|Yankees win, 3-1 to advance to ALCS|
Instead I went out to MetLife Stadium for Monday Night football as the Jets hosted the Houston Texans. It was a personal milestone for me as I witnessed my 400th NFL football game. On my way there, I stopped off at Charley's Subs for my pre game meal in Penn Station. Then I took the NJ Transit train from there to Secaucus where I connected for the train to the Meadowlands and MetLife Stadium.
I was joined by the King who decided to pass up the baseball game in Baltimore too. We also met up with our friend Al Linderman who was out there as well our pals Larry Peim and the legendary sports radio caller Ira Liberfarb aka Ira from Staten Island. We also saw our friend Dennis Barbera who was kind enough to drive us home so we got back relatively fast.
As for the game we saw, the Jets fell behind early as the Texans scored on their first drive of the game as they got the opening kickoff. They proceeded to drive 85 yards in just under four minutes to take a 7-0 lead. The Jets came back later in the first quarter thanks to a turnover. Cornerback Antonio Croatia of the Jets intercepted a pass in Jet territory. The Jets took advantage as they drove down the field and the drive culminated with a 27 yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland that evened the score at seven.
In the second quarter, the Texans' regained the lead as running back Arian Foster ran in a touchdown from 13 yards out to make it a 14-7 game. Shayne Graham booted a 27 yard field goal as the Texans' padded their lead to ten at 17-7 as they headed into the locker room.
During halftime, the Jets had a ceremony to honor a few players who played back in the 1980's. I'm referring to wide receiver Wesley Walker and defensive end Mark Gastineau who were the latest inductees to the Jets Ring of Honor. It was nice to see them get recognized by the organization. They were two of my favorites back in the day.
In the third quarter, Shayne Graham extended the Texans lead to 20-7 as he kicked a 42 yard field goal. The Jets' got a much needed boost on special teams as their kick returner Joe McKnight took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards from one goal line to the other to bring the Jets back within six at 20-14. The Texans' tacked on another field goal from 22 yards out just before the quarter ended to take a 23-14 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Jets got a field goal from 21 yards out to get back within six at 23-17.
Unfortunately for the Jets, they couldn't get closer as the Texans remained unbeaten on the young season at 5-0. They also finally beat the Jets for the first time in their ten year history. The Jets played hard but they fell short against one of the best teams in the NFL right now.
Tuesday night I came home after work and I got to rest up and relax which was nice after being out so late Monday night.
Wednesday night after work I went up to the Bronx to see some postseason baseball which seems to reside there this time of year. Before I headed up there, I went out with some co-workers for some drinks and appetizers. It worked out well as we said goodbye to one of our co-workers who was moving on.
I got off the train in the Bronx just before game time. Luckily I saw a familiar face when I got to the Stadium so I was able to get in with relative ease. With that being said, I was able to get up to my seat with the King in section 420B just before the first pitch was going to be delivered. It came at 7:39PM as Yankees' starter Hiroki Kuroda threw it to Orioles' left fielder Nate McLouth.
In the third inning, the Orioles drew first blood as second baseman Ryan Flaherty hit a home run to give the Orioles an early 1-0 lead. The Yankees answered right back as Derek Jeter hit a ball to right center field that took off it wound up being a run scoring triple. It appeared that center fielder Adam Jones may have been able to catch it but he missed it.
In the fifth inning, the Orioles regained the lead as rookie third baseman Manny Machado hit a homer to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out and nobody on base, Yankee manager Joe Girardi decided to pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez who's been in s slump. It was a bold move. He sent up Raul Ibanez who proceeded to make him look like a genius as he hit a home run into the seats in right center field to tie the game at two.
The game went into extra innings. Both teams failed to score in the tenth and eleventh innings. In the twelveth, the Yankees held the Orioles again. In the bottom half of the inning, Raul Ibanez lead off and he did it again. It was amazing how he hit another homer this time to right field which ended it as the Yankees won, 3-2. The crowd went into a frenzy as the Bronx Bombers took a 2-1 lead in games in this best of five series.
Thursday night after work I went back to the Bronx for game 4 of the ALDS with the Orioles. I stopped off at the Court Deli Restaurant first so I could pick up a sandwich for dinner that I brought inside. On my way in I had the privilege and honor of meeting up with another sports traveler named Doug Fischer who was there with his friend John. John was running late so while Doug was waiting for him we got to chat. It was great to exchange road trip stories with him. While we were talking, my friends Phil Butleman and Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich passed by. I introduced them to Doug. I plan to stay in touch with Doug so we can meet up again in the future. After we said our goodbyes, I proceeded to go into the Stadium.
I went up to my seat and I ate my dinner. I had a corned beef sandwich and it was so good. After I finished eating, I got ready for the game to start.
As for the game we saw, it was scoreless until the fifth inning when Nate McLouth of the Orioles hit a homer to give his team a 1-0 lead off of Yankees' Phil Hughes who pitched well. The Yankees evened the score in the bottom of the sixth as Derek Jeter lead off with a double. Ichiro sacrificed him to third. After Mark Teixeira was walked, Robinson Cano grounded out to second but It allowed Derek Jeter to come home to tie the game at one.
For the second night in a row, we got some bonus baseball as they played thirteen innings this time. The result was different too. The Orioles wound up breaking the tie as J.J. Hardy delivered a game winning double that drove in Manny Machado who lead off with a double as the Orioles forced a decisive game five. Since the Nationals forced a game five earlier the Yankees and Orioles were going to meet up at 5:07PM Friday afternoon.
With that being said, in order for me to have a chance to get to the game on time I needed to leave work early.
When I got to work on Friday morning I arranged to get out an hour early. Thanks to the lousy MTA, I didn't get to the game on time. I wound up missing the top of the first inning which went fast. CC Sabathia retired the Orioles in order.
The game remained scoreless again until the bottom of the fifth inning. Mark Teixeira lead off with a single he then stole second base which turned out to be a huge play as Raul Ibanez, the game three hero, got another big hit. This time he singled to right center to make it 1-0 Yankees.
In the sixth inning, the Yankees tacked on another run as Ichiro Suzuki got a run scoring double to make it 2-0. In the seventh inning, they added more insurance as Curtis Granderson hit a fly ball that landed on the porch in right field to make it 3-0.
The Orioles finally broke the shutout in the eighth inning as Lew Ford got a run scoring single. CC Sabathia managed to wiggle out of further trouble as the Yankees held on to win the game, 3-1. By doing so, they moved on to face the Tigers in American League Championship Series after the Tigers eliminated the Oakland Athletics in five games.
Saturday night the King and I went back up to the Bronx to see game one of the ALCS. We took it easy during the day since we didn't know until the last minute that the Yankees would be home.
As for the game we saw, like the games against the Orioles, runs were hard to come by early on. This game was scoreless until the Tigers got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. They got a few run scoring singles from Prince Fielder and Delmon Young to take a 2-0 lead. In the eighth inning, Delmon Young hit a homer to make it 3-0. Avisail Garcia extended the lead to 4-0 with a clutch two out single.
It should be noted that a good number of Yankee fans were long gone by this time. If you've seen Yankee games over the last 17 years you know that no game is over in the Bronx. Even though the odds were stacked against them, the Yankees chipped away in the bottom of the ninth. Russell Martin lead off with a single, Derek Jeter surprisingly struck out in a big spot. Ichiro Suzuki picked up the Captain as he hit his first ever postseason home run to slice the lead in half at 4-2. After Robinson Cano struck out swinging, Mark Teixeira drew a walk after it appeared he was struck out but home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg said a close pitch was a ball in the sequence. As a result, the stage was set again for Raul Ibanez who did it yet again. He hit another game tying two run homer to right center to even the score at four. We went to extra innings for the third time in four games in the Bronx.
This time it took twelve innings to determine a winner. It was a nightmare of an inning in the top of the twelveth. Delmon Young victimized the Yankees again as he drove in his third run of the game with a double that gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead. The worst followed as Jhonny Peralta hit a ball to Derek Jeter at shortstop who went down awkwardly. He wound up fracturing his ankle on the play. As a result, he's done for the postseason. Peralta wound up with a single which advanced Delmon Young to third base. The next batter Andy Dirks got a hit off of reliever David Phelps which plated another run. The Tigers lead 6-4. In the bottom half of the twelveth inning, the Yankees ran out of miracles. They went down in order as the Tigers took game one.
Sunday afternoon the King and I decided to go to see the Jets play Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. We met up with our pal Larry Peim who was leaving early so he could get to the Yankee game too which was starting at 4:07PM. Larry wound up driving the King and I over to the upper East side of Manhattan where we caught the subway to the Stadium. We were very grateful for Larry's kindness.
As for the Jet game, we departed with 10:37 left in the third quarter with the Jets comfortably ahead 21-6. The Jets played well especially running back Shonn Greene who ran wild for a change. The Jets went on and they cruised to a 35-9 victory when it was all said and done.
As for the Yankee game, we wound up missing the top of the first inning. It was another game that remained scoreless until the top of the seventh inning when the Tigers got the game's first run on a fielder's choice by Delmon Young to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Starter Anibal Sanchez threw seven stellar shutout innings for the Tigers. The Tigers gave reliever Phil Coke who used to pitch for the Yankees some insurance runs as they added two more in the top of the eighth inning as Avisail Garcia and Miguel Cabrera both delivered clutch two out run scoring singles. The Yankees failed to touch Coke who retired them in order to seal the deal as they took a commanding two games to none lead heading back to Motown.
Thank you for reading and following along.