So you know how we were all wondering where the Yankees’ offense was? Well… this is so embarrassing… it turns out it was just buried in my sofa cushions this whole time! I found it yesterday afternoon, when I was looking for my keys.
Yes, it took a few days longer than they might have hoped, but the Yankees snapped out of their funk in a big way Wednesday night – and overcame a predictably lousy start by Sidney Ponson – with an 18-7 blowout of the Texas Rangers. That’s the most runs New York has scored all season, and every starter had at least one hit, but the key contributor, once again, was Jason Giambi and his Porn 'Stache of Doom. It was 3-1 Rangers in the third inning when the Big G put the Yanks ahead with an upper tank grand slam; he came through again in the seventh with a two-run double that put the Yankees up 8-7 after Ponson, left in too long, ran out of luck and coughed up a 6-3 lead.
That seventh inning was decisive, a nine-run explosion made possible by Texas’s poor bullpen and exacerbated by Ron Washington’s curious management choices. While Edwar Ramirez had taken over for Ponson and pitched two shutdown innings, the unfortunate Warner Madrigal (not a typo) made his first-ever appearance for the Rangers in this tense one-run game and left, many batters later, with an ERA of 162.00.
Meanwhile, watching Ponson start a game, even when things are going relatively well, is like taking a time machine back to 1906 San Francisco and strolling around. You just can’t enjoy yourself because you know disaster is right around the corner. In fact, what I like about Ponson – perhaps the only thing I like about Ponson – is that he makes me look good; I can predict with absolute confidence that he will pitch poorly for the Yankees and in the long run I really don’t have to worry about him proving me wrong.
To be fair, the Scourge of the Aruban Judiciary did get through five innings with his team up 6-3, thanks to some extremely lucky and well-timed double plays, and Girardi may have been pushing his luck asking for more. “It’s always frustrating,” said Ponson of his performance and out-of-whack mechanics after the game. As much as I hated this move for the Yanks and have zero faith in Ponson’s ability to either pitch well or avoid arrest for any extended period of time, I couldn’t help noticing, as he stood at the center of a media swarm in front of his locker, that he has these strangely big, wet, soulful eyes that sort of remind me of my Labrador’s. I've been wondering how he kept convincing teams to hire him, and now I think I've got my answer.
Anyway, why dwell on the negative when there are 18 runs, 16 hits and 7 walks to discuss? Everyone contributed, including rookie Brett Gardner, who got his first major league hit and RBI, and subsequently showed off his seriously impressive speed on the bases. Johnny Damon had three hits, and Cano continued to fog up the mirror with two of his own. And Alex Rodriguez ignored the increasingly batshit insane rumors about his personal life to score four runs and hit his 535th career home run, putting him just one behind Mickey Mantle on the all-time list -- at age 32. Wow.
Here's hoping he can keep his focus throughout the impending tabloid hysteria; the headline writers at the Post and Daily News are really going to earn their paychecks this week.