Monday, October 7, 2013
Losses so brutal they stand as art: The five most crushing, soul-sapping, God-hates-us moments of 2013
Posted by el duque at 8:06 AM
In hindsight, it's clear: This 2013 Yankees were always doomed. When Granderson, in his first at bat of spring training, breaks a bone, and then Teixeira, days later cracks his wrist-meat, the omens were there. (And, in fact, we at IT IS HIGH were wildly pessimistic. Yet still, we couldn't escape hope, eh?)
Five games stand out. If you have a weak tum-tum, or if there are young children in the room, stop now. This will cause pain. Here are the precise moments when hope died: Five defeats so brutal, so clean, so perfect that they should hang in a museum. This, my friends, is what hell is.
Aug. 7 vs. Chicago: The final of three losses to the woeful, last place White Sox, who hadn't won in more than a week before we arrived. A-Rod had returned, gotten beaned, with the crowd cheering happily. Mariano blew a save, his third of the season, and we lost in 12, with Adam Warren on the mound. The worst series of the year. You thought nothing could top it.
Sept. 1 vs. Baltimore.: Sunday game in the Stadium. We were on the verge of sweeping the Orioles. Andy pitched brilliantly, and we led 3-0 into the 7th inning. Joe brought in Sean Kelly. He gave up a single and a home run. Joe brought in Boone Logan. He gave up a single and a walk. Joe brought in Joba. He gave up a three-run HR. The O's scored 7. It was otherworldly. How could you ever believe in this team again?
Sept. 5 vs Boston. First of four in Fenway. Why was I bothering to watch? The Redsocks led 7-2 going into the seventh. Suddenly, we rallied. We scored six. A phenomenal Yankee moment. We led going into the ninth. Mariano retired the first two batters. He struck out Napoli on a checked swing, but the ump called it a ball. Napoli singled, Quintin Berry pinch ran and stole second. Drew singled him in. Tie game. The next inning, Soriano was called out trying to steal third - an unbelievably bonehead play. (Our team leader next year?) In the 11th, Joe brought in Joba. End of story. End of season? Why didn't I turn it off?
Sept 13 vs Boston. Back at Fenway, first of three. Kuroda surrendered four in the first inning. We clawed our way back. Tied in the seventh. Joe brought in Preston Claiborne. Bang. Grand slam. From that moment on, Boston owned us. We just covered our heads and begged for the series to end. How could anyone still have hope after that?
Sept. 21 vs San Francisco: Mariano Day at the Stadium. If we won, we'd have a three-game shot against Tampa. After three, Andy looked perfect. We took a 1-0 lead. The Giants were phoning it in. We had huge opportunities to pad the lead. In the seventh, Wells and Suzuki both struck out with men on second and third. Then David Robertson couldn't hold them. They took a 2-1 lead. In the eighth, Granderson struck out with runners on second and third, then pinch-runner Almonte screwed up and was thrown out at home. On the next at bat, Cano was out at home. We lost on Mariano Day. We lost on Mariano Day. Let the record show, we lost on Mariano Day. God, it was a painful year. Should I ever have hope again?