Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fifteen feet to the right, and last night could have been a soul-crushing defeat

I won't sit here and pee myself about what didn't happen last night. Nope. I refuse to go Chicken Little on what didn't happen. I won't go there. 

The Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) did not come back in the ninth against our All-Star closer, launching this season's rivalry in the same horrible way that it ended last year. The sky did not fall, the gates of hell didn't open beneath us, the TV didn't go dark during the climax of Two Broke Girls - nothing calamitous happened last night!... but... jeez... 

Fifteen feet to the right - that's five yards, football fans - and some dirt bag schlump named Josh Rutledge would have scrawled his name onto my vendetta wall, which is running out of space. He came that close to hitting a two-out, three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman, which would have erased one of the great Yankee victories since Slade Heathcott shocked the Rays in 2015. Rutledge sent it into the left field nosebleeds, foul by fifteen feet, non-existent in the box score - but it was nearly a lifetime traumatic ding in a game where we led by three entering the ninth. When Rutledge fanned on the next pitch, instead of celebrating, El Chapo looked like a street person desperate for a cigarette. I suspect he had better control of his pistol while shooting up his garage two winters ago, than he did of his fastball last night. Still, I won't sit here and flog the juju gods. We won. We fukkin won!

The box score shows that Chappy gave up one run, picked up a save and struck out two, with fastballs that hit 100 mph on the hair dryer. But his facial expressions more resembled Nicholas Cage being broiled alive in a giant wicker man than those of the game's most intimidating closer. The last time we saw Chapman so anguished, he was pitching on fumes in Game Seven - his fifth outing against Cleveland, and the Indian batters were sending them out even harder than he was throwing. Still, the Cubs won, and last night, so did we. 

Last winter, when we signed Chapman for four years, everybody understood the implications: A 29-year old guy who throws that hard is no sure bet to last for four years. But that's the new financial reality of baseball: Star players don't necessarily get more money per year; they just get longer contracts. 

Who did this remind you of?
Oh well, we won. That's all that matters. Luis Severino looked like the young Yankee ace that Boston has long feared. Making it even sweeter is the fact that Pedro Martinez tutored him last winter. That's like Brad returning to Jennifer because Angelina taught him the meaning of love. (Or something like that.) Meanwhile, Aaron Judge - "The Big Gavel," "Tiny," "MOAB," or whatever we'll call him - just pasted a highlight photo into his all-time Yankee scrapbook. 

It's way too early to say anything about anybody, but jeez, Judge is far exceeding our wildest hopes. If this keeps up, could we might call this guy someday - gulp - "Captain?" Is he for real? Can it last? If Judge and Severino are not desert mirages, they are half of a new Core Four. I'll take that deal. 

Tonight, Chris Sale. We'll probably be shut-out. But it doesn't matter. We'd split the series at Fenway. That's almost a win. The ball went 15 feet foul, and I've already forgotten it. 


KD said...

reminded me of Beltran...

John M said...

If Judge had run faster for one extra step, he woulda cracked his collarbone and be out for the season.

There are a lot of alternate universes out there. Good thing we're in this one.

Anonymous said...


13bit said...

all that talk of what we would call Judge and you just nailed it: CAPTAIN

13bit said...

can one double the JUJU by taking the stance with someone else? I have no one else to assume the position with, but I was just musing on the possibilities.

and, if so, would we then have to practice "safe Juju?" could I get thrown in jail for attempting to Juju with someone against their will? is there such a thing as "date juju?" is juju dangerous to one's health? are there juju clinics I can get treated at?

so many questions.

JJ in MA said...

Give me three more seasons of this kind of effort and play from Judge and I'll call him Captain all day. Kid is a lot of fun to watch but he's got a long way to go. Ditto Sanchez and Severino, and I'm sorry, but Bird clearly needs to get sent down when Austin is back to take that spot.

joe de pastry said...

Climax of the Two Broke Girls: I'd pay to watch that.
Been a Kat Dennings fan since Daydream Nation.
But the stupid tv show is watchable only on mute.