Game 159: Captain Clutch.

Orioles Yankees BaseballI’ve called Derek Jeter “Captain Clutch” many a time, and it’s never been more appropriate than right now.  It was only fitting that Derek Jeter should score our first run of the night, then our last in the bottom of the 9th.  It was his last home game, the last time he’d ever wear the navy blue and white pinstripes in the Bronx, and in an almost scripted fashion, just like his 3,000th hit being a home run, he wins the game for us.  On the first pitch, no less.  When he announced his retirement before the season started, I reflected on the fact that I became a fan in 1994, before he joined the team.  In those 20 years, I’ve only known one Yankees shortstop.  It’ll be strange as hell to see someone else taking the field next year, no #2 hovering in the on-deck circle, but I suppose that’s what goes through the minds of baseball fans when their favorite players decides to hang up their cleats.  BTW, how extremely emotional and awesome was it for him to be greeted afterwards by Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, and Tino Martinez?  They were all key cogs in the dynasty era, and they were all there to usher the last one in.  I won’t lie, I teared up.  I also found it incredibly classy that the Orioles were applauding the whole time.  They’re going to the playoffs, so this loss didn’t affect them, but they still lost….yet they all stood at the top of the dugout, clapping.  Class acts, those boids.

I don’t even care that David Robertson blew the save.  DO NOT CARE.  It’s probably the only time in the history of my baseball fandom that I’ve ever been happy to see such a scene practically dropped into a hitter’s lap.  Good on you, D-Rob, that was marvelous.  If I was a more cynical sort, I’d say you did that on purpose.  He also lucked into the win as well, so there you have it.  Hiroki Kuroda pitched a masterful eight innings, giving up only 2 ER on 3 H, walking none, and striking out nine.  Everyone deserves a steak dinner, yes, even David Robertson.  He allowed Mystique and Aura to take the stage one final time.

The game was all about Derek from the start, so we’ll lead off with him – he went 2-5 with 3 RBI.  Brian McCann, interestingly enough, got 2 RBI without a hit.  That can be done, you know.  Jose Pirela went 2-4.  There’s your offense.  It wasn’t much, but who the hell cares?

On a personal note, I’m going to miss Derek Jeter.  He’s a great guy, a class act all around, he was never embroiled in scandals and bad press.  He’s the kind of player professional sports need more of.  Enjoy retirement, Jetes.  You’ve earned it.

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