Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last night, was it Phil Hughes, or did the Yankees simply run out of luck?

OK, let's go to the videotape - last night, top of the first: The lead-off batter flies to left. No problemo. Next guy, Dustin Ackley walks on seven pitches. Ouch. Next guy singles to center on a 2-2 count, but Brett Gardner's throw beats Ackley running to third - he's out, except the ball glances off his hip and bounces away. If that throw arrives, two outs, one on.

Next, Kendry Morales hits a fading liner to left. It's catchable, but Granderson slips out of his stance. The ball bounces in front of him. If not for the glitch, Seattle goes out: no runs, one hit, one left.

Well, no point agonizing over what if's. Last night's reality tape shows Phil Hughes disintegrating into another trash heap of uncertainties - short and long term - and it's a bad sitcom we've watched now for four years, and it's grown more stale than the closing season of The Office.

Still, I respectfully submit that over the last two weeks, the Yankees have not only been scrappy, but they've been lucky. Yes, I'm invoking the juju gods of baseball happenstance. Several hard line drives in critical situations have been hit directly at Yankee infielders - one for a DP. Our pitchers escaped jams, not because they beat the batter - they/we were simply lucky. Maybe that's juju. Maybe it's random events. Yes, good teams make their luck. But it was Yogi who said he'd rather be lucky than good, and no truer words were ever spoke in the game of baseball.

Last night, our luck ran out. The laws of chance caught up with us - so destructively that we may never again trust Phil Hughes. I mean, you can get used to pushing your nose onto the red button and getting a tasty food pellet, but how many times can you receive the electric shock before you decide it's not worth nosing the button anymore?

One other thing about juju, dammit: Even Eric Holder by now should recognize that Raul Ibanez in Yankee Stadium conjures up some incredibly terrifying juju. The guy must be killing small animals in the locker room before each game. Or maybe he's wearing one of Babe Ruth's teeth around his neck. I dunno. But last October, during the Yankee collapse, the Tigers pitched around Raul, walking him so he couldn't hurt them.

If Joe Girardi doesn't do the same tonight, we ought to be asking why?

1 comment:

coolnewyorker said...

It wasn't Phil Hughes or luck, it was simply baseball.