|Yankees win! 2012 AL East Champions|
October is a month that can be memorable or it can be forgettable. This one I hope is somewhere in between.
With the baseball regular season ending on the third day of the month it's off to a good start.
With that being said, here's how it's started for me.
First of all, since the Yankees and Orioles ended September winning their games, it put them in a tie for first place. The playoff push was on.
As for me, I went to work with less than enough sleep but I managed to get through the day. After work, I went up to the Bronx to see the Yankees play their hated rival, the Boston Red Sox to close out the regular season at home while the Baltimore Orioles were on the road in Florida, St. Petersburg to be exact where they were playing the Tampa Bay Rays as they call them.
Before I went into Yankee Stadium, I got off the subway and I went to Burger King to have dinner. I enjoyed a few Chicken Parm sandwiches which tasted really good considering it was fast food. Once I was done, I headed over to Yankee Stadium so I could get ready for the playoff like baseball I was going to see.
When I went upstairs to go to my seat, I ran into my pals Phil Butleman and David Sack. It was great to see them again. Phil was back after spending a few weeks out on the West Coast while David was busy going to school. After we spoke, they went to their seats and I went to mine where I met up with the King.
As for the game we saw, it was over early. CC Sabathia started for the Yankees and he retired the Red Sox in order in the top of the first which set the tone. The Yankees also went down 1,2,3 in their half of the first.
In the second inning, Red Sox first baseman Mauro Gomez lead off with a double but Sabathia got the next three batters out to leave him stranded.
The Yankees came up and they responded in a monster way. Robinson Cano lead off with a home run to center field to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. After Mark Teixeira struck out looking off of Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz to record the first out, Nick Swisher singled to start the onslaught. Curtis Granderson followed with a two run homer, a high fly ball if you will that just made it to the short porch in right field to extend the lead to 3-0. Russell Martin was up next and he left the yard to make it 4-0. After walks were issued to Eric Chavez and Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki singled to load the bases. Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. With that being said, the Yankees had batted around. Robinson Cano was up again and this time he delivered a two run double to pad the lead, it was now 7-0. I thought for a moment I went to a Monday Night football game. Before this inning finally ended, Mark Teixeira sent a "Tex" message to right to round out the scoring with a two run homer to give the Yankees a commanding 9-0 lead after two innings. Since Roger Clemens wasn't pitching, I felt the lead was safe.
In the end, I was right. The Red Sox broke the shutout in the fourth inning as Daniel Nava lead off with a homer to make it 9-1. The Red Sox added another run in the seventh inning to make it 9-2. The Yankees tacked on another run in the bottom of the eighth when rookie Melky Mesa who was making his big league debut got his first major league hit and run batted in to make it 10-2. That's the way it mercifully ended for the pathetic Red Sox who were playing out the string. CC Sabathia was dominant as he pitched solidly for eight innings to earn his 15th win of the season.
While the Yankees were cruising to an easy victory, the Orioles lost to the Rays which gave the Yankees a one game lead in the battle for first place.
Tuesday night after work I went back for more meaningful October baseball. This time I met the King for dinner at the 7 Fish Market before we went into the Stadium on a misty rainy night. Luckily the game was played through without a delay.
As for the game we saw, the Red Sox got off to a fast start as they lead 1-0 just two batters into the game. A few batters later they scored again to make it 2-0. The Yankees sliced the lead in half as they took advantage of an error by Red Sox third baseman Pedro Ciriaco who made a throwing error on an infield single to put Curtis Granderson in scoring position with two outs. Granderson proceeded to steal third then Eduardo Nunez beat out a grounder to shortstop that plated a run to make it 2-1 Red Sox. It stayed that way until the ninth inning when the Red Sox added an insurance run as James Loney lead off with a homer to make it 3-1 off Yankee closer Rafael Soriano who came on to pitch the ninth inning. The Yankees weren't done just yet. Curtis Granderson lead off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Raul Ibanez was called upon to pinch hit. He came through in the clutch as he lined the ball into the right field porch to tie the game at three. The crowd went crazy.
Meanwhile in Florida, the Orioles just finished beating the Rays and Big Game James Shields who was dominating but was the hard luck loser despite going the distance allowing just two hits one unfortunately was a home run which was the difference as the Rays lost, 1-0. He did set a team record as he struck out 15 Orioles in the process.
Back in the Bronx, we went into extra innings. The Yankees' bullpen held the Red Sox at bay for three innings. In the bottom of the twelveth inning after there were two out, Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller walked Francisco Cervelli after he had him in a 0-2 hole. Curtis Granderson followed with a free pass which set the stage for another dramatic moment as Raul Ibanez came through again. This time he found a hole on the left side of the infield that won the game for the Yankees, 4-3. What a choke by the gutless Red Sox. On the other hand, the Yankees always find a way to win when their backs are to the wall.
Wednesday night after work I went back to the Bronx for the showdown if you will. By winning the first two games of the series against the Red Sox, the Yankees controlled their destiny. Another win and they finish first regardless of what the Orioles did.
Before I went into the Stadium, I went to the Court Deli Restaurant where I picked up a Corned Beef sandwich for dinner. I proceeded to go inside and I went up to my seat and I enjoyed it.
As for the game we saw, it was a battle of two Japanese pitchers. Daisuke Matsuzaka started for the Red Sox and his fellow countryman Hiroki Kuroda who was on the mound for the Yankees.
The Red Sox drew first blood as they got a run scoring single by Cody Ross in the top of the first inning. The Yankees went down in order in their half of the first. In the second inning, Kuroda worked around a walk he issued to get the Red Sox out without further damage. In the bottom of the second, the Yankees went to work on Dice K as Matsuzaka is nicknamed. After a single, a walk and a strikeout, Curtis Granderson hit a fly ball to the right field porch to make it a 3-1 game. In the third inning, Kuroda survived another walk as he got the Red Sox out again. His counterpart, Dice K continued to play with fire. After recording the first out, he allowed a single to Alex Rodriguez. Robinson Cano came up next and he took him deep to make it 5-1. After a single to Nick Swisher, Dice K was done for the night. Kuroda on the other hand, was able to work around a few walks as well as some hits each inning but he kept the Red Sox in check. His teammates responded as they sensed the celebration was on the way. It was only a matter of time as the Yankees pounded the Red Sox into submission. They whipped them, 14-2 as the Chase for 28 was officially on. Another first place finish for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees by winning avoided playing a possible tie breaker game in Baltimore on Thursday. Actually the Orioles wound up losing to the Rays before the Yankees officially beat the Red Sox so they clinched earlier than expected if you will. It was a formality when it was all said and done.
More October baseball here we come in the Bronx.
In preparation, I got some needed nights off on Thursday night and Friday night after work.
Thursday night I came home, I ate dinner and took it easy.
Friday night I came home, I ate dinner then I went out and I did my laundry.
Stay tuned as I'm going to write some special posts about my local football filled weekend.
Thank you for reading and following along.