Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yanks Win A Wet And Wild One With Another Walkoff

Oh my God! What a way for me to pop my cherry at the New Yankee Stadium. Last night's game against the Angels was absolutely incredible. I could not have asked for anything more. As the game went to extra innings I said to my wife, "This will either be the best game I've ever been to or the worst." I think you all know how it turned out.

Man, where to start? I don't even know. I guess I'll start with the trip. If you want to jump ahead to my thoughts on the game, keep scrolling. I thought the new Stadium was awe-inspiring. It definitely reminded me a lot of the old ballpark. It looked and felt the same except much more up-to-date. We got there right after the gates opened and we just spent some time strolling around the place, checking things out. I like the fact that they open the park 3 hours before game time. There weren't crowds to fight like there were at the old place. We went and visited Monument Park and we pretty much had the run of the place. There were others down there but it wasn't close to crowded. Every time I went to MP at the old place, the lines were huge and it was really hard to take it all in because of how crowded it was. It was nice to be there without that many people. As expected, it gave me the chills. I love remembering the old greats.

I really wanted to check out the museum and while we had more than enough time to check it out, I couldn't find it. It's my own fault. I didn't look that hard and I didn't ask anyone where it was. Oh well, I'll have to save that for my next visit, which hopefully we'll be in a few weeks if you know what I mean. I'm not sure why I didn't ask anyone. The Stadium staff was extremely nice and courteous. We were a little surprised by that. I didn't run in to too many nice staff members at the old place. Everyone we encountered was extremely nice. Kudos to the Yanks for making the staff more friendly. It definitely made the visit more enjoyable.

We spent a lot of time before the game sitting in our seats. We had seats in the 2nd row of section 323. The view was awesome. The only drawback was that with people in front of me I occasionally had to invade my wife's space to see the full pitch. The seats were on the 3B side and my seat was pretty much aligned with home plate. The guy that sat in front of me had a pretty big melon and his dome blocked the grass from the mound to the batter's box. I could see the pitcher. I could see the hitter. I couldn't see the ball though, unless as I said, I leaned over on my wife. She didn't mind and it wasn't too bad. The section, much like all upper level sections, had a piece of glass at the front that acted like a mini-wall to prevent people from falling over the edge. My only beef with that was the metal "bar" that fused them all together. Would it be so much to ask to make that clear? It's not that big of a deal, but it would be nicer. Anyway, the seats were nice. Next time though I'm going for the front row.

The atmosphere at the game was awesome. The crowd was very into the game and it got loud. The weather was not bad either considering the forecast was calling for showers all night. There was a light drizzle when we first got there. It was more of a mist and wasn't too bad. It stopped before first pitch and it didn't start again until the 8th inning. So much for that forecast, eh? Stupid meteorologists. My wife would disagree but I thought even when it started raining in the 8th it wasn't that bad. They weren't really rain drops but more of a heavy mist. Not sure how it looked on TV but I didn't think it was bad at all. I did though wear a poncho. I'm so glad the weather wasn't as bad as predicted. The last thing we wanted was for the game to get delayed or postponed. Based on the forecast I thought there was no way the game was getting played. I really thought the game was going to get pushed to Monday. Thankfully, as I said, meteorologists are stupid.

Now onto the game itself. On the ride down there, I was doing my best to educate the wife on the Yankees. She's a fan, but not a die-hard. She watches most games and knows who's who, but doesn't really follow it super-closely. She asked me what to expect from A.J. Burnett. I told her he can be very dominant but he's very wild. I said he'd probably pitch 6-7 innings, would allows 3-5 hits, would walk 3-6 guys, throw a few wild pitches, hit a batter or two and would give up only 1-2 runs. I pretty much nailed it. I thought A.J. pitched pretty well. I thought for the most part he had dominant stuff. He only allowed 3 hits in his 6.1 IPs, with 2 of the hits coming in the 5th inning. From my vantage point it looked like A.J. was having trouble with Jose Molina. It was hard to tell thought what the issues were. It looked like Molina was having trouble catching the ball but I couldn't really tell without watching it on TV. We couldn't tell what was really going on up in my section. I would love to see some of the replays. There was one point where, I'm assuming, the ball bounced off Molina's glove and went right into the stands. How'd that happen? It was odd, and again, it was hard to figure out what was really happening up in my section.

What was up with the Yankees defense? Robbie Cano had a rough night. He made 2 brutal errors. Jeter also botched what looked like a routine DP. Lucky for the Yanks it didn't cost them. Jeter I'm not worried about. But Cano looked lazy on his 2 miscues. I hope he's not regressing back into a lazy fielder. I think Cano is one of the slickest fielders in the game and has a shot at winning the Gold Glove award. But he's been lazy in the past. This isn't the time to get lazy again. I'm hoping it's a one-off.

The Yankees had many opportunities to win last night. They came up empty with RISP, going 0-8. Lucky for them the Angels weren't much better at 3-15. The Yanks had chances to win the game in every inning from the 9th on. It would have made for a very tough loss.

A-Rod. 'Nuff said. I could leave it at that but why? I couldn't believe it when he went yard in the 11th. Talk about clutch. A-Rod, like I said he would, is having a monster postseason. He may have only gone 1-6 but the one hit was huge.

The bullpen was again stellar. Sure, Alfredo Aceves got knocked a little bit but on the whole, the pen was great. They did make for some tense moments though. Joba's K of Vladimir Guerrero with the bases loaded in the 7th was huge. Phil Hughes' K of Gary Matthews, Jr. with 2 on and 1 out in the 8th was big. That K got Jeter off the hook. Ace getting Torii Hunter to GIDP with 2 on in the 11th was another big spot. D-Rob got himself into and out of trouble when he whiffed Gary Matthews with 2 on and 2 out to end the 12th. Robertson came up big again in the 13th when he got Hunter and Guerrero to both ground out in the 13th. Those outs got Cano off the hook. The bullpen has to get a lot of credit for getting the big outs whenever they were needed. Job well done.

The Yankees half of the 13th inning has been replaying non-stop since the game ended last night. I can see it playing out so clearly in my head. Jerry Hariston, Jr. starts it off with a single to center. Brett Gardner lays down a successful sacrifice. The Angels intentionally walk Melky to set up the DP. Robbie Cano grounds it to 2nd, Izturis spins and throws to Aybar and the throw gets away. Here comes Hariston.....Figgins fields the comes the throw.....Jerry June beats it and slides in with the winning run and the place goes absolutely bonkers!! Cue Frank Sinatra. Awesome. Totally awesome. And then BOOM! Ladies and gents, we have pie! I was loving it. I thought for sure Burnett was going for Melky but much to my surprise he planted it right upside Jerry June's face. Hariston was definitely the deserving recipient. Can you think of a better way to end one's first trip to the new stadium then with a walkoff win and some pie? I couldn't have asked for anything better. What a way to end the day!

Last night's win was huge! The Yanks are firmly seated in the driver's seat with a 2-0 lead on the Angels. I think if they can win 1 in LA they've got it locked up. It's going to be tough for the Angels to take 3 straight from Pettitte, Sabathia and Burnett. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself but I'm liking their chances. Pettitte has been great on the road this year. He pitched a great game in the ALDS and I'm looking for him to duplicate that tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 4:13pm. I don't know about you, but I'm really excited. 4:13 can't get here soon enough.

5 down, 6 to go.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



Amber Jonson said...

Yeah!!!!! I smell World Series Winners here :-) Keep it up guys.

Anonymous said...

can you believe a girl is reading about sports. lol :) i can't help it i love it!

mandie reed