The old running game-diary.
Sue me if the idea is ESPN’s Bill Simmons. With the chance for a Tribe sweep of the Yankees, I’m making it mine. Besides, I hear he’s hot on the idea of a “Weekend Wrap” column every Monday.
6pm- I’m a lot more relaxed for this game than for either of the past two games. Maybe the 2-0 series lead is making me complacent. Maybe it’s the fact I’ve got San Francisco-Baltimore on the TV until the Tribe game starts and that’s acting as some sort of narcotic. And at 6-0 in the 3rd quarter, I may be dozing off. I’m also fully expecting the Indians-Yankees to outscore this game.
I’m also wondering which JakeWestbrook is going to show up. Will it be the Fausto Carmona facsimile with the diving sinker who keeps the Yankee righties from going off and has their lefties diving at pitches on the corner? Or will it be the Jason Johnson facsimile who gets consistently behind in the count and is in trouble from the first pitch on?
607pm- Flip to TBS for the pre-game. Instead I see the Angels getting waxed by the Red Sox, 9-0. The Red Sox have outscored the Ravens and the 49ers. Just with 7 runs the 8th inning. Three division series are in the books, all of them sweeps. I like the symmetry.
611pm- Tell me the Sonic commercials aren’t easily the best commercials on TV. Get that weak tot action out of here.
627pm- Forget that complacency thing. I’m getting into that uncomfortable playoff mentality where I want to be left alone and locked down in my own dark room. The kids have been fed and are on notice. The wife is at work. There may be tales of neglect reported to her tomorrow, but I’m a crafty man. I’ve got hours to work that out.
630pm- Ernie Johnson tells me I have to now try and find TNT to watch the game until the Angels death is officially announced. I work during the week. I really don’t need these extra responsibilities. And those watching ‘Charmed’ are going to be pissed.
640pm- Clemens delivers a first pitch ball to Grady Sizemore. We’re under way.
642pm- Joe Torre watches Derek Jeter have a Jhonny Peralta moment and throw a ball away off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera. Torre is obviously concerned about that, as well as about George Streinbrenner’s proclamation that Torre’s job is in jeopardy. I know this because Torre is actually awake in the dugout.
650pm- TBS’s Chip Caray advises Clemens had two cortisone shots in his elbow in the days leading up to this start. Were those injected through the port in his ass where he puts all the other pharmaceuticals or did they go directly into the elbow?
653pm- The seal is broken and the Tribe takes a 1-0 lead on a single by Ryan Garko to score Cabrera. Keep NY players and fans pressing and good times will ensue.
703pm- Hate to see Jeter suffer any adversity. The guy’s had a difficult life thus far and his double-play grounder helps get Jake Westbrook out of an inning. Important to note that each ball put in play against Westbrook was hit on the ground. Good sign.
708pm- I thought I saw Trot Nixon step up to the plate. I’ll be back after I clean the vomit off the floor.
709pm- Nixon goes yard while I clean up vomit. 2-0 Indians. Swarms of bugs on Friday night and a Nixon homer Sunday. Frogs will likely rain from the heavens on my drive to work Monday. New York is peaceful and quiet on Sunday evenings.
721pm- Hey!?! Alex Rodriguez with a base hit to lead off the Yankee 2nd inning? The first base coach can be seen reminding A-Rod to make a left turn at each of the three remaining bases, just in case Rodriguez forgot. Let me quickly check the calendar. Hmm, it is October but there he stands. Not for long though after a Posada double-play ground ball. Jason Giambi follows suit with a ground out and it’s 2-0 Tribe after two innings.
733pm- Will the entire Yankee staff be allowed to visit Clemens on the mound after each out he records? Getting any outs with the slop he’s throwing is an accomplishment, but this is ridiculous.
734pm- Clemens calls it a night. Truly a valiant effort from a heroic warrior. It was either that or a really short, ineffective 2.1 innings from a selfish, hypocritical cheater. It’s definitely one of the two.
736pm- I think Torre actually fell asleep on the walk back to the dugout after calling for Philip Hughes.
741pm- Jhonny loops a 2-out double down the right field line to score Hafner. The book is officially closed on the heroic, valiant warrior Roger Clemens.
744pm- Kenny Lofton flies out to Johnny Damon to end the 3rd inning for the Tribe. Damon tries to toss the souvenir into the left field stands and it doesn’t make it that far. No, I’m not kidding. Use the cop as a cutoff man noodle-arm. 3-0 Indians.
749pm- After a 9 hop infield single by Hideki Matsui, Chip Caray says the Yankees are “like a 2 liter bottle of soda ready to explode.” I was thinking the exact same thing until I remembered they don’t have consecutive hits in this series.
759pm- The Yankees are on the board after a Damon ground ball RBI single. The inning was set up by Victor Martinez making a bad choice on a ball chopped in front of the plate. Victor tried to get the runner going to 3rd instead of a sure out at first base. Playoff games hinge on such minor plays. Westbrook gets his 3rd DP of the game though and the Indians escape with a 3-1 lead. Not a single ball in the air off Westbrook thus far and that is excellent news in a park where Trot Nixon can still lift one into the seats.
813pm- Hughes sets down the Tribe in order. There will be questions galore in New York if he continues to pitch well and the Indians hold on to win. At least Torre won’t have to be there to answer them.
817pm- The Middle Girl wants help with her math homework. I throw her a calculator, give her a pat on the head and send her on her way. That’s playoff parenting.
821pm- No double play ground balls this inning. You can avoid those when you go down in order.
NOTE- Westbrook gave up his first fly ball out. This is the way you measure Jake’s stamina. Pay attention Mr. Wedge. I know it’s only 4 innings but this is the Yankees in the post season. Those 4 innings are like 7 innings against the Devil Rays in May.
827pm- Victor flies out to Melky Cabrera. Nothing important there. Just wanted to mention Melky. I imagine him being named by a Pennsylvania native describing the color of a urine sample. That is all, other than Phil Hughes looks really, really good.
835pm- Double by Cano chases Matsui to 3rd base. First big trouble for Westbrook.
838pm- Cabrera’s single brings the Yankees to within a run. Jake could really use the ground ball at someone right now. Jensen Lewis and Aaron Fultz are warming in a hurry. Now that familiar playoff pressure is back in the pit of my stomach.
841pm- No dice. Westbrook is flaming out as Damon hits a high sinker into the right field seats for a 5-3 Yankee lead. And right now, everything Jake is throwing to the plate is up. Jeter also hits 2 balls hard and foul before lining out to Grady Sizemore. Abreu pops out on he a pitch he just missed and the Yankees have finally shown up. Let’s see what young Mr. Hughes does with something to lose.
849pm- Hughes gives up a leadoff single to Peralta and Joba Chamberlain is warming up in the pen. I can’t believe the Indians are even deciding to play on what with Jesus getting ready in the Yankee bullpen and being pretty much omnipotent according to Yankee fans and media.
9pm- Outstanding job by Hughes after giving the leadoff single. Great movement, good velocity, terrific poise. Tribe trails 5-3 after 5 ½. Westbrook is coming back out. I don’t like it fans.
904pm- Another terrific job by Peralta of fielding a ball from A-Rod by slowly moving toward the hole, taking his time and not coming anywhere close to getting Rodriguez. Jhonny, you might want to wake up because you’re missing a decent series. Either that or ask Torre if he has an extra pillow. Westbrook exits, Aaron Fultz (aka the ‘Trot Nixon of the Pen’) enters. This decision reeks of one made by a manager with a 2-0 series lead and another ballgame tomorrow night.
909pm- Doug Mentkiewicz gets a bunt down and the TBS announcers orgasm simultaneously again. These guys do love their Yankees.
The Indians walk Matsui and load the bases for Cano. And here is your ballgame for tonight.
911pm- And there goes your ballgame tonight as Cano singles to right and Nixon whiffs on the ball. It rolls to the track and the bases are cleared with Cano ending up at 3rd. Ahh… Aaron Fultz and Trot Nixon combining to kill of what hope remained. Who could have seen that coming?
924pm- Cy Young enters the game for the Yankees and strikes out Sizemore and Cabrera in a perfect 7th. Women throw clothing and men simply kneel before him as Chamberlain walks off the field after protecting an 8-3, pressure-free lead.
931pm- You know, I never pay much attention to announcers at these games, preferring instead to go with the local flavor. But the more I watch this telecast and listen to Chip Caray, I really am amazed you can make out anything he says what with all the Yankee in his mouth.
939pm- Jensen Lewis in the bottom of the 7th inning. Strikes out Jeter, Abreu and A-Rod on about 12 pitches. This kid is coming on hard. And like Hughes in Game 1 getting some work in a rout, this isn’t meaningless. You’re going to need him in a meaningful spot somewhere in this series or, God willing, the next. The confidence and experience Lewis gets here goes a long way.
945pm- Dear Lord. Jesus Chamberlain gave up a single to Victor and all the fans, announcers and media are momentarily stunned. But only for a second. Chamberlain gets Garko to ground into a DP and all is again right with the world.
951pm- Peralta walks and Lofton singles to bring up Nixon. David vs. Goliath comes to mind. But David…err… Nixon, doubles into the left-centerfield gap to plate a run. Johnny Damon decides to sprint the ball into the infield from the wall rather than throw it in, just to save time and embarrassment. Blake’s fly ball to the wall in right ends the inning. 8-4 Yankees.
1002pm- The trifecta. Not only did we have the pleasure of watching Aaron Fultz and Trot Nixon ply their craft this evening, but now Joe Borowski is in for an inning of work. And Joe being Joe, he’s walked the leadoff hitter. Chip Caray just advised that, “Seldom does Borowski have a 1-2-3 inning. He pitches with guys all over the bases.” Good to see Chip did he research. Unless he just looked at the scoreboard and saw Borowski’s ERA and inferred that JoBo might struggle every now and then.
1009pm- Typically, Borowski walks a couple and gets a few out. Atypically, none of the runners ended up scoring and we head to the 9th with the Tribe down 8-4. That’s a solid effort for JoBo. I just fear he used up his scoreless inning for the postseason in this ballgame.
1014pm- Enter Sandman. Mariano Rivera gets some work in the 9th. The Yankees are taking no chances with this one. Sizemore flies out to Damon, Cabrera strikes out and Rivera fans Hafner to close it down.