Saturday, August 9, 2008
Crazy 8th in Anaheim
Needing an emergency start against the Angels, the best team in baseball right now, on the road, the Yankees looked to a 31-year-old rookie, Dan Giese (rhymes with ice), on his home field: He grew up right outside Anaheim and was an Angels fan.
He pitches not just like he grew up in those stands, but like he was born to stand on that mound. He throws 5 innings of 2-hit shutout ball for the Yankees. He allows a monstrous home run in the 6th, but leaves with a 2-1 lead thanks to back-to-back homers from Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi. The Yanks take a 3-1 lead in the 7th, and it looks like Giese has the biggest win of his brief career. Rarely has a starting pitcher provided such "relief."
If this was England's football Premier League, the Angel fans would be singing, "Two-nil, and you f---ed it up! Two-nil, and you f---ed it up! Two-nil, and... " and so on.
The Angels scored a run in the 7th to make it 3-2, and in the 8th...
Please, Lord, make it stop, make it stop...
They scored 7 runs before the Yankees even got an out. Final score, Angels 10, Yanks 4. You do not want to waste a good starting pitching performance like that.
This, after a 10-5 loss last night. Oy gevalt.
Now eight games behind Tampa for the Division lead -- with seven weeks to go. That means we could average gaining a game every week and it wouldn't be enough. This might be it, the first full season since 1993 that the Yankees don't see October except on TV.
Just 23 days to Rutgers football. Five weeks to EBHS football. Two months to hockey. Aside from Rutgers' bowl-game wins in the 2 preceding seasons and a rare Thanksgiving victory for EB, I haven't had much to root for since the Devils' Playoff sweep of the Rangers in '06 -- which the Rangers (who suck) avenged this spring (which really sucks). And I don't think anything the Olympics could provide will help. I need something!
(Is this why I'm getting interested in the Premiership? Am I that desperate?)
But then I read Mike Lupica in the Daily News, bashing the Yankees as usual, asking why Brian Cashman didn't trade some combination of Melky Cabrera, Philip Hughes, Ian Kennedy (last night's hopeless starter) and maybe someone else for The Great Johan Santana.
Excuse me, Lip, but the Mets did not pay all that dough for Santana so that he could be 9-7 on August 9 and they could be in 2nd place, lower than they were last year at this point -- and you know what happened last year!
At lest he gives credit to Joe Girardi for keeping the Yankees from going completely off the rails. I mean, let's face it, after all the injuries and all the A-Rodrama, should the Yankees be 3 games out of the Wild Card? No, they should be way back, around .500 or so. Instead, they are still very much in the Playoff race -- though I wish the Tampa Bay Deviled Eggs would go back to being the fraud I said they were last month. Don't they know they don't belong in 1st place?
Maybe it's time for Hank Steinbrenner to give the team a verbal jumpstart. It's worked a couple of times already this season.
Lupica also mentioned Don Imus in his Sunday "Shooting From the Lip" column, as he usually does. Look, plenty of pieces of scum throughout history have given to charity in between instances of proving that they're scum, so don't tell me that the guy runs a ranch for kids with cancer, all right? It doesn't excuse 40 years of bigoted bullying on the radio.
You want to nominate him for sainthood? Fine. Just remember that he's got to get to heaven first, and a guy who's pulled the crap he's pulled -- and, for the most part, has gotten away with -- isn't going to be selected in the first round of heaven's draft.
Then again, the way Brett Favre and the Packers were both acting these past 2 weeks, maybe there's a spot open.
Of course, if patience really is a virtue, maybe we can start weaving Aaron Rodgers' wings.