Saturday, September 17, 2011
A-Rod 629, Mariano 601
So I get up at 4:00 in the morning, catch a 5:55 AM bus that gets into the City at 6:45 AM, and get to the Blind Pig at 7:20 AM to watch Arsenal vs. Blackburn Rovers, a 12:45 PM start in England, but a 7:45 AM start here.
Don't ask... Arsenal blew a 2-1 lead against the team picked by many to finish last in the Premier League, and lost 4-3. Poor play and poor officiating...
All his successor as the great Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, can do is this:
This, on top of last night's losses by the Yankees and East Brunswick High School's football team.
The good news is, Rutgers has the week off, so they can't add to my misery by losing. The bad news is, Rutgers has the week off, so they can't stop my misery by winning.
So it was up to the Yankees to do something good today.
Bartolo Colon did not have it: Those pesky Blue Jays tagged him for 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and he only went 4.
Who did Joe Girardi bring in to replace Colon? Why, Scott Proctor of course.
Amazingly, Proctor did not take a bad situation and make it worse. He inherited a 6-1 Toronto lead, and held it.
Then came the top of the 6th. Alex Rodriguez, who's barely played in the 2nd half due to hip and thumb injuries, hit his 16th home run of the season, the 629th of his career. The Yankees scored 4 runs in the top of the 6th to close to within 6-5. Aaron Laffey pitched the bottom of the 6th. No runs.
Top of the 7th. Curtis Granderson expanded his MVP credentials with his 40th home run of the season.
And that's the way it stayed, through Hector Noesi in the 7th, Rafael Soriano in the 8th, and Mariano Rivera in the 9th.
It was the 42nd save of the season for Number 42, who will soon be 42 years old, and yet somehow defies Father Time.
WP: Laffey (3-2). LP: Carlos Villaneuva (6-4).
The save is the 601st of Mariano's career, tying the major league record set by Trevor Hoffman, mostly with the San Diego Padres.
Tomorrow, at 1:00 (okay, 1:07), the Yankees close out this 3-game road series with the Blue Jays in Toronto. Freddy Garcia starts against Brendan Morrow.
Hopefully, the Yankees will win this one big, so that Mariano can get the record-breaker at home. Unfortunately, the next home game is Monday afternoon, against the Minnesota Twins, and the scheduled starter is A.J. Burnett. Uh-oh, who will show up: Good A.J., or Bad A.J.? Mariano can't save the game if there's no lead. And the opposing pitcher is Scott Diamond, who's a pitcher with whom the Yankees may be unfamiliar. Another uh-oh.
That game is the makeup of a rainout. The Yankees then start a 3-game series at home to the Tampa Bay Rays. It is very possible that the Yankees could eliminate the Rays from Playoff contention, thus clinching at least the Wild Card for themselves -- but also for the Boston Red Sox, who come to town on Friday.
Jeter hits 3077 DONE
Rivera saves 601 1
A-Rod homers 629 134
A-Rod hits 2769 231
Magic Number 10 (to eliminate Scum for Division, 6 to eliminate Rays for Playoffs, Jays & O's done)