Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jeter Ties Gehrig As Yanks Sweep Rays

Frickin' Grant Balfour. You just had to walk Derek Jeter. Aargh. I want to fight him right about now. I know he'd beat me into submission in all of about 3 seconds but it's the prinicpality of it Smokey. We were on the verge of an instant 'Yankees Classic.' Thanks to Grant Balfour, history isn't happening tonight. I really thought the stars were aligning for Jeter to break Lou Gehrig's record tonight. It was beginning to look like a Jeter walkoff was in the cards but alas it wasn't meant to be. Now Jeter will have to wait until another game to break Gehrig's all-time hit record. My buddy Tom sent me a text right after the walk that said, "looks like Derek will pass Gehrig's on 9/11." That would be kind of cool I guess.

What I thought was especially cool was seeing Jeter pick up hit #1 with a bunt single. I didn't see that coming. I don't think anybody did, especially the Rays. Not a bad way to break an 0-12 slump. Also not a bad way to relieve a little pressure. I'm sure Jeter was feeling it a little bit. It was a pretty cool sight to see the love he got from the crowd when he tied the record. Imagine what will happen when he breaks it. Man, I wish I could be there.

The game itself was a pretty good one. When I turned it on the Yanks were down 2-0 and the Rays had 2 on with 2 out in the 1st. I was preparing myself to write a post about Joba and how he's pitching his way right out of the Yankees rotation. But he settled down and his next 2 innings pretty much set the tone for the rest of the night. The Rays scored 3 runs on 3 hits in the 1st and didn't do anything else the rest of the way. They managed 2 walks. That's it. The pitching tonight definitely got lost in the hoopla surrounding Derek Jeter. A lot of credit needs to be thrown the bullpen's way for this victory. They definitely took care of business. I was a little nervous there in the 9th. I think it's safe to say that no Yankee fan wants to see Brian Bruney and Phil Coke closing games. Scary stuff.

Not much to get all excited about offensively, outside of Jeter's night anyway. I don't know what Joe Maddon was thinking in the 8th inning. Every move he made pretty much blew up in his face. The key point of the inning was when Nick "The Rally Killer" Swisher almost killed the rally by grounding into a 3-6-3 DP. Lucky for him, the Rays' first baseman threw the ball away. I threw a pillow at the TV when Richard fielded his grounder. Swish got away with one there. A-Rod picked up another 2 hits. I'm telling you, Alex is going to flirt with a .300 average. Alex was hitting .254 back on August 15th. 16 games later and he's got it up to a season-high .283. Alex is hitting .424 (28-66) over those 16 games. He's getting locked in. Now Teixeira just needs to get back in a consistent groove.

How can anyone dislike Derek Jeter? I can understand not liking the Yankees but if you're a baseball fan, how can you knock him? He exhibits class all the way. He gets it. I just got done watching his post game press conference and I can't help but like him more than I already do. I didn't think that was possible but I guess it is. I'm glad I've been there every step of the way. It's been an awesome ride and it's only going to get better. Next stop: Pete Rose. All aboard.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,