Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh What a Night

Heading to the stadium last night to see the game with my friend Deborah, my
expectations were pretty low, given that the Yanks already clinched and were playing the Royals. Imagine to my surprise this was one of the best games I attended all year. It started with the wonderful, surprise pre-game ceremony celebrating Mariano Rivera's 500 saves and Derek Jeter setting the all-time hits record. My favorite part was when Mo's three sons were given those gorgeous, enormous rings commemorating their dad's accomplishment. Can you imagine anything cooler? And Mo was given his gifts by his manager Joe Girardi (who caught his first save), Jorge Posada (who caught his 500th) and Yogi Berra (one of the great Yankees of all time).

Jorge Posada's tribute to his BFF and his favorite pitcher was short and sweet, nothing but love and thanks to them for "always being the same." Andy Pettitte also thanked his pals for the wonderful journey and all the growing up they did together. You could tell he was both nervous and Texan--he said Y'all at least 20 times.

Melky Cabrera was also honored for hitting the cycle earlier this year, the first time a Yankee did that since 1995, and he looked absolutely thrilled.

And I'll never turn down an opportunity to see Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez back at the stadium where they should be.

The game itself could have been a letdown after such an emotional ceremony, but it turned into a fantastic pitchers' duel (nothing I love more!) between the Royals' Anthony Lerew and AJ Burnett, who threw more than 100 pitches in 6 1/3 innings. His last inning wouldn't have been so bad except Phil Coke threw to first base instead of cutting the second Burnett run down at the plate. Boy did he have a rough inning!

It was great to see Dave Robertson back on the mound, which puts him into the mix for the postseason if he can prove he is healthy in the next four games. Brian Bruney was out there too and feeling pretty strong, as shown when he threw the ball over his catcher's head. He was helped out when Hairston let the ball drop to secure the double play after seeing the hitter not run the ball out, a brilliant decision.

Who would have thought Juan Miranda would end of being one of the heroes of the latest Yankee comeback? That ninth inning could have turned out very badly due to Girardi's late-inning substitutions. I'm all for resting players ahead of the postseason, but why take Jeter and Tex out with only one inning left and down by only one run? He had Cano hitting in Jeter's spot, which worked out when he hit the sac fly to tie the game. But Damon was intentionally walked ahead of Miranda, in Tex's spot. Luckily the kid made contact and put the ball in the perfect spot.

Miranda, undoubtedly, was not surprised by AJ's pie in the face!

Even though it's time to go to bed, I'm still buzzing from an awesome night. It was, as Barney Stinson would say, "legendary."

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