Thursday, August 28, 2014
Posted by el duque at 6:51 AM
Today, the Evils play the first of 31 Wild Card games, fulcrum points in short series they must win.
Forget that it's August, that the State Fair butter sculpture has not even begun to sag, and that you haven't even yet bought the drugs and alcohol for Labor Day. In Detroit, it's Halloween time. The masks are out, and there is raking to be done. From now on, both the Yankees and the Tigers - two of the game's most veteran, most expensive and maybe most disappointing teams - must win virtually every series... and this is their rubber match. Here she comes. It's her time of the month.
Let the record show that the Empire today faces nobody who dates Kate Upton or is auditioning for a future $250 million contract. Nope. We must duel Kyle Lobstein in his first MLB start.
Yes, dear God, another no-name rookie, the kind that the wily Yankee hitters traditionally cannot fathom. Then there is that cursed name, a set of syllables that pangs the Yankee subconscious.
Think "Lob," as in the great Dave LaRoche - heir to Steve Hamilton's Folly-Floater and ancestor to El Duque's out-of-the-sky meteor. To the Yankees, junk balls from slow-pitch leagues are historically the pitching equivalent of Mysterio's smoke machine, which robbed Spider-Man of his spider sense. And then there is the suffix... stein - which needs no explanation, none, to anyone within the Yankiverse. The Lobster is coming? Help us, Mr. Horse Head... Help us.
But let's give Joe and Cash some credit: The Yankees may be peaking at the absolute right time. Today, five teams have won 7 of their last 10: The Cubs (meaningless), the Phils (meaningless), the Angels (critical), the Royals (whom we beat the other day) and us, a .500 club throughout most of the season. The Even Empire.
So today, they face the Lobster and a lineup that has eaten our candy in previous Octobers. Win or lose, we will remain behind Detroit in the loss column. But from now on, if we butcher any Wild Cards, the post-season becomes next season. Here she comes...