Just incredible. The winning run in not one, but two of today's games scored immediately following a rather obviously blown call. What else is there to say? "This aggression will not stand, man!" Unfortunately, one of those calls went in favor of the Yankees, so we won't get the popular outrage we would have had if, say, the Yankees had lost last night after Greg Golson's catch that was ruled not a catch. Now we're looking at an ALCS match-up I wish both teams would lose.
The Rays have really let me down. They are undoubtedly the better team in this series, but sometimes you just lose two consecutive games. It happens. The five-game series structure means they are pretty much dead-to-rights now. They could win three in a row, although they most probably won't. Seriously though, two hits and just one walk off C.J. Wilson? That's what I would expect from the Angels lineup. Might as well have just given us a postseason berth.
How could this happen? Buck Martinez said it was because the Rays weren't "seeing the ball well." I don't think you could invent a more meaningless cliché if you hired a marketing firm and paid them to think up an empty slogan that would appeal to idiot sportscasters. I'd like to ask Buck why batters see the ball well some times and not others. Here, I'll even brainstorm the possible answers with him:
- The batter is wearing the wrong prescription lenses.
- The batter is facing the wrong direction.
- It's night time and all the lights have been turned out.
- The ball is covered in reflective paint and illuminated by a 10,000-watt stage light.
- The batter is distracted by a hot chick in the stands.
- The pitcher is only just pretending to throw a baseball. Psych!
Joe Maddon had better fix these problems quickly.
Yankees 5, Twins 2 (Yankees lead series 2-0)
Yeah, so who said that officiating errors always even out in the end? I'd like to hogtie that person and leave them for a frothing band of Minnesotans, who will presumably kill him or her with kindness. The bad call last night altered the win probability in the Twins' favor by 3%. The bad call tonight (an obvious third strike to Lance Berkman just before his RBI double) improved the Yankees' chance to win by TWEN-TY FIVE PER-CENT. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but wasn't Joe Mauer robbed of an extra-inning double in Game 2 of the ALDS last year? No, I do not need to buy a few rolls of tin foil, I don't...
The polyester carpet that wears Craig Sager said before the game that Twins tried some new things before the game to bury their past with the Yankees. Like Ron Gardenhire, who literally buried the jersey he wore the night before. Orlando Hudson went with steak instead of his usual chicken dinner. The team as a whole got together to make a burnt offering to invoke the protection of Sitala, the Hindu goddess of smallpox. Evidently the Yankees paid her off too. Man, I'm so bummed for the Twins right now. After what Angels fans experienced at the hands of the Red Sox from 1986 to 2008, I can almost feel their pain.
Did anyone else wonder how the Giants got nearly all the 40,000 people in the stands to pay attention to this game at the same time? That just does not square with my experiences at AT&T Park, which I've always thought of as a giant Starbucks with a $40 cover charge. Barry Bonds was the only thing that could take Giants fans away from their Blackberries, but maybe the Giants gave their fans something even more distracting to do by giving out orange hankies. Tim Lincecum is really something else, though. Not even Farmville or E-Trade can compete with what he did on the mound tonight.
Tonight we had the classic paradox: what happens when an infinitely strong man tries to lift an infinitely heavy stone? The Giants don't hit, but they can pitch. The Braves don't pitch, but they can hit. Neither team won, but the second-base umpire clearly lost. According to WPA, Buster Posey's bogus stolen base caused about a 5% shift in win probability. Significant, but not necessarily game-altering. However, WPA has no idea who was pitching. Some jackass on the TBS postgame tried to sell me the claim that no one could have made that call correctly, even after seeing it five times over in slow motion. No, dipshit. I made the call correctly even watching a grainy TV feed on my computer screen, in real-time, while grading papers, because THE TV CAMERA HAD A BETTER ANGLE ON THE PLAY THAN THE UMPIRE. I guess Buster did say he was safe, so he must have been safe.
I swear the umpire's union is fluffing these broadcast morons to spin them some positive PR at times like this. Except that even Ron Darling was dismayed by that pitch to Berkman. Must be time to bust his kneecaps.