Sunday, October 7, 2007

Everything Young is New Again (ALDS Game 3 Postgame Notes 7 October 2007)

It doesn't get any more fitting than the moment Joe Torre took the ball from Roger Clemens and handed it to Phil Hughes.

You have to hand it to Roger Clemens. He's got more heart, more grit, than perhaps anyone else, and you thought, just maybe he could pull out a miracle...but old bodies break easy. He's been with the Yankees since 1999, has two World Series rings, a first ballot Hall-of-Famer for sure...

...but tonight Joe Torre was managing not just for the Yankees season, but for his job, and when it was clear that Roger's heart was in the right place, but his body wasn't, it was an easy call.

The moment the ball was taken from Rocket and given to Phil Hughes, a chill went up my spine.

The past gave way to the future, and the future is bright.

Phil Hughes was brilliant. Watching him pitch tonight was like taking Andy Pettitte in a big game, mixing in a bit of Mike Mussina and the 2003 ALCS game 7, and then taking fifteen years off of the entire thing, and as amazing as his performance was, it's even more amazing when you consider that it was his first time pitching at Yankee Stadium in October.

There was one pitch Phil threw, I don't remember the batter, and I can't tell you if it was a curve or a breaking ball, but I thought it might have been the most beautiful pitch I have ever seen.

It was perfect.

Offensively, you knew that they just needed a spark.

It's hard to say what the spark was, exactly, because three double plays in three innings sit well in no one's stomach (especially when it's Captain Clutch hitting into two of them)...but when A-Rod got that first base hit, you KNEW something was going to happen.

When Hideki Matsui gritted it out on a bad knee for an infield hit, you KNEW that the offensive woes weren't going to last forever.

When Johnny Damon got his at bat that inning, in the fifth, with two men on base, you just wanted a fly ball of some sort. Anything out of the infield would do. When it sailed over the right-field fence, you knew that weight was gone. The hump was gone. The wall was broken through.

When Robbie got the bases-clearing single, it was amusing--you still hate Trot Nixon for those years on the Red Sox, but when he made that error, you jumped for joy...and if you were me, you thought about maybe wanting to give him a quick hug (but not really).

Joba had a Joba inning in the seventh, struggled a bit in the eighth, but managed to get the job(a) done. I have a feeling Yankee Stadium chanting his name in unison, in October...

...well, not really. I don't know how that feels; but I can imagine it.


...Well, what needs to be said when you strike out Travis Hafner on three pitches? Mo is GREAT (Greatest Reliever Ever of All Time)...which I think is a much better acronym than GOAT!

Unlike the Phillies, Cubs and Angels, the Yankees did not go quietly, and honestly, if you expected them to not put up a fight, you're not much of a fan.

Yankee Stadium, in October, is surreal. It had to be odd for the Yankees, starting the LDS on the road, but coming back to Yankee Stadium was much more than a wake-up call.

It reminds you why they are the Yankees in the first place.

Game Three said and done now, Joe Torre will manage at least one more game in Yankee pinstripes, the Yankees will hold off the cold and dark of winter for at least one more day...

...and the dream, 27 in 2007 still survives.

In immortal words: "...And we'll see you tomorrow night!"


  1. Well, we have made it to Game 4! I am proud of the heart that the Yankees showed tonight and it was great to hear how well that Phil pitched. I'm already looking forward to tomorrow night. Let's get to Game 5!!

    P.S. I'm also happy that my Titans won (even though it was very sloppy from what I hear). Sorry about the Jets' loss to the Giants, but on a positive note for you- can anyone tackle Leon Washington? It's next to impossible!!

  2. Dude, and I had an amazing week!

  3. How have you done on your picks so far today? I'm 9-4 so far, the Broncos made an idiot out of me!

  4. 9-4 as well...Washington F'ed me over real bad.

    At least Green Bay and San Francisco had the decency to keep it close!

  5. The Doctor's CompanionOctober 8, 2007 at 12:47 AM

    I'm gonna be in class today :( but I'll make sure to keep the faith and optimism going GO YANKS!

  6. I am not allowed to watch any Yankees game from now on. Whenever I squeeze out sometime to watch the game, once I turn on the TV they start to lose.

    You know I missed a great game today and I am happy because Yankees won at the end. I read all the news about this game today after they won and my eye is full of ears. Tears of joy. I can not be more happy for Yankees and for Joe the best manager in my mind. What really freaks me out is that Yankees has become a Taiwanese National team in MLB. It is not just Wang now. It is all Yankees now!!! People care more about how the team is doing and even want Joe to stay as a manager.

    I pray that Wang will live up to what he promise; that is to give all he got for game 4. He did a terrible job in the first game. Now is his chance to correct it. He needs to response to his skipper's trust for giving him the chance to correct his mistake. It is his turn now to lift his team and give his teammates a chance to win a game. We need to win game 4, period. Wang need to pitch his heart out. Just go out and do your business!! I know Wang has the ability but I am not sure if he is enjoying the game or not because I don't see any confidence in him.

    Tomorrow is a game must win. Every game from now is a must win. This series has just become a short version of this season. Coming back from behind and playing hard one game at a time to win the wild card. Yankees is ready for the challenge because regular season has prepare them well for this situation. Let's Go Yankees!! #27 in 07!