The Yankees have spoiled the Twins in so many different ways this season. You have to wonder what kind of magic spell they have over them. Is it the players that have the magic… or the crowd? Or, is it the stadium? The New Yankee Stadium.. .have the Old Spirits of Yankee past brought their magic from across the way? Whatever the explanation, the Magic of the Game is mesmerizing to watch. At least to me.
Not only are we treated with such incredible levels of talent, we are blessed to see how the mechanics of the game play out. There is a reason the game is played for 9 innings. It takes that long for the play to unfold. And unfold it did on Friday night in New York.
The opening act revealed two stellar performances at center stage. The Pitching. In the center of this miraculous place… this game of games… stood the pitchers. First one. Then the other. And they were unbelievable. Each drawing on their inner strength.. their even keel under the pressure of the bright lights… to perform at the highest of levels.
As is the case in most, the drama begins
around the end of Act 2 – the 6th inning. This was no different. After the Twins took a 1-0 advantage in the top half of the frame, the stars came out to shine. What brighter shining star in October than the star of Derek Jeter? Just as in game 1, the Captain delivered the inspiring line. Jeter roped a ground rule double into the Right Center gap.
Enthused by such gamesmanship, beleagured superstar Alex Rodriguez responded for the second game in a row. His missile through the 5.5 hole in the infield brought home the Captain and ignited the crowd. Let the game begin!
The Twins however, did not approve of the script and scrapped their way to a 3-1 lead after 8 1/2 frames of pressure. In came Joe Nathan to center stage to pull off the unthinkable. Could the Twins possibly steal Home Field Advantage? It sure looked like it.
Until the Two Headed Monster came on stage. Tyrannosaurus Tex stepped up to the podium with his massive club. His ripping single into the right field corner set the stage. Who better to take the curtain call then the beleaguered superstar? The man everybody predicts will fold under the pressure. He’ll flub his lines. He won’t perform. The play is a dud. Wrong script guys.
A-Rod homered to deep Right Center to bring the crowd to a roaring ovation. Who writes this stuff? The drama continues!
We won’t enter the “Horriblue” scene because of the obvious. But, we can bring in the drama
of Managing: When faced with an opportunity to employ a new weapon in the 10th, Girardi did not even hesitate to insert speedster Brett Gardner. Oh what havoc he created! Yes, he was foiled by the script when Cabrera caught the perfect pitch and doubled him off of 3rd. But, the point is Girardi used that weapon. Casey Stengel would have done so. Joe Torre would have done so. Girardi did.
When faced with the same opportunity in the 11th, Gardenhire… did not. Didn’t he read the script? Sure, Mauer should have been on 2nd base to lead off the inning. You know what they say about Shoulda, Woulda and Coulda.. yea, they built the state of Nevada! Gardy should have pinch run for Joe Mauer. Simple. He never reached home despite two successive hits behind him. Oh, Gardy… read the script!
Foiled in the top half. The Twins were now faced with the Two Headed Monster of Tyrannosaurus Tex and A-Rod. Which one is going to kill you to end the play? We all know how it ends… don’t we?
So… who is Yesterday’s Hitter? It should be Tex. But, hold on. Tex would have never been in this position without A-Rod’s massive shot to tie the game in the 9th! Yet, A-Rod would never have had the opportunity to tie the game.. .without Tex reaching first. Hmmm…
I reckon it has to be….