Monday, July 30, 2012

Soggy Sox Beat Yankees

Nothing feels yuckier than soggy socks, soaked by rain.

We got a lot of that this weekend.

On Friday night, the Yankees got home runs from Raul Ibanez (his 13th), Russell Martin (his 11th), and Curtis Granderson (his 28th), and a good start from Phil Hughes.  Yankees 10, Red Sox 3.

WP: Hughes (10-8).  LP: Aaron Cook (2-4).

*

But Saturday was another story.  I was actually at this game, and was it ever an adventure.  It was a Fox Saturday Game of the Week, so it was scheduled for a 4:05 start.  It had been drizzling most of the day, but shortly before first pitch, the sky burst, and for an hour and a half the rain came down in buckets.  Had it been scheduled for the usual home Saturday time of 1:05, most likely they would have gotten most of it in.

I knew there was no way the game would be postponed.  A sellout? No way the Steinbrenner brothers would allow a postponement.  A Yankees-Red Sox game possibly extending into prime time? No way Fox would allow a postponement.

The game started 2 hours late, and it must've messed up CC Sabathia's rhythm.  He allowed 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  The Yankees eventually fell behind 6-1.  The visiting Chowdaheads were whooping it up like the vermin they are.

But the Yanks got CC off the hook, culminating in Mark Teixeira hitting a game-tying home run off Sox reliever Vicente Padilla, who had plunked Teix earlier this month at Fenway Park and questioned his courage.  Teix's trot around the bases was almost Strawberryian in its slowness, and you needed a wide-angle lens to take a picture of his smile.

However, right before that, Curtis Granderson hit 2 long drives down the right field line.  On the first one, I tried the "Fenway Twist," waving my arms like Carlton Fisk in the 1975 World Series.  It didn't work.  I guess it only works for the Sox.  Or to left field.  Granderson struck out, and then Teix hit his game-tying homer.

In the 9th inning, Granderson misplayed a fly ball by Pedro Ciriaco.  Grandy is having such a great year, so I can't hold it against him, but he picked a hell of a time to have a bad day -- really, a bad 10 minutes.  The gaffe allowed the game-winning run, and another scored in the inning.  The Yanks mounted no threat against former Yankee Alfredo Aceves in the bottom of the 9th.

Scum 8, Yanks 6.  WP: Andrew Miller (2-1).  SV: Aceves (22).  LP: Rafael Soriano (2-1), although he deserved a better fate.

*

Last night's ESPN Sunday Game of the Week was frustrating.  Felix Doubront got a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning, and pretty much handcuffed the Yankees until Martin homered in the 7th.  Martin then came up again in the 8th, and singled home the tying run.  (He's still hitting only .189, but it was his 12th homer, and he has 29 RBIs.) Hiroki Kuroda pitched about as well as Doubront, and did not deserve the loss.

He didn't get the loss, and Dubront didn't get the win.  David Robertson came out to pitch the top of the 10th, and he made the ominous mistake of walking the leadoff man, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Will Middlebrooks singled him to 2nd.

Then came a bizarre sequence in which Sox manager Bobby Valentine and pitcher Josh "Super Punk" Beckett, who wasn't even in the game, were ejected by the umpires.  Upon being tossed, Valentine took out his chewing gum, and threw it into the crowd.

It would have been less disgusting if Beckett had thrown a fried chicken bone.

He missed the Sox' win.  Ryan Sweeney grounded into a forceout, eliminating Middlebrooks but getting Saltalamacchia to 3rd and himself to 1st.  And then Ciriaco, the "hero" the night before, hit a looper to right that new (and popular) acquisition Ichiro Suzuki, even with the speed he still has, couldn't get to.  Saltalamacchia scored.  Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play, but the damage was done.  The Yankees couldn't score in the bottom of the 10th.

Scum 3, Yanks 2.  Scum take 2 out of 3 in The Bronx.

*

So here's how the American League Eastern Division stands on the morning of July 30: The Yankees lead the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays by 7 1/2 games each, 8 in the loss column.  The Toronto Blue Jays are 9 back, and the Sox are 9 1/2 back, 10 in the All-Important Loss Column.

Elimination numbers: Sox 51, Jays 52, Rays & O's 53.

The Orioles come to town for a 3-game series starting tonight -- weather permitting.

*


Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 18, on Friday night, August 17, at Yankee Stadium II.

Hours until the Red Bulls play Tottenham at Red Bull Arena: 33.  I won't call this preseason match a "friendly," because it's The Scum.  At least I won't have to watch Harry Redknapp twitching in shorts, like I did when they visited for the 2010 New York Football Challenge.

Days until AC Milan play Real Madrid at Yankee Stadium: 9, on Wednesday night, August 8.  I really would like to see this one, but will so many Italian-Americans in the Tri-State Area, and probably more of them being fans of Milan than of any other Italian club, this may be tough to get a ticket for.  But then, the Chelsea-PSG match only got around 38,000, so I may have a chance.


Days until the U.S. National Soccer Team plays again: 16, on Wednesday night, August 15, against arch-rival Mexico at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, a house of horrors for the Stars & Stripes, as we have never won there.  And as long as Jurgen Klinsmann is still the manager, I don't expect that to change, because he cannot pick a lineup! Sack him, Sunil Gulati!
Days until Arsenal play another competitive match (not counting preseason friendlies, which are already underway): 19, on Saturday, August 18, home to Sunderland, a.k.a. the Dirty Monkey Mackems.  A little under 3 weeks.  I had been under the impression that it would be the preceding Saturday.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 30, going down to Washington to face D.C. United on Wednesday night, August 29.  They travel to Foxboro to face the New England Revolution on Saturday, September 22, and to Chester to face the Union on Saturday, October 27.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 33, on Saturday September 1, at the Superdome in New Orleans against Tulane University. Not exactly a rivalry game, although Tulane was founded by a Princeton man. And thus, in a little over a month, will begin the Kyle Flood Era. Good luck... 

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 39, on Friday, September 7, home to South Brunswick.  Under 6 weeks. I'm glad it's a home game: It's always good to open the season at home, and South Brunswick is particularly tough to get to: Despite the distance, it's not close to public transportation. But that's the only thing I have against them: Though they are neighbors, they are not rivals. 
Days until the Devils play again: 74, opening the season on Friday night, October 12, away to the Washington Capitals.  Just 11 weeks.  The home opener is the next night, against the Boston Bruins.
Days until the Devils play another local rival: 79, on Wednesday night, October 17, the 3rd game of the season, the 2nd home game, at the Prudential Center, against the Rangers, the first meeting between the teams since Adam Henrique put The Scum in their place.  The first meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers will be on Thursday night, November 1.  I'd say the game will be at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly, but that's dependent on the arena's name not being changed... again.  The first meeting with the New York Islanders will be on Saturday night, November 17, at the Nassau Coliseum.  Barring a big change, there will be only 3 seasons left at the Coliseum -- and possibly only 18 more Devils-Islanders games, unless the Isles build a new arena, move to the Barclays Center, or somehow make the Playoffs in the next 3 seasons.
Days until the first Nets game in Brooklyn: 94, on Thursday, November 1, against the now actually crosstown Knicks.  A little over 3 months. 
Days until the 2012 President election: 99.  Just 14 weeks.  Register to vote... and on November 6, vote! 

Days until the next North London Derby: 108, on Saturday, November 17, at the Emirates Stadium.  The return fixture will be on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at White Hart Lane.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 115.  Under 4 months.  Come on you Boys in Green! Beat those Purple Bastards!
Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 396 (estimated around September 1, 2013).  This is taking his current injury into account.  A little over a year.
Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 552 (February 2, 2014).  Less than 19 months. 

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 676 (estimated). 

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,516 (estimated). 

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,536 (estimated -- estimating 28 home runs a year, and he might get it early in the 2017 season, at age 41).

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