It’s been an interesting season. I’m upset we’re not going to the playoffs, because I would have liked to see Derek Jeter’s final season end in a slightly less depressing fashion, but at least we ended the year with a win and finished above .500, which were two things I wanted to see happen above all else. I’ll still be maintaining this blog throughout the playoffs, and then intermittently through the off-season when stories of note happen. Also, congratulations are in order for Ryan Zimmerman, he of the Washington Nationals — there’s nothing quite like waiting until the last game of the season to throw a no-hitter, I suppose.
Michael Pineda pitched our final game of the season, ending with a final line of 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 10 K. His stats for the season were a 5-5 record with 1.89 ERA. Not bad. Esmil Rogers, who relieved him, didn’t do such a good job, coughing up a further four runs, bringing the score to 9-5. Thankfully none of our other pitchers gave up any further runs, and we were able to maintain the lead. I’m never too fussed about how we win, just that we do.
Derek Jeter played his final game as a Yankee yesterday afternoon, exiting in the 3rd inning after getting an RBI single. His last home game ended with an RBI single, and his last game in general ended with one as well. Lovely bookends. As it was, the offense was pretty well spread-out amongst the lineup, Jeter included. Jose Pirela went 2-4 with 2 RBI, Ichiro went 1-3 with 2 RBI, Chris Young went 2-4, Chase Headley went 1-4 with an RBI, and Austin Romine went 1-2 with an RBI. Overall, a very wonderful effort from everyone, and I liked seeing that we didn’t limp into the end of the season. Onwards and upwards!
I’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.
The Yankees never fail to amuse me sometimes. The Orioles are arguably the best team in the American League, yet we manage to one-hit them, at home, in the last week of the season. It’s never a dull day with us, is it? We’re four games back from the second Wild Card slot, and while I don’t think we’re going to quite make it, I’m at least grateful that we’re putting some effort into ending the season on a positive note, rather than just shuffling and limping toward the end.
The pitching tonight was superb, as you no doubt already noticed. Michael Pineda pitched 7.1 innings, giving up 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 8 K. Shawn Kelley, Rich Hill, and David Phelps pitched the final 1.2 innings, giving up no hits, walking one, and striking out three. It was absolutely dominant performance, and it was great to see. Well, listen to. At least in my case, anyway.
Compared to the last game, where all the hits were confined to the top of the batting order, this time nearly everyone got in on the action, with only Gardner, McCann, and Young not getting a hit…..which is funny because Gardner and McCann were two of the three batters I was talking about earlier. Derek went 1-3 with 3 RBI, Chase Headley went 2-4 with an RBI, and Jose Pirela went 2-3 with an RBI. So all around, a lot of great effort from everyone involved. Well done. Let’s do it again tonight.