In lieu of flowers . . . we turn once again to that noted philosopher Don Baylor: "I hurts more to lose than it feels good to win."
In the end, the Yankees hit a ton of rockets and warning-track shots that were either right at Rangers, just foul, our warning-track outs. The Rangers bloops dropped in, their blips died between the pitcher's mound and third for base hits, their excuse me swings sailed just past infielder's gloves or moved runners over and in. When the blasts came, the cushion was just too great.
In thirty-five years of watching, I've never seen a player come so close to having a great playoff series but instead have a mediocre one than Lance Berkman, rushed into full-time duty when Tex went down. No one could fault A-Rod, one at-em ball after another. Cano was superb; Granderson fine; Gardner turned around an entire game by himself. Swisher was erratic but had his moments, as did Jeter. The only problem was stringing together three-four hits at a time--the symbol of the entire series was Berkman, the Yankees' last best hope, stranded on third in the seventh.
The pitching? Pettitte was good enough to beat anyone but Cliff Lee. CC was erratic but started both victories. Hughes and AJ, three starts between them, were maybe a half-dozen assorted pitches away, total, from three solid performances. Instead they went 0-3.
The entire series was like holding a poker hand with twenty "outs," four diamonds plus an open-ended straight draw. Then: nothing on the turn, nothing on the river, and you're sitting there with ashes in your hand watching a pair of sevens rake the pot.
Sleep in November? I think I'll sleep now.