Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Little Things

Its been a couple of weeks now, but I am still glowing from the Yankees World Series victory. As you listen to the commentators and analysts, you would think the Yankees dominated this series from start to finish.

But honestly, think about how close this series really was. We won every game not started by Cliff Lee. But there were so many key moments when the momentum of the series hung in the balance and things broke our way.

In game 3, the Yanks are down 3-0 and things are looking bleak. Teixeira works a walk, but ball 4 would probably be called a strike about 80% of the time. If A-Rod comes up with no one on, does he still hit the home run? Does the home run change the momentum as much as it does?

The home run hit the camera. If the original ruling of double is upheld, do the runs score?

Pettitte gets a hit to tie the game. Pettitte.

In game 4, the Yankees looked as if they were going to let this one get away when Joba comes in and gives up the game-tying home run to Feliz. Then, in the top of the 9th, Damon works his magic with the nine-pitch single that seemed to rattle Lidge.

Then, Damon steals second and goes to third because no one was covering. (Inexcusable). Ever seen a play like that? Now, Lidge is scared to throw his dynamite slider, for fear of a wild pitch. He hits Teixeira then grooves one to A-Rod.

In every baseball game there are so many key moments. A ball/strike call. A hard line drive that is just foul.

I love the Yankees and the win was fun. But it could have so easily gone the other way. We won the series with solid starting pitching, timely hitting, and several breaks at turning-point moments.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How One At-Bat Can Change a Game

I have to admit that I lost faith tonight. The Yanks hadn't been hitting and when the Phillies tied it up in the 8th with that home run (by Feliz???? - you HAVE to be kidding me!) I kind of felt like we might not get it done tonight. If we didn't score in the 9th, who thinks someone wouldn't have hit one out for the Phils?

Matsui-san starts it off with a weak popup in the infield. Then, Jeter works a fairly good at-bat to a full count. Then, he swings at BALL FOUR! I was discouraged. Then Johnny Damon stepped up and had one of the great at-bats anyone will ever see.

Lidge was looking pretty good, but Johnny worked him like a pro. He took a ball inside that almost hit him. Then, he fouled off two good pitches to go to 1-2. Looked bleak. But then he got busy. He fouled off a pitch to stay alive (barely tipped), then took a pitch up (close) and one away to run the count full. He then fouled off two more pitches to stay alive for the ninth pitch he had seen.

He slapped that pitch into left field for a single. He stole second and third (on the same play) then scored on A-Rod's double. Yankees win.

A-Rod and Posada are the heroes, but they would not have had the chance to shine if Damon had not worked one of the great at-bats you will see. A professional hitter who changed the outcome of a game.