Tuesday, July 4, 2017

We can't win with Betances and Chapman walking to the ledge

Last night, leading 2-1 in the 8th, here's a surprise: Joe Girardi played it by the binders: He summoned his regular, all-world, assigned roles, one-two punch, Misters Eighth and Ninth - D. Betances and A. Chapman - to ice the game. 

In case you were bonelessly nestled into a $15.99 resin Adirondack chair with 10,000 carbos parading through your arteries like the Philadelphia Mummers, rendering you incapable of even twiddling a radio dial to find John and Suzyn, here is what you missed - along with the heart attack.

I say this not as a "game recap" - we at IIH consider ourselves to be Yankee Zen philosophers, far above the Chicklet-chewing middle schoolers to do "game recaps" - but as a warning: Until further notice, the ice remains too thin, and it's not safe to watch 8th and 9th innings, even with a big Yankee lead.

So, in the eighth...

Betances throws two balls to Jose Bautista, and everybody knows what's coming: The lead-off walk followed by two stolen bases - Betances' signature move. (In the 2029 Old Timers Day game, he'll walk Chase Headley, who will then steal second and third, to the fans' delight!) Somehow, I still can't explain it... Bautista strikes out swinging.

Then on a 7-pitch at bat, in a 3-2 count, Josh Donaldson walks on one of those knuckle curves that Betances throws off the plate. So, the tying run is now on first. Congratulations, juju gods.

While we're waiting for Donaldson to steal second and third, Betances runs the count to 3-0 on Justin Smoak. This includes a throw to first, trying to pick off Donaldson. By now, every Yankee fan in captivity is crawling out of his skin. Betances gets a called strike. Smoak fouls one off. Another foul - Donaldson running. Then a swinging strike on a 99 mph fastball, and Donaldson is thrown out, trying to steal. Thank you, juju gods. I'll take it, but please don't sign me up for another ride.

In the ninth, we have a five run lead, but - surprise, everyone - Joe sticks to the binders and brings in El Chapo. He can use the extra work, right?   First guy up, Kendrys Morales, booms a double to right. On a 2-2 count, Steve Pearce hits a bouncer back to Aroldis - one out. Kevin Pillar booms a double to left. Darwin Barney singles to right - 2 runs in, one out, and I'm wondering if we can call up Nick Rumbelow? Chapman uncorks a wild pitch. Troy Tulowitzki strikes out on a 1-2 count after two fouls, and Russel Martin lines out to third. If the ball isn't caught by Headley, Toronto is still batting.

This, my friends, is no way to close ballgames - even when, technically, it works. If anybody out there feels compelled to find a ray of hope in the final two innings of last night's win, good for you. What I see is two star pitchers who still can't be counted on with a five-run lead, and until that changes, a Flood Advisory remains in effect. Beware of rising creeks and rapidly moving water. If you can get to a resin chair, stay there. The loud banging sounds may not necessarily be fireworks. They might be the sounds of Toronto greeting our closers.


Anonymous said...

Seems as if we have picked up another troll - - yah!! Call up and report me for cheating - - see if my spouse cares, or if she LAUGHS at you!! I don't think you realize the average age of the bloggers on this site - - many of us would be only so HAPPY if we could still cheat - - not all of us take stimulants, like the orange-haired, flaming monster-in-chief...so, Sarah, why you don't just go BLOW him?? He won't care if you're the real thing, or not.

Yeah, Duque, I fear we have a couple more head-cases on our hands, and the water is (metaphorically) rising around us - - maybe we need to revert to having gills. LB (No J)

JJ in MA said...

Pure agita watching those two "close" the game last night. I really thought Chapo was going to just keep giving up doubles. And he would have if not for Headley's nice grab, which thankfully required no throw to first, as that's a whole different level of cringe.

Alphonso said...

Not to mention the possibility that a throw to first, if on target, could be bungled.

13bit said...

As long as I keep repeating to myself "this is a rebuilding season" and remind myself that these are most likely NOT the players who will close games on our next World Series victory, I'm okay. They are here now. We always knew we'd have to one day fix the Mariano loss and we have not found the Promised One yet, but we will. I don't expect much from this season and my low expectations have already been rewarded. The Juju gods threw us that most dangerous of commodities for a while there in May - hope - just to remind us that it still exists. They also did to so that they could yank it away from us and further remind us that we are an unfinished work and must stay the course. Don't get caught up in the trap of expecting THIS season's team to be THE team. They are not. But we have a framework to build on now. We just need 3 starters, a few closers and a first baseman. Is that so bad? Uh.....