Monday, October 7, 2013

Losses so brutal they stand as art: The five most crushing, soul-sapping, God-hates-us moments of 2013

Lately, I've been wondering when the 2013 season ended - the exact moment I should have pulled the plug and never watched again. Of course, I was hopelessly intoxicated by the next victory, or the Master's voice, or God's greatest give to humanity, the trait we call denial.

In hindsight, it's clear: This 2013 Yankees were always doomed. When Granderson, in his first at bat of spring training, breaks a bone, and then Teixeira, days later cracks his wrist-meat, the omens were there. (And, in fact, we at IT IS HIGH were wildly pessimistic. Yet still, we couldn't escape hope, eh?)

Five games stand out. If you have a weak tum-tum, or if there are young children in the room, stop now. This will cause pain. Here are the precise moments when hope died: Five defeats so brutal, so clean, so perfect that they should hang in a museum. This, my friends, is what hell is.

Aug. 7 vs. Chicago: The final of three losses to the woeful, last place White Sox, who hadn't won in more than a week before we arrived. A-Rod had returned, gotten beaned, with the crowd cheering happily. Mariano blew a save, his third of the season, and we lost in 12, with Adam Warren on the mound. The worst series of the year. You thought nothing could top it.

Sept. 1 vs. Baltimore.: Sunday game in the Stadium. We were on the verge of sweeping the Orioles. Andy pitched brilliantly, and we led 3-0 into the 7th inning. Joe brought in Sean Kelly. He gave up a single and a home run. Joe brought in Boone Logan. He gave up a single and a walk. Joe brought in Joba. He gave up a three-run HR. The O's scored 7. It was otherworldly. How could you ever believe in this team again?

Sept. 5 vs Boston. First of four in Fenway. Why was I bothering to watch? The Redsocks led 7-2 going into the seventh. Suddenly, we rallied. We scored six. A phenomenal Yankee moment. We led going into the ninth. Mariano retired the first two batters. He struck out Napoli on a checked swing, but the ump called it a ball. Napoli singled, Quintin Berry pinch ran and stole second. Drew singled him in. Tie game. The next inning, Soriano was called out trying to steal third - an unbelievably bonehead play. (Our team leader next year?)  In the 11th, Joe brought in Joba. End of story. End of season? Why didn't I turn it off?

Sept 13 vs Boston.  Back at Fenway, first of three. Kuroda surrendered four in the first inning. We clawed our way back. Tied in the seventh.  Joe brought in Preston Claiborne. Bang. Grand slam. From that moment on, Boston owned us. We just covered our heads and begged for the series to end. How could anyone still have hope after that?

Sept. 21 vs San Francisco: Mariano Day at the Stadium. If we won, we'd have a three-game shot against Tampa. After three, Andy looked perfect. We took a 1-0 lead. The Giants were phoning it in. We had huge opportunities to pad the lead. In the seventh, Wells and Suzuki both struck out with men on second and third. Then David Robertson couldn't hold them. They took a 2-1 lead. In the eighth, Granderson struck out with runners on second and third, then pinch-runner Almonte screwed up and was thrown out at home. On the next at bat, Cano was out at home. We lost on Mariano Day. We lost on Mariano Day. Let the record show, we lost on Mariano Day. God, it was a painful year. Should I ever have hope again?


KD said...

You left out what was, to me, the most gut-wrenching loss I've ever experienced.

It was also part of that awful early September home stand against the Bosocks. (wasn't at fenway, as stated in your post, which made it even worse.)

I write of the 9/6 homegame where we lead the Bosocks 8-3 going into the 7th. Ended up losing 8-12, as I recall. I was there for that one and I cannot describe how brutal that loss was. The entire stadium, excepting Bosock fans (of which there were many) sat in stunned disbelief, as that game came on the heels of the failed comeback on 9/5.

Those games on the 5th and the 6th were a one-two combination that laid us out but good.

Such a gruesome bullpen performance that day. I knew then it was over. My team had no chance. None whatsoever.

el duque said...

You are right. God... I blotted that one out of my mind.

Tino Martinez once said that playing for the Yankees, one week could be a lifetime.

He was wrong. One game could be a lifetime. That loss at home... when our bullpen collapsed... how could anything be more painful than having the greatest closer in history, but you can't get to him?

KD said...

when Logan gave up his grandslam during that ill-fated 9/6 game,it was as if the entire crowd gave out a synchronized "WTF?". What followed were strings of curses and vindictive rants that reminded me of the crowds at the Old Yankee stadium. Only thing missing was a good beatdown of an arrogant Bosock fan.

I'm rooting for Pittsburg now. Wow, look at Russell Martin! I wish we had given him Youk's money...

KD said...

RE: Russell Martin. Think it's his beard? I may have to rethink my approval of the Yankee Beard Ban.

JM said...

Thanks for the memories. I was trying to forget all of this and concentrate on watching the Giants go 0-16.

Anonymous said...

The season was over when we lost four straight to the Metsies. Give me a break: Home and home sweeps by the Metsies???

KD said...

Anonymous, that was pretty bad, all right. Mets fans in my office tormented me mercilessly after those loses.

I'm sure all of us have our own "worst moment" for the 2013 Yanks. There were so many..