Hard to put my finger on it exactly, but something was amiss. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say my eyebrow started to raise when CC Sabathia let up about 8,910,266 runs in the first hour of the game.
Seriously, what can I really say about this one? To be completely honest, I didn't have the heart or stomach to chain myself to the YES network. for this one, especially with the Rangers (of the hockey persuasion) opening up tonight. The whole "had to watch, like a car wreck" concept never really made much sense to me. I don't want to see a car wreck on the highway, and I don't want to see one on the mound.
Since there are no highlights to speak of, this will be quick...
I cannot dirve this point home emphatically enough: I was 100% shellshocked that CC didn't get his 20th win. I keep rolling it around in my head until it starts to make me crazy, (which doesn't really take much)--the best team in baseball was playing a team that's been crumbling at a steady rate for the past 2 months.
They played their best starter against a rookie. A colossally dominant starter whose emaciated ERA over his last 11 starts suggested nothing less than another repeat performance. And a starter whose team run support is nearly 6 per game--the 12th highest in all league pitchers.
It never once occured to me that win #20 would escape poor CC. As the TV was nearly muted (hearing a bad game is infinitely worse than just seeing it), I didn't take note of the crowd reaction to CC's inexplicable implosion. Do the Rays have like a full-fledged fan base now? Or are they still defined by their lack of definition?
I hope no one booed him. I'm all for booing Joba Chamberlain when he gets chased in the 3rd inning, even when it's a meaningless post-clinching game. But CC deserved a win tonight (obviously, not based on his merit). But he's been a veritable hero for the Yanks all season, and I wish he had gotten it. But instead, he threw 82 pitches in a little over 2 innings, giving up 9 runs on 8 hits, only 5 of which was earned, and walking 5.
(Requisite due diligence: David Price is unbelievably good. Remarkable and special thanks go out to White Sox tonight for reducing chances of having to face the suped up turbo hi-tech model of David Price in game 1 of the ALDS.)
(Legitimate query: Did the Yanks hit their high mark with 7, in terms of the number of pitchers used in a 9-inning game this season? If so, I think part of Girardi is secretly brimming with pride. "I knew I could do it!")
The first run of the game was "manufactured" in the first inning, after our boy plugged up the bases with Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, and Jason Bartlett, and then walked their intimidating #6 batter Gabe Kaplar (who holds the distinction of being Nick Swisher's first major league strikeout. Where was Swish when we needed him tonight??)
That was run 1. And it just got uglier from there.
Nothing--seriously, NOTHING--made sense tonight. Mark Teixeira had an error in the first inning. The top two-thirds of our elite line-up was altogether hitless on the night. All 6 of the the Yankees' hits for the night came off the bats of the bottom third. To be clear, Jeter, Tex, Hairston ARod, Swisher, and Posada were all 0-fers. Cano, Gardner, Melky, Pena, and Juan Miranda all chipped in hits.
To sum it up, you know you're in for a total cesspool of backwards subversion when Jose Molina sees what a base looks like up close.
Everything's out of your system now, though, right?
(Oh, and B.J. Upton went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle or something.)