Let’s say you’re Joe Girardi. It’s the seventh inning of Saturday’s game against the A’s. Andy Pettitte has been pitching an absolute gem, and the Yankees are ahead 1-0. Pettitte’s only at 79 pitches but suddenly he’s in a jam.
Cust: pops up.
You’ve got the rested and reliable Aceves warmed up and ready to go. Do you pull Pettitte?
Or do you let him keep pitching?
You take a walk out to the mound and ask your starter if he’s OK. Obviously, he says, “I’m fine, skipper. Let me get out of this inning.”
So you leave him in.
And then this happens.
Davis: singles, scoring Hairston. Score tied 1-1.
Crosby: bunt singles, loading the bases.
You walk back out to the mound, knowing the media and the fans are already second-guessing you, and you pull Pettitte. You give the ball to Ace and cross your fingers.
And then this happens.
Ellis: pops up. Huge sigh of relief.
Powell: singles, scoring two. A-s up 3-1.
Kennedy: singles, scoring one. A’s up 4-1.
Cabrera: doubles, scoring two. A’s up 6-1.
You walk back to the mound and pull Aceves, who recently told the media his name should be pronounced AcAYves, not AcEVes.
Dave Robertson retires the next batter. This being the scrappy, clutchy, comeback-y 2009 Yankees, the offense rallies, thanks to homers by Jeter and Tex, and keeps hope alive for a ninth straight win.
It is not to be. The Yankees lose 6-4 and the streak is over.
Oh, well. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. But I do wonder what I would have done if I’d been Girardi.
On a happier note, I had a great time last night at Dodger Stadium. The first thing I did was put on a Dodgers jersey so I’d fit right in.
Well? Why not? When Obama goes to a foreign country, doesn’t he don the local garb?
The second thing I did was gorge on all the incredible food offered at the restaurant for those with seats in the Dugout Club. Michael and I snagged a table and went to work. At one point, I actually looked up from my plate and at the next table was Dodgers legend Don Newcombe. What a nice guy! As he was getting up, he stopped by to shake our hands. He may be in his ’80s, but he’s still a big, strong, handsome dude!
I was too young to remember Newcombe’s specific accomplishments, so as soon as I got home I looked up his bio. Get this. He’s the only player in major league history to win the Rookie of the Year, the MVP and the Cy Young Award. Plus, he was the first black pitcher to start a World Series game and the first black pitcher to win 20 games. I was in the company of greatness.
Once in our Dugout Club seats, which are directly behind home plate, we talked to some diehard Dodger fans, including this guy.
He had autographs of players past and present all over his jersey.
Then there was Larry King, who holds dual citizenship as both a Yankee fan and a Dodger fan.
I saw Torre, naturally, but never caught a glimpse of Mattingly. Bummer. And yes, Manny was very much a part of the experience. The crowd goes wild when he appears in the on-deck circle, let alone at the plate. Note the unusual “stat” on the scoreboard. (“Manny is the first Dodger to hit a grand slam on his own Bobblehead night.”)
was a gorgeous night in L.A. People did the wave over and over again, and beach balls were bouncing around the stands. Everybody was having fun, and life was good. The only sour note came from the Marlins. They won the game. The nerve.