Game 1: Can’t handle the Wang

That’s right, I said it.

The whole game was metaphorically summed up before it even started. Jeannie Zelasko, FOX’s sartorially-challenged announcestress, was wearing a shirt that nearly blinded me with horror. It was, and I kid you not about any of this, shiny red satin (!) with a wide pointy collar, gathered pointy shoulders (!!), and a huge elaborate hideous ruffle all down the middle (!!!). It was a probably nice material at one point but it was hard to tell because it had been gathered together in a horrible, blind dressmaker kind of way. Behold: the Tigers. Nice material, but last night, man, all you wanted to do was iron out all those horrible, horrible ruffles that got in the way.

It could’ve been closer. When Nate dove for that ball, extending his glove and bare hand and having it squirt past both… well, that was the start to the Inning of Horror. If he’d managed to make an out on that play, you have to believe that things turn out very, very differently. It seemed like he was just rattled up after that, and even Leyland coming out to talk to him couldn’t get his head back on straight. Ironically, perhaps, it looked like he settled down a little bit after all those runs were scored, until his ultimate meltdown right before he was taken out. Pressure off?

In the bottom of the 6th, I think it was, Nate went for a ball AGAIN, and missed it, but this time it was on the other side of the mound and Brandon Inge came dashing across, stole it away from Nate, and fired a leaping bullet down to first for the out. It was the kind of swanky defensive gem that makes us all happy for Brandon Inge’s existence. If that had happened earlier in the game….

Wang was pretty much on. He had a little spot of roughness in the 5th, when Craig led off with a home run and Polanco and Casey both had RBI doubles, but other than that, sheez. That sinker makes me ill, and I hate to give credit to anything Tim McCarver ever says, especially when it’s about the Yankees, but the fact that Wang can set up that sinker with a 95, 96 mph fastball is just sick. Just sick. I hope Taiwan is good and happy about the horror they have spawned.

I did not really understand why he was taken out of the game when he was. Ninety-three pitches? Really? He’d retired the last, uh, I think 6 batters in a row, he had 2 outs in the 7th with no one on… and he’s taken out of the game so Myers can face Granderson and promptly give up a home run. I’m sure Torre has an explanation for this somewhere but I have to be in class in 10 minutes so I’m not gonna go looking for it. Suffice it to say that I was confused at the time and remain so right now.

Other things from this game (or, the closer we get to classtime the faster I want to get this posted):

–I feel like I hadn’t seen the Yankees in ages. I’d nearly forgotten how much I truly detested them, and in particular Sheffield’s bat wiggle. It’s right up there with Peyton Manning’s Infinite Audibling for sports habits that just piss me right off the socket.

–McCarver, alluding to some earlier conversation, said that he’d asked Leyland if Polanco was managerial material. Leyland said yes, but then added that the smartest player on the team was Carlos Guillen.

–Pudge was not hitting well.

–Jeter was hitting too well and needs to be destroyed for the good of humanity. As a sidenote, at one point he was on-deck and kept cheating closer and closer to the circle of dirt that fans out behind homeplate, so as to get a more direct view of what Nate was throwing than he could see from the angle offered by the on-deck circle. Eventually he got so close that the homeplate umpire turned around and yelled at him to go back. I don’t know that I’d seen that before.

–Giant cardboard sign hung on the wall said, simply, “It’s October”. Ugh, yeah? So? Congratulations, you have a calendar and know how to read it. Now go home and make a proper sign, you Yankdiots.

–In response to Joe Buck asking how Torre felt about Wang even though he wasn’t “a glamorous pitcher”, Torre said, “Ask those people in Taiwan, they think he’s pretty glamorous, [vaguely creepy laugh].”

–Sean Casey’s favorite band is the Dave Matthews Band, and he reads the Bible every day. Thank you, FOX. I had no idea I was watching the Little League World Series, but I like it.

–Nate hit Giambi twice. Neither one looked particularly intentional. Obviously Giambi is just too freakishly large for the batter’s box. Either that or the glare off of his increasingly greasy hair blinded poor Nate and spoiled his aim.

–Polanco landing on The Shoulder while diving for a ball? Not cool. Least cool thing ever.

–The black and white high contrast Flash animation of Tommy Lasorda that popped up in the corner to do a promo for Watching Postseason Baseball (preaching to the converted much?) was the scariest thing I’d seen in a while.

–Buck said that Myers was “about as submarine style as you can find.” This is despite the fact that Myers comes more down to the side with it. I mean, just off the top of my head I can name Chad Bradford and the Baby Papelbon as two pitchers who throw more straight down submarine than Myers does.

–Farnsworth only started getting strikes called when he started mixing in his offspeed stuff. He threw 4 straight fastballs to Carlos to start the inning.

–In describing one of Farnsworth’s borderline fastballs that got called for a strike on the inside low corner, McCarver said that the ball was in “the well of the knee”. I am pretty sure he just made that up.

–I swear to cats, if I have to hear about how Robinson Cano was vying for the batting title yet he’s batting 9th in this lineup and omg omg awsumzz bow b4 y@nkeeeee mite!, I’m gonna do something regrettable.

–My roommate, who knows next to nothing about baseball, watched part of the game, I think just to see what all the fuss was about. She declared, at various points, that Posada looked like an overgrown baby, that “goggles boy” was cute, and that Leyland was a “cute old man”. She also persistently refers to Magglio as “the Mexican Carrot-top”.

–Roommate’s boyfriend Derek, who watched most of the game, declared that he is ashamed to share a name with Derek Jeter, and that said Jeter’s haircut was “a real bad fade… I hope he didn’t tip the girl.” We’re all so used to Jeter that we hardly notice it anymore but really now, Jetes, the early 90s called, they’d like their hair back.

Verlander/Mussina tonight. Oy.

7 responses to “Game 1: Can’t handle the Wang

  1. You know, if A-rod had made that play behind Nate, the announcers would have been talking about it into the next inning!

  2. That’s absolutely true. They barely even mentioned Inge’s play.

  3. Oh man, that analogy wins the Internets. *\O/*

  4. -Giant cardboard sign hung on the wall said, simply,

  5. Even though you are a Yankee fan, Ben, that would make you a hero.

  6. And I thought I was the only one that want to tear out my eyes whenever Sheffield comes to the plate. Jesus.
    And I’m not a fan of Joe Buck, but at least he talked enough last night to keep Tim McCarver mostly quiet. Weirdest McCarver moment of the night, in my opinion, was when he felt the need to be on camera demonstrating where in the elbow Rivera’s pain is. I mean, we all have elbows. We know where the middle is. Even Buck was weirded out.

  7. See, what bothered me was that McCarver kept calling the middle relief the Yankees’ “soft underbelly.” That’s just kinda creepy on its own. And then when he said that the “soft underbelly” was “up and throwing” — well, the Metaphor Police have been notified and are proceeding on foot.

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