Saturday, August 15, 2015

Shades of Pat Kelly's HR in 1995 and Paul O'Neill's AB in the 2000 World Series... Was last nite the game of the year, or just the weekend?

At the end, I was standing, drink raised, poised like a cobra to strike the TV with my blazing juju fists of fury. Normally, by the ninth, I'm in fetal mode, Yankee comforter between my legs, empty Dorito bags crinkling from the bowels of the couch, (down with the remote,) as I wriggle in desperation.

I do not know how many pitches the battle went. That stuff is for wonks. My estimate: 142. Tulowitski just kept fouling them off, and Miller just kept throwing sliders. I think the final pitch was a foul tip. If McCann hadn't caught it, Miller might be out there for all eternity, and I'd still be standing at the screen.

It was one game. Still, it was a psychic STFU to the hockey horns of Tuloronto, who think Tony Fernandez and Kelly Gruber are still manning the left side. We are back in first - for now, anyway - and if we can take a series on the Blue Jays' asphalt surface - well - it's a pennant race, not a wild card hoax. I maintain there is a huge difference between winning a division and winning a one-game extension of the season, courtesy of Bud Selig's final money-squeezing scam.

Last night, we saw the long-awaited arrival of Carlos Beltran as a Yankee - 16 months tardy, but better late than never - (sort of like the Yankee celebration of A-Rod's 3,000th hit.) Beltran has been "quietly turning his season around," in the parlance of the YES-ESPN talking Magic 8-Balls. But last night, he delivered the goods.

His HR had me recalling 1995, the future Torre dynasty, when 2B Pat Kelly hit an astonishing 2-run HR in Toronto, culminating a dramatic comeback. It was the last week of the season, ninth inning, and we'd been down 3-0. Suddenly, Kelly was rounding the bases, and we were ahead. We won 4-3 - just like last night. It was Kelly's shining moment as a Yankee, it caught everybody in the Yankiverse off guard, and it propelled us into the playoffs, not a one-game crap shoot.

And soon after came the At Bat - Tulo v. Miller... which had me thinking (in a reverse situation) of Paul O'Neill coming up in the ninth of Game One of the 2000 World Series. We were down by one, with one out and the unspeakably evil Armando Benitez on the mound. Meanwhile, every sportswriter in captivity had been calling for O'Neill to be benched. He worked a 10-pitch walk - foul, foul, foul, foul - and eventually scored the tying run. We won in the 14th.

Last night was one of the reasons you follow the Yankees.

Of course, by Monday, it might be a cruel joke by the juju gods. (But we are 2-1 since the International Juju Intervention. Two and one, baby, two and one.) Who knows...?


John M said...

Nova gave up 3, I was falling asleep after a long week, and went to bed early thinking we weren't going to repay the Jays by sweeping them in their own park.

Then I wake up and Beltran is a hero, Miller comes within an inch of blowing it but gets his man, and ESPN's site says Nova more than matched David Price (he so didn't, but this is how turning points go sometimes).

Maybe the cold streak is over. Ya never know.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I'm trying not to jinx the Juju by saying anything positive, so, La La La La Laaaaaaaaaaaaaa,,,,,

Blind Robin said...

John M, did you retire early for any of the previous three games against Toronto?

Leinstery said...

John M, I'm as big a Nova hater as one can be, but I think he looked a lot better than Price last night.