Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mariano Blows Save to a Small Club in Flushing

Yesterday, during the Yankees' game with The Other Team, I was on Twitter using the hashtag #YankeesSoccerSongs.  This is what watching English soccer, and Arsenal in particular, has done to me.

To the tune of "Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys, a variation on "One-nil to The Arsenal": One-nil to the Pinstripe Boys! One-nil to the Pinstripe Boys!

To the tune of "Volare": Brett Gardner, whoa. Brett Gardner, whoa. He comes from Holly Hill. He hits and fields with skill. (Yes, he's from Holly Hill, South Carolina, same birthplace as Willie Randolph. Although Randolph moved with his family to Brooklyn as a boy, while the Gardners stayed put.)

Also to "Volare": Kuroda, whoa. Kuroda, whoa. He comes from O-sa-ka. Bet-ter than San-tan-a.

To "The Caisson Song": Overbay, over fence, he will hit the ball again, as the Yankees go rolling along!

To "Mrs. Robinson": And here's to you, David Robertson. Jesus loves you more than you will know! Whoa whoa whoa!

To "Que Sera, Sera": Robbie Cano, Cano! Estrella Dominicano! He hits it and watch it go! Robbie Cano, Cano!

When Mark Teixeira comes off the Disabled List, I can use, to "Volare": Teixeira, woah. Teixeira, woah. He comes from Maryland. He'll hit it out again.

When Curtis Granderson comes (back) off the DL, I can use, to "The Candy Man": Who can take a baseball, hit it out of sight, drive in lots of runs so that the Yankees win tonight? The Grandy Man! The Grandy Man can! The Grandy Man can, 'cause he hits the ball with love and makes the world seem good!

When Mariano Rivera came out to pitch the bottom of the 9th, to protect a 1-0 lead, to "Guantanamera": One Mariano! There's only one Mariano! One Mar-i-aaaanoooo! There's only one Mariano! (This can also be used as "One Derek Jeter" when he returns from the DL.)


It wouldn't have mattered if the Yankees had gotten more than 1 run last night. Or the night before, for that matter. Just as they wasted a fine performance by Phil Hughes on Monday, they wasted an even better one by Hiroki Kuroda last night: 7 innings, 4 hits, no walks, no runs, 7 strikeouts.

But, just as the Mets wasted one by Jonathan Niese on Monday, they wasted one by their latest "answer," Matt Harvey, who stood to be the losing pitcher, because, in the top of the 6th, Gardner led off with a single, he advanced to 2nd on an error by right fielder Marlon Byrd (who used to be a very good player but really needs to hang up his cleats), got advanced to 3rd on a Cano groundout, and then came home on Overbay's single.

To make matters worse for the Mets, in the bottom of the 6th, Ruben Tejada was on 2nd with 1 out, but David Wright -- whom Met fans are calling "Mr. Clutch," having the gall to do that on the 75th Birthday of Jerry West, who actually won a ring in his sport -- struck out, and then, with Lucas Duda up, Kuroda picked Tejada off 2nd. At first, the umpire called him safe, but then switched to "out." The instant replay showed he was out by a mile. And the change of call is probably why Met manager Terry Collins came out to argue, and he got ejected.

Have you ever seen a team's manager get thrown out of the game by an umpire, and then come from behind to win? I can't remember ever seeing it before.

Robertson atoned for his blowing the game on Monday by pitching a scoreless 8th. But in the 9th, Mariano, who'd been 18-for-18 in save opportunities so far this season, didn't get a batter out: A ground-rule double by Daniel Murphy, a single by Wright, a throwing error by Gardner got Wright to 2nd, and then Duda singled Wright home.

Mets 2, Yankees 1. WP: Scott Rice (3-3 -- no, I'd never heard of him. He made his major league debut on Opening Day, even though he was already 31 years old.) No save. LP: Rivera (0-1).

What really botheres me, beyond losing to the Mutts, is that Mariano always seems to have this one stretch, usually early in the season, where he blows back-to-back save opportunities, or 2 out of 3. If what happened last night is the first half of that happening, it couldn't have come at a more troubling time: A stretch of 7 straight games against the Mets and the Red Sox. The Other Team and The Scum. (The latter being another term I adopted from watching English soccer.)

Attendance: 31,877. Okay, I know it was a rainy day, and the start of the game was delayed by rain. Still, the Mets were playing against the Yankees, the team their fans hate the most. Their new precioussssssss, Matt Harvey, was starting. The Yankees had all those injuries, thus (theoretically) making it easier for the Mets to win. And they had 10,000 seats not paid for? I won't say "empty seats," because not all 31,877 showed up. This, after they got only 32,911 the night before.

Then again, the Tampa Bay Rays aren't exactly drawing big for their home games against the Yankees, either. But 32,911? Not that long ago, the Red Sox could only get that many for a game against the Yankees -- because that's all the fans that would fit in Fenway Park. They have since found a way to jack the official seating capacity to 37,499.

When an English soccer team is facing a team it doesn't like, they sing, to "Guantanamera" -- assuming the place name fits the rhythm of the song, "Small club in (place name), you're just a small club in (place name)!"

The New York Mets: You're just a small club in Flushing!

Oh well, at least they haven't "done a Tottenham" and rush-released a DVD of these games.

Right, the Wilpons probably can't afford that right now.

Besides, Met fans are so dumb, they can't spell DVD.

The series continues tonight and tomorrow, at a real ballpark, in front of real home fans. David Phelps starts for the Yankees. The Met starter will be Jeremy Hefner, who is 0-5 -- in fact, he's made 8 starts this season, and the Mets have lost all 8 of them.

Which means that, most likely, at the end of the night, we Yankee Fans can say, as they say on the London Underground, "Normal service has resumed."

Not to mention, "Mind the gap." Or, in its New York version, "Please watch the gap."

27 > 2.






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