Over the course of this season, I’ve been to a good number of games and for the first time in my baseball game going experience, the Yankees have been awful during the majority of those games. Even during their lean years in the early 1990′s, the Yankees always seemed to win with me in attendance so this year has been eye opening.
It’s not fun sitting in the stands with this feeling of dread washing over you.
Take Sunday for instance. Even with a 4-1 lead, my brother and I discussed the uneasy feeling we had that a three run cushion wasn’t going to be enough and it turns out we were right. Thankfully, Brett Gardner turned our dread into elation when he blasted a 94 m.p.h. fastball into the second deck, ending the game in the bottom of the ninth.
But it’s always there, that feeling of impending doom, even when you’re watching the game on TV like I was last night.
When Joe Girardi opted to go to Boone Logan to start the ninth, I didn’t have a good feeling. It wasn’t that I expected Logan to implode, it was just that something didn’t sit right with me. It also wasn’t because Mariano Rivera wasn’t coming in. Part of me was actually relieved about that. I sat through the two home runs on Sunday and figured a night off was the best thing for Mo right now.
I was slightly disappointed that Kuroda wasn’t going to finish what he started but I also realized that Girardi wants to save his ace and 107 pitches is enough for a 38-year-old no matter how good they are.
Logan’s appearance was a mixed bag because he gave up a grounder to J.B. Shuck (Who?!) to start the inning and then struck out Kyle Calhoun (Again, who?) to get the first out of the inning. Logan’s night was done and David Robertson stepped in.
I wasn’t particularly worried about Robertson but with the way this season has been going for the Yankees in general and for poor Hiroki Kuroda who has seen a few good games turn into no decisions because of his bullpen, I was still on edge.
Robertson started off his outing with a walk to Mike Trout which probably could have been a strikeout. I even tweeted that I hoped home plate Brian Gorman would be eaten by a lion after the game. I figured that would be funnier than using a death scenario that was entirely possible like other fans do.
After the walk, Robertson gave up a bloop double to Josh Hamilton that scored Shuck and moved Trout to third.
As the bile rose in my throat, I thought about poor Kuroda. Was another great start going to be ruined because of his bullpen? So to really make everyone’s blood pressure rise, the Yankees and Robertson opted to intentionally walk Erick Aybar to load the bases.
I know Robertson is known as “Houdini” and that he thrives in scary situations but again, like I said earlier, this season has been so weird that I was fully expecting Mark Trumbo to hit a grand slam and put the final coffin into the Yankees’ 2013 season.
Luckily, I wrong. Robertson got Trumbo to strike out on three pitches and there were two outs.
Of course, things can never be easy. And what’s scarier than a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and the tying run on third? Other than my face first thing in the morning, not much.
So that’s where we were last night. The bases were filled with guys in Angels’ uniforms, David Robertson had a 3-2 count on Chris Nelson and was about to deliver what could either be the final pitch of the at bat, allowing Nelson to join his teammates in a fun game of round robin on the bases or the final pitch of the game.
Fortunately, Robertson’s pitch whizzed past Nelson’s mouth and thankfully, so did Nelson’s bat and he was set down to the end the game.
Robertson hopped off the mound and pumped his first in celebration, fans in the Stadium and in their homes or driving in their cars listening to John and Suzyn all exhaled and the Yankees won their second game in a row.
So, was anyone else as nervous as I was? And how has the game watching experience changed for you this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments.