, we saw Brian Bruney warming up in the bullpen during the bottom of the 12th and were praying that Melky Cabrera would get the big two-out hit in that frame to score Jorge Posada – so that Bruney would not be able to get into the game. But, Leche popped up to end the inning.

    When Bruney was announced into the game at the top of the 13th inning, many of the guys sitting around me starting joking around by pretending to make calls on their cell phones saying “I’ll be home soon now, honey” or by telling each other “Thanks for coming and please remember to drive home safely.” But, much to my amazement, and theirs, Bruney zipped through the first two batters of the 13th and eventually got past the third. And, as we heard once we hit the car in the parking lot, he dodged a bullet in the 14th inning. (I’m not sure I would have survived that one in-person. To be candid, I was pretty gassed after 11 innings and was working off fumes cheering during the 12th and 13th innings.)

    It would have been nice to have been there for the “A-Bomb by A-Rod” to win it. But, then again, there are at least another 30,000 fans saying the same thing now – so, at least I have company. Actually, it’s probably less than that – since there were a lot of Red Sox fans at the game too. I bet those Sox fans that left are happy that they missed Rodriguez’ homer.

    In the post-game, on the radio, John Sterling kept referring to this game as being “extraordinary” and “phenomenal.” He then went on to say that he’s been doing Yankees games for 21 years, never missed a game, and that he would place this game in the top ten of all Yankees games played during those 21 years. I don’t know if I would go that far?

    Yes, the pitching from Burnett, Hughes, Rivera, Aceves, Bruney and Coke was very impressive – going 15 innings, allowing only 13 baserunners (including the one via catcher’s interference) and zero runs – especially when you consider this was in the new Yankee Stadium. But, the Yankees batters had chances in the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th innings to make something happen before this game went into extra innings – and didn’t get the job done. And, the Yankees had chances in the 10th, 12th, and 14th innings that were wasted – before A-Rod ended it in the 15th. That’s seven innings for New York with no clutch hits – were a big blow would have been special.

    In any event, whether this is one of the best Yankees games of the last two decades or not, the bigger thing is that it was a win, in the end, against Boston – and, as mentioned in the opening…losing this one must really, really hurt…and, it’s nice to know that hurt is not in Yankeeland.

    And, pretty fun, for me, to be there – for most of it – considering that this game, which started on August 7th, ended on August 8th…which is also the 36th anniversary of the first Yankees game that I ever attended in-person also with my dad…

    Comments on August 7th vs. The Red Sox

    1. g1ph7
      August 7th, 2009 | 11:55 pm

      At this rate, 1am would be a GOOD time to be home. It’s looking like 2 or 3am is more likely.

    2. Tresh Fan
      August 8th, 2009 | 12:57 am

      Well Steve, it’s almost 1 am, so you should be home any minute now. Good thing Burnett went deep in the game—so the Yanks didn’t have to burn so many relievers. Seriously though, this game has got to be a huge blow to the Ped Sox. They got srtellar performances from their ace and their bullpen “A” crew and it all went for nought. The worm has definitely turned.

    3. JeremyM
      August 8th, 2009 | 1:21 am

      Steve, you better have stayed for all 15 buddy!

    4. nettles
      August 8th, 2009 | 1:54 am

      God, what a game to have been at! An instant classic! Good for you. Can’t wait to get the details!

    5. Evan3457
      August 8th, 2009 | 2:20 am

      Your post-game thread should be a doozie.

      Congratulations on attending such a great game.

    6. August 8th, 2009 | 2:33 am

      Tresh Fan wrote:

      the Ped Sox.

      LOL!

    7. August 8th, 2009 | 2:33 am

      JeremyM wrote:

      Steve, you better have stayed for all 15 buddy!

      Close…but no….

    8. August 8th, 2009 | 2:37 am

      @ nettles: and @ Evan3457:

      Thanks. You know, I was there for the game on July 1, 2004 – when Jeter dove into the stands, Sheffield had to play 3B, and the Yankees won in 13 innings. Stayed for all of that one. And, I would ranke that one above this one.

      But, it was still a great game to attend today.

    9. Corey
      August 8th, 2009 | 3:58 am

      i just got home from the game (yes, at 354). I stayed for the whole thing, and let me tell ya im glad that they won. One of the best pitched games I;ve been to (not the best, since i;ve seen docs no hitter in person). Only bad part about the game was that I was literally surrounded by red sox fans. But, that did add a little more excitement to the game for me as i got to see one sox fan puke on another one who was wearing a pedroia jersy and talking a ton of smack. Anyway, I’ll post some other observations here in the mornin im way too tired to think clearly at this point haha.

    10. Corey
      August 8th, 2009 | 3:58 am

      also, good to finally meet Steve.

    11. Corey
      August 8th, 2009 | 4:06 am

      It’s funny, we saw Brian Bruney warming up in the bullpen during the bottom of the 12th and were praying that Melky Cabrera would get the big two-out hit in that frame to score Jorge Posada – so that Bruney would not be able to get into the game.
      ——–
      ‘hahah same with me, I really figured bruney would lose it for us.

      another thing, and i mentioned it to Steve when I saw him, i’ve never seen the catcher go to the mound this many times before like i have this season. I’m not sure if its that Posada and the pitchers are not on the same page, or if Posada thinks the other teams are stealing his signs, or whatever else. Even Varitek was out on the mound seemingly every other pitch.

      one last thing before i go to sleep, the victory tonight, to me, shows that this team is by a large margin better then any team we’ve fielded since at least 2003. Any yankee team from ’04-’08 loses that game in 9 innings, getting shut out, and probably getting hit around by the sox powerful lineup (and our pre’09 atrocious pitching).

    12. Evan3457
      August 8th, 2009 | 5:08 am

      Hey, I know the Sox are struggling.

      Manny gone. Bay out. Drew hurting. Varitek and Ortiz slumping, maybe nearing the end of the line. Lowell hurting.But Martinez, Youkillis, Pedroia and Ellsbury are still there, and they’re pretty good.

      Anyway, the Yanks’ bullpen put together 7 1/3 scoreless innings under the highest pressure against ‘em. Kudos to Hughes, Mo, Aceves, Bruney and Coke.

    13. August 8th, 2009 | 9:30 am

      Corey wrote:

      i just got home from the game (yes, at 354). I stayed for the whole thing, and let me tell ya im glad that they won. …..Only bad part about the game was that I was literally surrounded by red sox fans.

      Attaboy Corey! Yeah, I hear you on the Sox fan thing. We had them around us too. Two guys, in particular, were loud. At one point, they we standing up, yelling, waving their arms, etc. Keep in mind this was in the third inning. And, I turned to the guy sitting next to me, who was a bit of a character too – as he was getting in the face of the Sox fans as much as he could – and I said to him, “Thirty years ago, those two would be covered with beer and pelted with half-eaten hot dogs and peanuts if they tried that crap.” He agreed.

      Corey – how was my crowd estimation? How many were there at the end? It’s funny, when I watched the highlights this AM, it looked like there were more than 20,000 there – but, being there, I would swear the place was only half-full when it became midnight.

    14. August 8th, 2009 | 9:31 am

      Corey wrote:

      also, good to finally meet Steve.

      The pleasure was all mine. Sorry we couldn’t chat more. Someday, we have to do a game together!

    15. August 8th, 2009 | 9:37 am

      Corey wrote:

      i’ve never seen the catcher go to the mound this many times before like i have this season. I’m not sure if its that Posada and the pitchers are not on the same page, or if Posada thinks the other teams are stealing his signs, or whatever else. Even Varitek was out on the mound seemingly every other pitch.

      It was bad. I thought about the Posada thing too. Made me think about what I read after Thursday’s game – that suggested Girardi was ticked about Posada and Joba not clicking on pitch selection. At some point, somebody (Pena?) has to fix this…other than Mo and Pettitte, it does seem like the new and younger pitchers have issued with Jorge.

      Also, the Sox pitchers – esp. Beckett and Papelbon – took forever last night on the mound. I would love to see an umpire start awarding balls to the batters for them taking too long to deliver a pitch while the batter was in the box.

    16. butchie22
      August 8th, 2009 | 10:51 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ nettles: and @ Evan3457:
      Thanks. You know, I was there for the game on July 1, 2004 – when Jeter dove into the stands, Sheffield had to play 3B, and the Yankees won in 13 innings. Stayed for all of that one. And, I would ranke that one above this one.
      But, it was still a great game to attend today.

      I agree with you. Sterling’s quote on this game…he’s the same guy that said that game 7 of the 2001 world series was ” fabulous”! As great as last nite/this morning’s game was the Nomar sulking in the dugout/Jeter jumping into the stands game was something else. BUT that was part of that 2004 collapse season. I wonder if this game will be part of a championship season…….

      Steve, you made a comment about how the Beantown Bums would have been taught a lesson so many years ago. I remember games in the 70s, where the Yankee fans were not classy BUT rather vulgar & rude. You know what I miss those days! The way the Red Sox fans treat Yankee fans @ Fenway has been deplorable. I remember when the fans wouldn’t take that shit at Yankee stadium way back in the 70s.

    17. Corey
      August 8th, 2009 | 11:51 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      The pleasure was all mine. Sorry we couldn’t chat more. Someday, we have to do a game together!

      im definitly down for that!

      —————
      how was my crowd estimation? How many were there at the end? It’s funny, when I watched the highlights this AM, it looked like there were more than 20,000 there – but, being there, I would swear the place was only half-full when it became midnight.
      ————–
      honestly, i was really proud of the yankee fans at the stadium last night..I truly expected more people to leave than did and I was under the impression that more than half the stadium stayed till the end.

      It was a loud and vivacious crowd…great time.

      One other thing I noticed, during the early innings a fan through a sox hit foul ball back onto the field..I’d say within about 3 innings security and a police officer showed up at his seat and kicked him out. So if you have plans on doing that, I wouldn’t recommend it. It came close to screwing up a play too, as noone called time when the other ball hit the field in fair territory, and then Burnett through the next pitch and it was hit (but to left field instead of right field where the dead ball was laying). I was just sitting there thinking to myself, “I can see Swisher being an idiot and picking up the wrong ball and tossing it in…then what happens?”

      1 other funny note, when Nick Green came up to plate, the stat that they put up on the big screen was that Green was in the top 10 in the AL in HBP. It’s pretty bad when getting HBP is the best thing you’ve done all year haha.

    18. Corey
      August 8th, 2009 | 11:54 am

      One last thing, is Damon the worst bunter ever?

    19. August 8th, 2009 | 12:05 pm

      Corey wrote:

      One last thing, is Damon the worst bunter ever?

      SW and JS were commenting on this, during that PA, on the radio. They said that he’s a self confessed terrible bunter…and that it’s something he’s just never been able to do…and doesn’t do it.

      When I heard that, I said to my dad: “Anyone can learn to bunt in ONE day. It’s not that hard. If you can catch a baseball with your hand, you can catch a baseball with a bat. That’s all it is, letting the ball come to you and catching it with your bat. Please. It’s a skill that can be learned in a day, during an extended batting practice session.”

      And, I stick by those words.

    20. August 8th, 2009 | 12:07 pm

      Corey wrote:

      I truly expected more people to leave than did and I was under the impression that more than half the stadium stayed till the end.

      24,000? I guessed 20,000. That’s pretty close. Thanks for the confirm.

      And, agreed on the throw the ball back thing. So, stupid. It’s an automatic ejection. Who wants that?

    21. August 8th, 2009 | 12:10 pm

      @ Corey: Speaking of the big screen, at one point, Swisher was up and they posted something like “Nick Swisher is one of only two active swicth-hitters with 9 or more games of homering from both sides of the plate.”

      That’s great, but, would it kill you to also tell us who the other guy is? Inquiring minds what to know!

    22. G.I. Joey
      August 8th, 2009 | 2:01 pm

      After attending the game on Thursday, I had a feeling this weekend would be special for the new Yankee Stadium and I was a little miffed that I would not be there for it. I was frantically checking the score while attending a concert at The Gorge in George, WA (in the middle of nowhere). The Yanks walked off during the set break and I had the personal pleasure of informing everyone I saw with a Sox hat that A-Rod crushed their hopes of clawing back to 2.5 games behind. A very mellow atmosphere there was interupted by me and my buddy chanting “Let’s Go Yankees” maniacly. Most people were on drugs and I was high off of a huge Yankees win.

    23. Raf
      August 9th, 2009 | 5:50 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I was there for the game on July 1, 2004 – when Jeter dove into the stands, Sheffield had to play 3B, and the Yankees won in 13 innings. Stayed for all of that one. And, I would ranke that one above this one.

      I would too.

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