(photo from Boston.com)
I just love the body language that Posada’s got going there. As if he’s clutching his pearls in disbelief of how far Papi just hit that ball. And Ortiz, stoic as ever, does that bat flip that I’ve grown to love. The one that translates to, “Bitch, please.” Too bad it wasn’t emblematic of the game as a whole.
However, as I said, I consider it a moral victory seeing as how newbie David Pauley, in just his second start above Double A, came into Yankee Stadium and held the Yankees to two measly runs, the second of which I’m choosing to blame on Mark Loretta and Rudy Seanez. I understand that technically, it was Pauley’s run and it affects his ERA, but even accounting for that, two runs against the Yankees is pretty damn good for a rookie. It’s pretty damn good for anyone, Josh Beckett. And anyone who tells you that they expected last night’s Pauley v. Wang matchup to turn into a pitcher’s duel now has their pants on fire.
Of course it would be the Reanimated Corpse of Bernie Williams who hit the damn home run to tie the game. Of course it would. The universe works in strange ways and if it can’t occasionally give Yankees fans reasons to declare “BRNEI DA BSTAST 3V3R OMG HES TEH ROXOR111!” then something just isn’t right. Cue thousands of rolled eyes in Red Sox Nation.
And of course it was some joker named “Melky” who pulled Manny’s home run back from the abyss. Because that is the way things work in Sox/Yankees. It’s never what you expect. Did you expect Clemens to get shelled in the Clemens/Pedro matchup for the ages a few years back? No. Did you expect Mark Bellhorn to hit a home run in Game 6 of the 2003 ALCS? No. Did you expect A-Rod to be a comedy of errors at third every time he comes to Fenway? Well, maybe. But the point remains; it’s the Andy Phillipses and the Miguel Cairos we’ve got to worry about. Not the Giambi’s and the A-Rod’s. Yeah, those guys are going to deliver at times as well, because they’re you know, them. But those are also the guys Pauley held in check last night. And that’s impressive.
This is what we call “looking on the bright side” and honestly, it’s pretty new to me as well. Maybe I just felt some residual good will that Papi transferred to Pauley when he patted him on the head after his strong 6 2/3 innings. Because if Papi tells you it’s all gonna be okay, you damn well best believe him.
Now, Schilling – doesn’t it seem like it’s been about fifteen years since Schilling last pitched? – goes tonight against Jaret Wright, Human Bullseye. I sincerely hope he’ll show his protege how it’s done, Josh Beckett.