…staying at the ballpark when it is all but certain your team is going to lose.
…watching in horror as Mark Teixeira bats ahead of Robinson Cano in the lineup and proceeds to go 0-6, stranding nine runners. In his first two at-bats, Teix came up with runners at the corners and one out. Both times, he grounded into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. He ended an ending by stranding two runners in each of his first three at-bats, all with Cano standing idle in the on-deck circle. I know Joe Girardi loves to play matchups, and Red Sox starter Jon Lester was a lefty, but… Teixeira should hit ahead of Cano again when hell freezes over. And not a game sooner.
…appreciating the hellacious week and a half Cano has had. In his last eight games, Robbie is 20-for-35 (.625) with a home run and eight RBIs. He’s had at least two hits in each game. Sure, his hot stretch has come against terrible teams, but a hot Cano is a nearly unstoppable Cano. Now, can he keep it up in the postseason? I say yes. Though his career postseason slash line is just .258/.307/.491, he hit .316 in the 2010 and 2011 playoffs combined, with six homers and 15 RBIs in 14 games.
…suffering gamely through one terrible at-bat with runners in scoring position after another. At one point, the Yankees had 11 hits and one run last night. For the year, the team’s RISP line is .255/.351/.431, and that’s only after a strong last month in clutch situations. Watching it inning after inning after inning is an exercise in insanity management.
…believing your team can rally in the ninth inning even though it’s 0-59 when losing after eight innings for the season.
…repeating the mantra: “A bloop and a blast” over and over again until you believe it.
…standing in expectant shock as the impossible becomes real. Until Raul Ibanez’s game-tying home run in the ninth was halfway to the right-field seats, I honestly didn’t believe it was gone.
…jumping up and down like a maniac, screaming yourself hoarse with the kind of pure, unbridled joy that is all too rare in life.
…trying valiantly to get your heart to stop racing, and failing.
…choking back bitter disappointment when a ninth-inning bid to win fails. Bases loaded, one out, all the momentum on your side, and you can’t get it done?!?! Ugh.
…settling in for the long haul of extra innings.
…believing that a third-string catcher with exactly zero at-bats on the season can find a way to get on base.
…having that faith rewarded. Thank you, Francisco Cervelli. Your season-long angst at being demoted to the minors must have been forgotten a little bit after that critical walk.
…screaming “RAUUUUUUUUULLLLLL!!!!!” like it’s your job.
…raising your arms to the heavens and bellowing (there’s no better word to describe it) as somehow, some way, your team scores the winning run to maintain a one-game division lead with one game left. Do wins get bigger? Sure. Do comebacks get more scintillating? Absolutely. But in this situation, with everything on the line, against your bitterest rival, when the Yankees’ win probability heading into the bottom of the ninth was nine percent? This was damn near perfect.
…croaking “New York, New York” because you have no voice left. And my God is that croak satisfying.
Yankees 4, Red Sox 3. One-game lead on the Orioles with one game to go. Now it’s 5-1 Yankees in the third inning. The finish line is in sight.