Thursday, October 29, 2009

Whew! A.J., Teix, Hideki and Mo Tie It Up!

Whew! Excellent pitching performance by A.J. Burnett. Long home run by Mark Teixeira. Short-porch homer by Hideki Matsui. Both homers off Pedro the Punk! And Mariano Rivera with a 39-pitch, 2-out save -- not to worry, there's no game tomorrow.

Yankees 3, Phillies 1. Series tied, Game 3 in Philly on Saturday night.

As Ashley would say, "Yankees go boom!"

As Rachel would say, "That's a home run!"

Already, the nieces know more about baseball at age 2 than I did at age 6. Then again, I didn't have a Yankee Fan in the generation immediately before me to teach me. They do. I taught baseball to a girl -- 2, in fact -- and I liked it.

But the umpires, again... When I saw the umpiring lineup, I saw no names I recognized as being bad. No Tim Tschida like in the Division Series. No Laz Diaz like in the LCS. Dana DeMuth and Joe West, both crew chiefs in the regular season, are umpires I've seen before and consider to be good. This Series' crew chief Gerry Davis, Brian Gorman and Mike Everitt were names I did not previously know. Jeff Nelson is, but that's only because there was a Yankee reliever of the same name in the 1996-2001 dynasty.

Still, in the top of the 8th, the umps blew it. There was a line shot at 1st that the replay showed hit the ground as Ryan Howard stopped it. Not a catch. Howard had the presence of mind to throw to 2nd, where Jorge Posada, who had been the runner on 1st, was standing. Chase Utley tagged him. But since the ball was trapped, Posada was entitled to the base. So the Phils got credit for 2 outs when they deserved none. If the Yankees hadn't been up already, 2-1, I would have freaked out.

Then, after the umps giveth to the Phils in the top of the 8th, in the bottom of the 8th the umps taketh away. Men on 1st & 2nd, 1 out, Mariano in trouble, and a grounder to Cano, who whirls and starts what looks like it could be a brilliant 4-6-3 double play. Over to Jeter, that's one, beyond any question. Over to Teix at 1st... double play! Inning and threat over! Except... the replay suggested the runner might have been safe. Still, the Yankees got credit for 2 outs when they deserved no more than one.

So, as amazing as it may seem, the umps screwed up at least once, possibly twice, but it's the baseball equivalent of "offsetting penalties."


The Devils beat the Bruins up in Boston, 2-1. Martin Brodeur got a rare night off, Jan Danis did just fine in his place, and Dainius Zubrus scored with 1:26 left in regulation. The Mulberry Street Marauders are still undefeated on the road, but just 1-4 at home. The former is fantastic, the latter is absolutely unacceptable.

Yeah, I know, an NHL game in October seems insignificant when there's a World Series going on, and one of the baseball teams is a neighbor of one of the hockey teams, and said baseball team's arch-rivals are the team in the other hockey team's city.

Ah, but there's the rub: New York Tri-State Area beats New England. Always good.

Except when it's the Rangers who win. Then, I'd root for the Bruins. Have I ever mentioned that the Rangers suck?

Yeah, I know, Islander fans started it first. Well, they ain't wrong!

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