I'm happy to report that my girlfriend Emily returned from her recovery-hiatus in the hills of Vermont this past weekend. She was down at my place in the Boogie Down Bronx on Saturday, and it was nothing short of great to be with her again. Em was even excited to watch the Yankee game on Saturday night, even though she was so beat by the time the game started, she didn't make it past the third inning. She was awake long enough to see her boy Giambi hit a first-inning home run. I had told her that Giambi---her favorite Bronx Bomber, had been slumping, so not to expect much. So naturally he hits a homer.
"Now that I'm back, he's going to be fine," said Emily.
David Wells didn't pitch particularly well, but he did go eight innings. The game irritated the hell out of me, for some reason. You know how there are some games that just drive you nuts? This was one of them. I figured the Yankees were going to be blown out. Boomer whiffed A Rod in his first two at-bats, but then Rodriguez jumped all over a 2-0 fastball his next time up, and tied the game with a solo shot to center. I turned in with the ol' girl during the seventh inning stretch figuring I had better things to do than dick around watching the game.
But I couldn't get to sleep, so against my better instincts, I got up to check the score about 45 mintues later, just in time to watch Juan Acevado K A Rod on three pitches (all looking), in the 10th inning to give the Yanks a 7-5 win. The Freak Soriano had 3 hits and collected the game-winning RBI off of Ugie Urbina.
Rodriguez, and The Rangers exacted a measure of revenge on Sunday, pounding the Yanks 10-6 to avoid being swept. A Rod went 5-5 and had 6 RBI, including a bases-loaded double that had Joe Torre second-guessing his decision to leave lefty Randy Choate in to face the King of Swing.
Sunday's game was the ugliest game of the series, but I didn't mind so much. Sometimes you gotta get spanked, right? Jeff Weaver didn't have much and when Joe Torre came to get him, he looked like he was trying to suppress a smile. Hey skip, I sucked pretty bad today, huh? The Yanks ended their longest road trip of the year at 8-2, so what's not to like about that?
I flipped back and forth between the game, and the Hoopskaball playoffs. As badly as the Yankees played, Jason Giambi pinch-hit in the ninth and represented the tying run. Even though the Yanks got smacked around, they still had a chance to win the game.
The Yanks are now 20-5, and the only drag is that the Red Sox are only 4 games back. Boston pulled out a 14-inning win over the Angels last night in Anahiem (incredibly, the Cardinals beat the Marlins in a 20-inning game yesterday too). Naturally, Pedro Martinez didn't get the win, although he looked fine, striking out ten in seven innings of work and leaving with a 4-2 lead.
I was talking with Ed Cossette of Bambino's Curse yesterday, and he expressed to me the constant anxiety Red Sox fans live with regarding Pedro's health. I was thinking about it later, and I have a question for the reader: Who was the last great pitcher who was as vunerable while he was in his prime as Martinez? I don't think the Koufax analogy works, because according to Jane Leavy's book, Koufax knew going into the 1965 season that his days were numbered. I don't get that sense with Pedro at all. Has there ever been as dominant a pitcher who was as frail as Pedro Martinez seems to be?