For the second week in a row I had no nights off between work and play. This past week I spend most of my free time after work in the Bronx in the House that George built.
Speaking of George, the late great owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner was honored with a larger than life size plaque in Monument Park in a special ceremony before the Yankees/Rays game on Monday night.
It was a typical Yankee first class production. They had the current team as well as many former players who had the privilege of wearing pinstripes during the George Steinbrenner era which was from 1973 until he passed away on July 13th on hand as well as family members to honor the "Boss". Those included former manager Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, Roy White, Gene Michael, David Cone, David Wells and Tino Martinez to name a few.
George was always remembered for charity work and his relentlessness to have to win at all cost. George symbolized capitalism. He was referred to as the greatest owner in professional team sports. It's hard to dispute that fact.
After the touching ceremony, the Yankees in a George like fashion went on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-6!
The Yankees roughed up Rays starter Matt Garza in the process. Curtis Granderson led the way by hitting two home runs including a three run blast that hit high off the foul pole in rightfield that give the Yankees a 8-4 lead at the time.
Tuesday night it was game 2 of this crucial series for first place. The Yankees stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. They went on to cruise to an easy 8-3 victory as they opened a 2 and a half lead over the Rays for first place.
Wednesday night the game started and the Rays lead 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning when the sky opened up and the game was delayed for 2 hours and 11 minutes due to rain. they finally resumed playing at 10:11PM. The Rays tacked on a few runs to take a 3-1 lead going to the bottom of the sixth inning. It was 11:15PM and I needed to get home at a somewhat reasonable hour so I decided to leave. It was a case of deseperate times since I very rarely leave a game early unless it's a special situation like this.
The Rays hit back to back solo home runs courtesy of Carl Crawford & Evan Longoria in the seventh inning to extend their lead and they eventually won the game, 7-2! It should be noted the game ended at 12:34AM. I got home a minute earlier so if I would have stayed until the end I wouldn't have gotten home until around 2AM assuming I made the necessary train connections.
In retospect, I made the right decision. Thankfully I did. I was tired at work Thursday.
Thursday night after work as tired as I was it was time to go back to the Bronx for more punishment. Actually the Yankees were the ones who got beat up. This was suppose to be a marquee pitching matchup on paper between two Cy Young award candidates in the Rays' David Price and the Yankees' CC Sabathia. Neddless to say, it didn't live up to the hype. In matter of fact, CC took a bath if you will in this one on the mound. He got lit up for 10 hits and he gave up 7 runs as the Rays pulled back within a half game of first place with a 10-3 win!
Friday night the hated Boston Red Sox came back to the Bronx to see if they could keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They got to Yankee starter Andy Pettitte in the second and fourth inning and they knocked him out of the game after they touched him up for 7 runs to take a 7-1 lead after 4 innings. They added 3 more in the fifth inning to go up 10-1. The Yankees thanks to Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez who both hit two home runs got within 2 runs but they couldn't finish the comeback as they fell short, 10-8! Please note that A-Rod hit his 609th and 610th career home runs.
Saturday afternoon it was game 2 of the series against the Red Sox. The Red Sox behind 7 strong innings by starter and Cy Young award candidate Jon Lester shut down the Yankee offense as they won again, this time by a score of 7-3! A-Rod hit his 611th home run in the loss.
Sunday afternoon I went to see the Giants play the Tennessee Titans at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Titans took total of a Giants team that couldn't help themselves from self-destructing time and time again.
For all the details of this Giant debacle, please stay tuned for my special posts regarding the game and more importantly the Royalty experience. Trust me it will be worth the wait.
After the Giant game, it was time for me to attend Sunday night baseball in the Bronx as the Yankees were looking to salvage a game in this three series and put a dagger towards the Red Sox slim playoff hopes.
This was a well pitched game for 7 innings between starters Daisuke Matsusaka aka "Dice-K" and Phil Hughes. Then as usual the bullpens took over and they prolonged the agony.
A-Rod hit his 612th career home run to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning. The Red Sox rallied against Mariano Rivera of all people to tie the game again.The game wound up going into extra innings and the Yankees eventually won in the 10th inning after Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon blew the game and relief pitcher Hideki Okajima walked Juan Miranda with the bases loaded with one out to give them the victory.
Thank you for reading and following along.