Through the first six innings of this game, I kept thinking “Damn, seems like the same ol’ Yankees here. Joba’s pitching a gem, and, yeah, they’re up (2-0 for the most part and then later 2-1); but, they’re leaving way too many runner on base. I’m not feeling good about this one. It just feels like they’re going to blow it.”
And, then, in the seventh inning, when Veras had the melt-down with two outs and a runner on first, allowing the A’s to tie the score, I thought “Knew it. All those runners left on have come back to roost. Chamberlain’s effort is wasted. Ugh.”
Later, when Mariano confused Jack Hannahan for Kevin Millar, and Rajai Davis for Dave Roberts, and Ryan Sweeney for Bill Mueller, in the ninth, and allowed the A’s to take a 3-2 lead, I thought “This is terrible. All things considered – the standings, the date, the number of games left, the opponent, this being a home game, the runners left on base, the game by Joba, etc. – the Yankees cannot lose this game. It would be a huge nail in their coffin. Further, a championship caliber team does not lose this game.”
Soon after, when Justin Christian fell down trying to steal in the bottom of the ninth, I thought “You know, thirty or forty years from now, if someone wanted to know what the 2008 Yankees were like, they should watch a replay of this game. This one says it all. Everything you need to know was on display in this game.”
So, you can imagine my shock when Cano doubled with two outs and then Betemit singled on an 0-2 count to tie the game at three. Yes, a game tying hit from Wilson Betemit on an 0-2, two out, pitch! My thought then? “Holy ef’in’ Lazarus Batman!”
Ah, extra innings. But, it just seemed like something bad was about to break. Ramirez allowed two base runners in the top of the 10th. The Yankees stranded two runners in the bottom of the 10th. And, New York had a runner on second with one out in the 11th and could not plate him. Robertson allowed two base runners in the top of the 12th. It just seemed like Oakland was knocking on the door again and the Yankees were not taking advantage of chances to win.
Finally, in the bottom of the 12th inning, the Yankees got to the A’s Lenny DiNardo. Yeah, the venerable Lenny DiNardo. Jose Molina wins it for the Yankees when he got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Or, did Lenny DiNardo lose it for the A’s when he loaded the bases and then hit Jose Molina with a pitch? It’s really hard to say which was the case.
Gee, I really want to feel better about this win for the Yankees. But, I can’t do it. Sure, it would have been devastating to lose this game. Yet, because the Yankees play today was not very impressive – outside of the game from Chamberlain – I cannot come away from this one with my Yankees fan chest sticking out, proud, for the world to see…
It just feels like the Yankees, with some help from the A’s, got lucky and dodged a bullet, with this win today. Sure, it’s better to be lucky than good – no question. But, at this stage of the season, I want to see the Yankees playing good too. Because, you can’t get lucky all that often over the next 65 games…right?