25 innings of live playoff baseball in two nights has broken me. I know that sounds like a humblebrag, but I assure you it’s not.
What’s there to say at this point that hasn’t been said on this blog 100 times? The Yankees went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, tied for third-worst in team playoff history. The fans booed A-Rod lustily, especially when he struck out with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth inning, with the score tied 1-1 (any ball in the outfield here most likely wins the series for the Yankees). The Orioles’ bullpen absolutely dominated the Yankee hitters — no Yankee reached second base after the eighth inning. A piece of a broken bat smashed into Joba Chamberlain’s elbow, forcing him out of the game and forcing David Phelps to come in cold, literally and figuratively. Not once did the Yankees get the big hit/productive out they needed in an important spot late in the game. Not once.
So it’s winner-take-all in Game 5, with C.C. Sabathia on the hill against Jason Hammel. A-Rod may hit third, he may hit fifth, he may ride the pine, he may be exiled to the moon — who the hell knows. We need a great game from C.C., and we need to score a couple runs, either on the longball or on a rash of unlikely clutch hits. That’s the formula. As Vince Lombardi might say: “Sounds great. Go do it.”