Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Battle of the aces a real flop

Boy was that disappointing. Last night's game was supposed to be a marquee matchup, a battle of the aces of the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. But after a promising start in the first inning by both pitchers, it turned out to be a real flop.

The only consolation was that the Yankees won the game 8-3 after spanking Mr. Perfect Roy Halladay for six runs. Halladay, normally a nightmare for Yankee hitters, just didn't have it yesterday. Before you could blink, he had given up two runs in the second inning with a single, walk and a triple to light-hitting speedster Brett Gardner. Next inning, Halladay started giving up the bombs, with Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira hitting the first three left-handed homers Doc has allowed all season.

His opponent CC Sabathia was fine, but it was hardly a high-quality performance. Although he went seven innings, he gave up three runs and was constantly in danger of imploding in the middle innings when the game was tight. I switched channels to catch President Obama's speech about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and returned to find that Sabathia had given up three runs and had runners in scoring position after his lineup staked him to a 5-0 lead against the normally-dominant Halladay. Sabathia also made what could have been a costly mental error in failing to cover first on a potential double-play ground ball. But in the end, he held the Phillies to just those three runs, more than enough for the Yanks to win the first game of the rematch of World Series participants.

So last night’s game, which should have been a memorable duel, ended up to be a real bust, except for the Yankees victory. Who knows, maybe we’ll get the pitching duel from AJ Burnett and 47-year-old Jamie Moyer tonight. Unlikely, of course, but stranger things have happened in baseball.

Thanks to furnstein via Wikipedia for the photo.

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