Last night, the Rangers had a 7-3 lead over the Yankees going into the bottom of the ninth and a pitcher on the mound who was throwing the fastest fast ball I’ve ever seen. You think they look fast on TV? In person, 97 MPH baseballs look deadly — because you can’t see them.
But then the first two Yankees of the inning reached base. The Rangers brought in their closer, who’s been well-nigh unstoppable all year. (Yes, I admit I had no idea about this going in. I only read about it later.)
Brett Gardner singled and a run scored. Two men on base. Now a 7-4 game.
In the scariest moment of the game, A-Rod lined one to the second baseman. It could have ended the game. Had he taken a couple steps forward fast enough, the runner on second would have been out. Somehow, both runners played it conservatively, and neither got very far. Both were safe on their base. And people booed A-Rod yet again, because that’s what they like to do.
Signs were passed around the infield.
That brought up Brian McCann, the Catcher who is also the clean up hitter.
And he cleaned up. Homer over the short right field wall. That’s what he was born to do. (Or, signed to do, technically.)
Bases were run.
Castro after him drew a walk, and my boy Didi Gregorius came to the plate. For those who wanted to know why I’m such a Gregorius fan, it’s basically because he’s the only name I recognized in the starting lineup after A-Rod. I’m a bit of a lapsed baseball fan. And Pepsi made him an emoji earlier in the day. I kid you not.
And the home run trot:
Yankees win 9 – 7. And the crowd erupted like they hadn’t all night. High fives were passed around the stadium between complete strangers, high on a win on a Wednesday night in June, by a team that wasn’t even at .500 yet.
Sports. They can be fun sometimes.