The game doesn't matter much; it's not like the Yankees will be going home on September 30, but when it's Mo, you ache.
When you've got a signed picture of Mo hanging in your home bedroom above your computer, you ache.
When you know he's going to the Hall of Fame, first ballot, you ache.
When you decided way back in April 1999 that Mo was your favorite on the Yankees, you ache.
Well, might as well start from the beginning.
It started well enough, the Yankees had a 7-2 lead at one point, but Mussina hit a wall in the fifth, allowing four consecutive hits and allowing the Orioles to close within 7-6.
Johnny Damon hit a MAMMOTH Home Run (and the one A-Rod hit wasn't half bad, either), but, simply put, Mo was off tonight.
Ohlendorf, Farnsworth and Vizcaino all got the job done, but Mo had problems with location, and, well, hitting a guy usually doesn't help, either.
Yanks had a big chance to come back in the top of the tenth, but when Molina fouled out with the bases loaded and one out, well, the game kind of swung in Baltimore's favor--Jason Giambi has not played well of late.
Still, Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez had great games, Robbie Cano had a great play, and some of the question marks in the bullpen did their job, and you really do have to give Baltimore credit for going with the bunt in the 10th.
They were saying on TV that the Yankees dropped back in the infield, as they needed just one out, and wouldn't you know it, but the announcer jinx strikes again!
However, the biggest baseball news of the day has nothing to do with what happened in the Yankees game, but elsewhere.
The Phillies won and the Mets lost, so the NL East now looks something like:
The Mets had been in first place since May, and, umm, now they can't even get to the postseason without some help from the Washington Nationals.
Sure, the Yankees choked in 2004, but any team can win three and then lose four--Yanks just picked a really bad time to do it. However, blowing a seven game lead with 17 to play? That's just flat out bad.
The Brewers eliminated themselves tonight. I am aghast that they started Chris Capuano--is not baseball the most superstitious sport? Don't you, like, not start a guy that's 0-17 in his last 21 starts (or something like that)? Especially against a team like the Padres?
As much as I love Ryan Braun, the Brew Crew did themselves in...
...With that, congratulations need to go to the Chicago Cubs, winning the NL Central. Well done! The Cubs in the World Series would be a purist's dream, but a Cubs/Yankees World Series would involve a lot of guilt. How do you not root for the Cubs? How do you not root for the Yankees when you're a die-hard Yankee fan? See the dilemma?
Arizona also clinched a playoff spot. Oh, how I'd love to see them get swept in the World Series by the Yankees...
So, right now, the playoff picture looks like this:
AL East: Boston
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Angels
AL Wildcard: Yankees (Is it me or is it fitting that the one non-division winner is the one whose team colors do not involve red?)
NL East: TBD
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Either Arizona or San Diego
NL Wild Card: Either Arizona, San Diego, Phillies or Rockies
Crazy weekend, no? Oh, and USF is beating #5 West Virginia....
Friday, September 28, 2007