There are bad ways to lose; we've seen some of them this season. But I'm not sure that any loss so far has hurt as much as this one did. This was a game the Yanks needed, and had, and just let slip away.
The breakdown came with the Yankees up 6-2, and Joe Girardi trying to squeeze one last inning--the seventh--out of Darrell Rasner. With no outs and a man on first, Rasner got a double play ball to Robinson Cano, who tried an awkward lateral-flip move that skittered away from Derek Jeter. The runner wound up taking third, which was left empty when Alex Rodriguez came out to back up the play. The Blue Jays would score three times in the inning, then take the lead the following inning touching up three pitchers--Brian Bruney, who pitched well given bases loaded and no outs in the seventh; Damaso Marte, who may or may not still be hurt; and Edwar Ramirez, who's had a brutal August.
The Yanks had their chances to strike back, particularly when the Yanks got two men on in the ninth inning with no outs for Alex Rodriguez. Alex hit into a DP, keeping up the bizarre record that Brother Joe noted in his Friday column: A-Rod only has 3 RBI all season after the seventh inning. The box score would short Rodriguez some credit here--the ball was hit extremely hard down the third base line, and it took a great reaction play by Jose Bautista to turn a 5-unassisted-3 double killing. Still, an out's an out, and it's been a week of boo-birds for the highest paid man in the baseball business (well, the baseball-playing business, at least).
Anyway, I'll be in the crowd tomorrow to cheer the team in the rubber game of the series. It's my next-to-last ticket to the Stadium, and Brother Joe (that's Sheehan, for those of you who didn't check out the linked article) will be my guest in box 342. Hope to see some of you there.
Hopefully, the "Catching Up" posts will continue tomorrow, along with the day's Game Story later on in the evening.
In other news, Jay Mariotti, of TV, radio, and, until recently, of the Chicago Sun-Times, has long been a mystery to me. I've never met anyone who would cop to being a fan of his, and every time I've read or heard his work, I've wondered how he could be so popular. Is it just that he doesn't write baseball well? Is he a crackerjack at other sports? Maybe people just like when a guy with a mullet condescends to them?
As a writer, his columns give off such powerful pretension, it's as if he can't believe he has to write about anything so trivial as sports. He tends to put himself at the center of the story, as when Ozzie Guillen hurled a sexual slur at him. Although Guillen's words were unacceptable, Mariotti's reaction was so over-the-top that it made you wonder if Guillen had outed him, rather than just insulting him (apparently, he hadn't).
Anyway, this comes up because of Roger Ebert's open letter to Mariotti, on the issue of his leaving the Sun-Times. It's great when a writer as good as Ebert takes the gloves off to take someone to the woodshed, and defend something he loves (in this case, the newspaper business).