Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sox It To 'Em

Yeah, I'm a little late with the recap. Better late than never.
A 2 game winning streak. I was beginning to forget what that felt like. It's sad when we get excited about winning 2 in a row. But at the same time, it's nice. I went to Cooperstown yesterday for the annual Hall Of Fame game. I've decided it's pretty much a giant waste of time. I woke up at 5:30am, drove 2 hours from Buffalo to Syracuse to pick up 2 friends, then drove another 1.5 hours to Cooperstown. The game is pretty much pointless. The pitchers are the guys that are on their throw day and they're just laying it up there and everybody swings at the first pitch just so they can get out of there. You get about 2 innings from the major league talent and then they turn it over to the minor leaguers. And by inning 5, the major league talent is already on their way to their next destination. Pretty boring. It's the 2nd year I've gone. I really only go to try and get autographs. I walked away with one. Vernon Wells on an official World Baseball Classic ball. I'm trying to work on getting the entire Team USA roster on one ball. Vernon makes 3. Damon and Buck Martinez are the other 2. With any luck, I'll get Jeter, A-Rod and Clemens before the year is out. My face is also extremely sunburned. It hurts a smidgen but I'll make it through the day. I'm a trooper. So all in all it was a waste of time. And knowing that, I'll probably be there next year.
So after I dropped off my 2 buds back in Syracuse, it was time for the Yankees/Sox game. I literally left Syracuse at first pitch. Unfortunately for me, my XM's battery was dead and I had my wife's ride, so I didn't have the charger. I wasn't happy at the prospect of having to listen to the game on terrestrial radio and having to look for the game on different AM channels as I drove out of the previous channel's range. I also knew that they don't carry the games here in Buffalo, so I'd likely miss some of the game at some point.
I've said before that I'm not really big fans of Sterling and Waldman. But nothing beats listening to baseball on the radio, especially when you're driving. The only drawback is that excessive celebrating may lead to receiving weird looks form passing motorists, as was the case when A-Rod went yard in the first, and again when they picked up 2 runs in the 2nd. It starts with a little fist pump, followed by a little swerve of the car, then a little toot on the horn, and the closer is pretending the steering wheel is a bongo and you're playing a kick-*** solo. Ah, good times.
And sure enough, at about the bottom of the 4th, when I was between Rochester and Buffalo, the signal cut out, and I lost the game for about 45 minutes. It's so annoying that there are no stations in Buffalo that carry Yankees games. Hockey's over. Deal with it. Anyway, I started manually searing through the AM dial to see if I could pick up some faint broadcast on a far off channel. If you've ever manually searched your way through AM stations, you know this process can be time consuming. And by the time you get to a channel, you don't know if it's a commercial break and you're on the right channel or what. I was able to pick up the Cincinnati Reds game. That annoyed me like you wouldn't believe. Anyway, I decided to take one last trip through the dial and finally found the game when i was about 12 minutes from home. 6-1 Yanks bottom 6. Hold on guys, you can win this!
So I get home, get my belongings out of the hooptie hoop, go inside and it's 6-2. Ugh. But as well all know, they held on. Yanks win 6-2! Great win.
The offense is looking up. A-Rod hit another bomb. Three games in a row. I think it's safe to say he's on the track back. Blind Bobby has been on base 8 of his last 12 PAs. Damon had 3 hits and a walk. Cano had 2 hits. Jeter extended his hit streak. The offense looks like it's moving in the right direction. But I won't say all the problems are fixed after 2 games. We've got a long way to go.
Wang sounded like he battled for that win yesterday. What was most impressive about Wang's performance was his pitch selection. He mixed in a lot more changeups and sliders than usual. The result, more Ks and more walks. But that's what you got to do. Evolve as a pitcher. The more comfortable he gets with those pitches, the deadlier he becomes. And finally, the bullpen didn't blow it. The Yankees pitching staff is starting to look like one of the league's best. And they have for a few weeks now.
So we picked up a game in the standings and we're building a little momentum. I'm cautiously optimistic as we've seen this before this season. I only hope they've turned a corner.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.