When's the last time, the morning after, you still felt so good about the previous night's game?
We're talking baseball here, so it's been a while for you Yankee fan, hasn't it?
It's not just that the Yankees won last night's fifteen inning marathon, it's everything else that went into it, that surrounds it and that otherwise effects it:
- The Yankees are now 4.5 games in first place. They haven't been such since the 2006 season, and I'll be honest--this team is a lot better than the 2006 team. (For that matter, their Boston opponent is, too).
- AJ Burnett pitched like the big game pitcher the Yankees need him to be. He didn't have the best control he's ever had, but that's typical Burnett. He only allowed one hit and made every pitch when he had to. With the possible exception of his second start against the Mets, it's hands down the best he's looked this season. Furthermore, he gets the 2009 Boston demon off his back, nor do there appear to be any lingering affects from the disastrous Chicago start. As in Chicago, Burnett pitched to Posada tonight.
- If Alex Rodriguez is going to go 72 ABs without a home run, he might as well make the one that breaks the streak count, right?
- I can't get over how phenomenal the bullpen was for the Yankees. Sure, Hughes and Rivera were just doing their jobs, but everyone else stepped it up. Aceves pitched like he never actually had a sore shoulder, Brian Bruney got the job done, which, given his recent appearances is no sure thing, and Phil Coke pitched like it was the eighth inning of any other game. Since Aceves and Bruney pitched multiple innings, it means at the very least Melancon and Robertson are available today--and Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera probably are as well.
- If you're going to go 0-8 against a team and then win the next two, you might as well make those wins worth remembering, right?
Last season, the Yankees played in accordance with Murphy's Law: anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
This season, the Yankees haven't just played up to expectations, they're beginning to exceed them. That Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are all having the seasons that they are is probably something no one expected. The old guys were gonna be the Yankees' undoing, it was said.
The old guys are all playing like they've entered a time machine and flown back to 2003.
Is it any coincidence, then, that this is by far the best Yankees team since that year?
Is it any coincidence, then, that with young guys like Melky Cabrera and Robinson Canó and Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, also performing like they're on a team and not a collection of 25 individuals, that this is the first time in a long time that you're beginning to get that feeling?
If the past two games are any indication of what the Yankees can expect if they make it to October, if this is what September is going to feel like, sign me up.
It's a good time to be a baseball fan.
It might be an even better time to be a Yankee one.