La Chiquita and I got out to the House that Ruth Built for Sunday's game. The weather was amazing, clear and sunny. Perfect baseball weather. A shame the Yanks did not give us a performance to match the weather.
The primary blame for the loss goes to Chien Ming Wang. Wang, who'd been incredible at the stadium since late April (9-0, 1.84 ERA since April 22), had the Yanks in a 3-0 hole before we even got through Stadium security. Chone Figgins homered leading off the game, and five singles followed. A couple more runs came in as Wang couldn't even provide the Yanks innings, washing out in the sixth, having allowed 5 runs.
It was just too much run support to give Angels rookie Jered Weaver. Weaver came into Yankee Stadium 7-0, and pretty much dominated the Yanks through six, allowing only a solo homer--Craig Wilson's first in pinstripes--in his time on the mound. The irony of a Weaver once again undoing the Yankees was not lost on us.
In the bottom of the ninth with two out, the Yanks had a spurt of too-little-too-late offense, when A-Rod and Giambi went back-to-back to make the game 5-3. Posada was unable to keep the string going, cue Liza Minelli.
Side note: Toward the end of the game--after the seventh inning, fair weather fans started streaming for the exits--la Chiquita and I got tired of our seats in the unrelenting sun of the left field boxes, and so we moved a little bit down the line to get into the shade. We wound up sitting near two fans who were there with their son, a toddler stripped down to his disposable diaper. Both fans were wearing jerseys, and it took me a minute ID the woman's jersey as a Braves away uni, and the man's top as an Expos home jersey, with Curtis Pride's name and number on the back.
I couldn't quite piece together what an Expos fan and Braves fan were doing together, until I saw the couple begin signing to each other. I finally got to see the woman's back, and needless to say, she was also wearing a Curtis Pride jersey. I'd forgotten that Pride ever played for Atlanta.
For those of you who don't remember, Curtis Pride, now the Angels' left fielder, is deaf, with 85% hearing loss. As the seats emptied out in the ninth inning, the couple exchanged a flurry of sign language with each other, and brought their son down to the front row of field level, as close as they could get to Curtis Pride. So that their kid could see him.
Baseball has something for everybody.
Week in Review
Record on the Week: 2-4, 31 RA, 28 RS
Overall: 68-46, 1 game ahead of the Red Sox
Player of the Week: The Post was wondering why Alex Rodriguez thought he had a good week, despite his defensive problems, perceived lack of clutchiness, and problems getting booed at Yankee Stadium. Well, he hit .455/.538/.955 on the week, with three homers and two doubles on the week. His five runs scored and five RBIs each led the team. Robbie Cano got the runner up thing going with a .409/.409/.864 week, with two homers, and Jason Giambi had a 1.000 OPS on the strength of his two homers. On the pitching side of the ledger, Randy Johnson got the Yanks only true quality start of the week, and Ron Villone pitched 6.7 scoreless innings of relief.
Dregs of the Week: Not a lot of good candidates on offense. Derek Jeter's batting average was ugly, but he gets by by getting on base at a near 36% clip (.217/.357/.217). Chien Ming Wang was pretty bad in his two starts (7.84 ERA in 10.3 IP) and Sid Ponson messed up his one long relief appearance, ensuring that his next one will be hard to come by. But really, the Dregs performance this week came from Jorge Posada. Despite some nice work on defense--Jorge's throwing out runners better than ever this year--the man's offense was rank this week, as he didn't get on base a single time, and struck out about 1/3 of the times he came to the plate.
Story of the Week: We'll take a pass, this week.