Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-07-26 12:01
by Alex Belth


There was no mention of Manny's base running in the Boston papers this morning, while the New York press went with the "same as it ever was" angle on the game.

Not only was Enrique fine, but Bernie had three hits off Pedro, and enjoyed his best game since returning from the dl, in spite of misplaying Manny's fly ball into a double. I was thinking about how Manny missed first on that play, and I first assumed it was because he thought he had hit it out. But maybe he missed it cause he thought Bernie was going to make the catch. No excuse, either way.

Jesse Orosco was onions whiffing Damon with the bases-loaded in the sixth, and Armando pitched well in a pressure-packed situation to boot. Kudos to Boomer Wells, who walked five, and hung tough on a night when his back was bothering him, and he didn't have his best stuff. Ditto to Pedro, who is as good as it gets, even when he takes an "L."

I don't know if any other pitcher could get away with the smack he was talking to Dana Demuth late in the game.

Loyal Bronx Banter readers, Jamie and Gioia Bakum---Yankee fans living in the heart of Beantown, were at the game. This morning, Jamie sent me his impressions of the game:

Wow - my heart is still just getting settled down. Gioia and I had (fairly crummy) right field seats for this one through one of the 4-game packs we'd ordered back in February. At the bottom of the first, we wandered over to visit a couple who'd come up from Long Island for a family function, pulled in a favor, and gotten field box seats along the first base line. We were both in the bathroom when Jorge homered, which is, of course, the only reason he did. Our friends had four seats for themselves and their two boys and accomodated us (more or less happily, I hope) through 4 innings with the kids alternately on their laps or running around to find cotton candy. They packed up in the bottom of the 6th, and Gioia and I stretched out in our 4-seat row and enjoyed a fantastic view of an incredible game.
Your blow-by-blow was exciting and thorough, so I just wanted to add some random observations:
In an interesting bit of non-foreshadowing, Giambi (the Yankee one) hit several towering home-runs before the game, some of the deepest I've seen there during BP.
I had a pre-game mini-stroke upon seeing Weaver throwing in the bullpen, but it must've been a tune-up (or a precaution given Well's back? Yikes, what may have been...).
Red Sox Nation seemed rather subdued, more so than I've encountered at Yanks/Sox in a while. Around the watercooler they've been as cocky as ever, so I was surprised that I didn't pick up a really sustained "Yankees Suck" chant until the 4th inning - maybe they were too busy watching the game. I almost fell out of my chair when I heard a couple of Sox fans behind me decrying the proliferation of "Yankees Suck" t-shirts. "What are we telling the children?" one asked to the other. I almost got up and bought them beers.
We were sitting a few rows from Stephen King, though I didn't see Norman Mailer, DK Goodwin, Roger Angell, or the guy who played Jay Peterman on Seinfeld.
Bottom of the 5th - I think Manny actually got back to first in time on that play, given the poor throw, but was (properly) called out on principle.
Pedro's breaking stuff was truly wicked. From our vantage point, you could see how far off the righties were. Mondesi swung at one that looked a full 12 inches under his bat. And then he seemed to pick up more velocity toward the end of stint. Amazing.
Meanwhile, Wells looked uncomfortable from the start (we hadn't heard about the back acting up, of course) and had that David Cone-ish looking post-pitch double shoulder shrug with grimace going most of the night. One of the biggest crowd reactions pre-game was a montage of David's last start against the Sox in the Bronx, set to "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and concluding with the glove thrown into the crowd. I was not, as can be imagined, hopeful at that point.
There were ooohs and aaaahs from the crowd on Benitez's velocity, but it was clear if you were patient he wasn't hitting the plate consistently. 97mph and waaay outside is really only half impressive.
I'll cut him some slack for non-familarity, but the most pianful at-bat of the night (even more so than Giambi's whiffs) was Matsui against Sauerbeck. I don't think Hideki knew what hit him.
A revised scoreboard for this year shows (along with a pitch indentifier, speed, count and strike/ball breakdown) a hitter's average against the guy on the mound. My questions on Enrique's start over a finally-warming-up Ventura were answered as he walked toward the plate for his first at-bat. .400 against Pedro - a hah!
And frankly, I don't really have any recollections from the 8th or 9th innings. With all my blood rushing around, I was seeing spots and hearing a strange rushing sound. When that weak liner settled into Soriano's glove Gioia and I skipped our usual post-victory low-key high-five and lept into each other's arms. Amazing.
And watch Burkett throw a no-no or something today....

Tell me about it. I'm happy that I'm stuck working today, because I don't want to watch the game either. As lame as Burkett as been against the Yanks and as good as Moose has been against the Sox, Boston has a propensity for shrugging off big losses this year. I get superstitious about Yankee-Sox games on Fox too, don't ask me why. I wouldn't put any money down on this one. I say the Sox win in a high-scoring affair.

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