Saturday, May 3, 2014

Help, Mr. Tanaka, HELLLLLLLP!

Wow. Are the leaves changing on the trees? Is it time for football? It seems to have gotten late way too early. Is it really only May 3, the day before International Star Wars Day? (Tomorrow, May the 4th be with you.) But last night, there we were - watching the Yankees in full playoff collapse mode. Tampa outhit us, out-pitched us, outlasted us, and finally, just blew us out of the water. And today, only one person can stop the bleeding... the Pride of the Yankees... Mr. T.

Watching Jeter last night was torture. Forget the 0-for-7, the double play, the last at bat in the 12th. What frightens me is the way he now fields grounders to his third base side. Instead of staying in front of the ball, he crouches, almost like a catcher, and snares it. (Kids, don't try that at home.) You could say he's crafty and efficient, and that he made the plays, so what's the worry? But it's all wrong.

Watching the Yankees come back last night was torture. Two home runs, back to back, or as The Master says, "belly to belly." After that moment, we had scored four runs - all on HRs. Instead of a batting order, we have nine guys individually trying to slam the ball to New Jersey. Only Ellsbury could hit a single in a critical situation. I think it's because he's still new to the Yankee way. Give him another month, and will he be trying to put everything in the upper deck. Every time we hit a home run, the odds are nobody is on base - because the guy before him was trying to hit a home run. 

Thirteen runs in five games before last night. Ugh.
Watching the Yankees grind through their bullpen last night was torture. We probably got the best outing from our relievers that we'll see this month. It ended with a guy who last week was getting wailed on in Scranton. It ended in a five-run blown out. It's becoming clear that Vidal Nuno is a five-inning stopgap, a mirage. David Phelps won't go much longer. We are a revolving door that keeps spinning faster and faster, flinging pitchers in every direction. I suspect that by Sunday morning, somebody will be heading to Scranton, and a new nobody will be on his way.

When it comes to "cruel and unusual punishment,"
the state of Oklahoma has nothing on us.
But today, hope! Today, it's Tanaka! The other night, when Kuroda was on the mound, for a brief moment I thought he was Tanaka, and I had so much anticipation - a sense that he might be the best pitcher in baseball. Then I realized my mistake. What a letdown. It was like opening a Christmas present and finding socks.

I don't know what Joe Girardi or Brian Cashman can do to fix this listing, broken barge of a team. No bench player or prospect at Scranton will make a difference. Kevin Long won't restructure anybody's swing. Nobody's going to start beating the over-shifts. Last night, the YES announcers spoke of Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann possibly bunting to take advantage of defensive realignments so over-the-top that are practically an "in-your-face" dare, an insult. The announcers noted that these highly valued sluggers seldom bunt, so we cannot expect them to suddenly start bunting in games. Yeah, right. I guess we should also not expect them to practice bunting, too. That way, they can just keep merrily and haplessly swinging away. Maybe they'll hit a home run. Wouldn't want to miss that, eh?

But today, Tanaka! For one day, we have hope.


ken of Brooklyn said...

Last night was B R U T A L!!!!!
Suffering through blown opportunity after blown opportunity after blown opportunity in extra innings, then subjected to torturous Wendy's commercials belly to belly back to back between innings, it was one of the worst games I've endured this season, and that is really saying' something!
I'm going to switch into Nu-Juju stealth mode today, if I ignore the game & The Master's broadcast, the Yankees always seem to thrive!

KD said...

I was at this game. After the ninth, the monitors around the Stadium started directing fans to the exits. How ironic. I should have taken their advice.

but on a positive note, the pulled pork barbecue was delicious!