Friday, October 6, 2017

All we gotta do is win tonight

The scariest part of a five-game war is how the home field advantage shifts her allegiance. One mistake, one moment of butchery, and she's upstairs in the Legion hall, necking with your brother-in-law. If the Evils win tonight, we'll return to NYC with Lady Home Field on our lap, licking from our ice cream cone, with Terry Francona's deep-fried testicles dangling from the rear-view. Win tonight, and we're just a measly home field sweep from dirty dancing on Cleveland's historic season. In a lot of respects, they should feel more pressure than we do. They must justify their looming legacy. All we gotta do is win a freakin' game.

That's all. Just beat Corey Kluber, hold them to less than three, and maybe topple the two-headed bullpen. Tally more than three hits, and keep Indians from jogging around the bases while Gary Sanchez plays fetch. The above chart offers little hope, beyond noting that Aaron Judge has no record against Kluber. (For my money, Advantage: Kluber.) Last night, Judge wouldn't have hit Cory Feldman. Last night, we saw the Aaron of August return, trying to bash every ball all the way to Wisconsin. It'll be a long, cold winter if our enduring image of the Great Yankee Hope is of him flailing at pitches nearly in the on-deck circle. Already, when I think of Cleveland in October, I picture Joba being sprayed with Monsanto Death Gel. Now, the bad Judge? Calgon Bath Beads, take me away!

Last night brought a prickly reminder that when homer-humping lineups face good pitching, the three-hit shutout is never far away. As I see it, we caught a glimpse of two far-away bolts of positive lightning last night:

1. Andrew Miller threw at least 10 more pitches than Francona wanted, and he didn't look sharp. If Aaron Hicks had just laid off ball four, we might be raising the portraits of Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield today. (Then again, the home plate ump squeezed us all night; it's been a while since I felt a playoff ump was blatantly in the home field's pocket. So, if Hicks hadn't swung, he might have been punched out anyway. Really, the umps were not fair last night, and everybody - even the See-No-Evil Fox announcers - knew it.)

2. Dellin Betances tortured the bottom rung of their lineup on a minimal number of pitches - three over-matched strikeouts. That's the Betances we need. Unfortunately, the one we know is still capable of walk the lead-off batter and instantly going south. 

Listen: We don't concede nothing. It's all on CC, and I sort of like the fact that Kluber is the unbeatable George Foreman, and Sabathia is Ali on his last legs. The 5 p.m. start means I will be away from a computer for at least the first few innings. In my absence, the storm-born, chain-breaking, brother of flagons, Cory Lidle's Scenic Tours - (a grizzled veteran of ESPN, FOX Sports, the Daily News and a hundred other sports outlets, by the way) - will stare wide-eyed into the jaws of hell. 

Remember: All we gotta do is win tonight. Then, we're the brother-in-law,  upstairs in the Legion hall. Win. That's all. 


13bit said...

Amen, Brother Duque!

Parson Tom said...

I like CC for this game.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

@ Parson Tom, me too,,,,,

13bit said...

Pocono Steve said...

Cory Lidle's Scenic Tours?! Too soon! Too soon!

Anonymous said...

The sample sizes for each batter are too small to be meaningful.

Anonymous said...

Oh, God! Our Stat-Boy is back, without even disparaging anyone's small "sample" size; whoa!!

You're abso-effing-lute-ly right about last night's umpiring, duque: I have lost any respect for Vic Carapozza as a home-plate ump that I might have had previously: he loved just about every hook that Bauer threw, and wouldn't give us even the brilliant pitches that painted the black - - even some that clearly bi-sected the plate. What IS it with these Italianate-named umps with "zz" in their handles?? Randazzo has been a Yankee-hater for years, and now Carapozza...small sample size, but I sense a sequence coming - - better keep an eye on it, Stat-Boy.

I suppose we can take comfort in the "it's darkest just before the dawn" cliche, and all that - - plus, last time I checked the Beantown Bums were getting pounded again by the 'Stros.

But, I will be watching - - I have just enough masochist in me, and a tiny bit of optimism mixed in with my usual pessimistic juju, because: YOU CAN'T PREDICT BASEBALL, SUZYN - - otherwise, why watch? LB (No J)