They did: They won the finale of their series with the Kansas City Royals, 8-3. Andy Pettitte (2-1) pitched 7 strong innings: 2 runs, 7 hits, only 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. David Phelps pitched a scoreless 8th and allowed a run in the 9th, giving the bullpen, effectively, 2 days off counting today's travel day to the Pacific Coast.
The Yankees pounded major league debutant Will Smith, showing that they don't always do poorly against pitchers they've never seen before, and making him look more like Alfonso Ribeiro doing his Carlton dance. (Carlton Banks -- not Steve Carlton.) Welcome to the major leagues, kid: Your career earned run average is 13.50. (Pettitte's is 3.87. ERA+ -- that is, ERA in comparison to the league average? Smith 33, Pettitte 117.)
Curtis Granderson hit his 14th home run of the season, and Alex Rodriguez his 2nd, Number 636 for his career. Both men got 2 hits -- A-Rod now up to 2,820 for his career. Derek Jeter went 3-for-5, raising his career hit total to 3,152, and is now batting .348. Too bad he can't give .030 to Russell Martin (.173) and .020 to Mark Teixeira (.226), both of whom went hitless last night and remain in awful slumps.
But the Yankees got the job done, and took 2 out of 3 from the Royals.
The entire American League Eastern Division is now at .500 or better. The Baltimore Orioles lead the Division, with the Tampa Bay Rays 1 game back, the Toronto Blue Jays 4, the Yankees 4 1/2 (4 in the loss column), and the Boston Red Sox 5 1/2 (5).
The Yankees have the day off to travel. Not the traditional dreaded Coast trip: While it is 3 in Oakland and 3 in Anaheim, Seattle is not on this itinerary. After leaving California, they go to Detroit for 3 before coming home.
That's right, I said I didn't notice. Why? Because the Devils beat The Scum last night!
They jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the Rangers. At the Garden. Shut up their fans!
It was too much, too soon. Or, as they say in English soccer, "Three-nil, and you fucked it up!"
Fortunately, Ryan Carter, whom we got from the Anaheim Ducks, scored the winner with 4:24 remaining.
There may be a lot of baby boys born on the west side of the Hudson River in the next few weeks with the name "Ryan Carter (last name)."
And I don't want to hear one more word about how great a goalie Henrik Lundqvist is. This is by far the farthest he's ever gone in the Playoffs, and he can't take the pressure. Martin Brodeur has been this far 6 times. Even at age 40, as the chant goes, "Marty's better!"
Game 6 is tomorrow night at the Prudential.
Granted, in 1994, the Devils had a 3-2 lead and Game 6 at home (the Meadowlands), and blew it and lost an epic Game 7. But that was when the Rangers had ol' Lex Luthor himself, Mark Messier. In the immortal words of Billy Crystal (imitating Edward G. Robinson as Dathon in The Ten Commandments), "Where's your messiah NOW?"
Mark Messier. And remember: He's not only the Hair Club team captain, he's also a client!
As they say in the video game "Street Figher"... FINISH THEM!