Saturday, June 14, 2008

Yanks 8, Astros 4

But first, last night's game.

Robby-Boy writes:

What a great game. I told Ryan (his son, my nephew) you were at the game. I was so excited, and told me not to worry to Joba didn't get the win, he said he "pitched awesome" and will get his win soon!

Farnsworth in the 9th! Wow!

Yes, wow indeed. My second-day duties at the Texas Republican Convention kept Astro-Girl and I from making our seats until the second inning. Our Friday seats were in the mezzanine, which in Minute Maid, as in a few other parks, exists as a kind of isolated cheering section, almost a treehouse, separated from the rest of the stands except by a series of stairways and risers. The mezzanine has its own snack bar, rest rooms, and beer court. Its seats slope down at a dangerous-looking angle and--alone among the seats at Minute Maid--have no armrests.

What is most disturbing thing about the mezzanine is how its spectators cannot see balls hit below them, into the bleachers.

(Is baseball the only sport besides golf where a ticket doesn't guarantee a view of the entire event? Just thinking.)

Anywat, the score was 1-1 interminably through six innings, at which point Derek Jeter took a fastrball outisde and drove it to right field--and beneath my field of view. In such situations, when a 'Stros rival is well-represented (in most years, the Cards, Cubs, and Braves), one looks to who is cheering to make sense of the play.

So: the ball disappeared beneath the stands. I looked. Thousands below me, those in blue pinstripes and grey away jerseys marked JETER, RODRIGUEZ, and DIMAGGIO, jumped in the air. Enough for me. Home run.

So: 2-1, bottom ninth. In the context of Tiger Woods's latest exploits at Torrey Pines, I shouted to those around me "Watch, just watch!"

The Mo Rivera jog (more a glide) from the bullpen, ninth inning, one-run Yankee lead, must rank among the greatest anticipatory moments in sports, right up there with Woods taking his Sunday practice swings at Augusta and 45 doing lay-up drills in a clinching game.

So . . . ninth inning. I stand. I raise my hands to greet . . .

Oh. Kardiac Kyle.

The last time Kyle Farnsworth pitched at Minute Maid was the 2005 ALDS playoffs, during which he blew a five-run Brave lead: a Berkman grand slam followed by, the following inning, a Brad Ausmus homer that seemed to climb a ladder to the exact spot on the Minute Maid facade. The Astros tied the game, won in 18 innings (a story all its own) and made the first World Series in its history. And all because Kardiac Kyle, in the words of Jim Rome, burned Minute Maid to the ground.

So here he was. And worked through the ninth inning.

More tomorrow.

No comments: