Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Triumph of the Yankee Killer

They had their 2003 World Series-winning veteran pitcher. We had our 2003 World Series-winning veteran pitcher. They had their monster line up, their Alex Rodriguez with his .505 slugging percentage that's not only bolstered their line up, but given the previously lacklustre Mark Teixeira the shot in the arm needed for the Yankees to claw their way into first. We had Jason Bay, whose .524/.655/1.143 line in 21 at-bats when facing pinstriped pitching has made him the Yankee Killer the Sox need to lead the charge. The stage seemed set for a showdown of epic proportions.

Oh, and we also had Big Papi.

Because while their Marlins veteran looked like he needed a GPS to find the strike zone and our Marlins veteran was taking a one hitter through six before handing things off to the Red Scare, the Yankees announcing crew was talking about the fall of David Ortiz. 'Was his batspeed down,' they wondered? 'Terry Francona said he didn't think so,' they announced, but they thought anything could be possible. There were some valid questions about when he was swinging, but the conclusion seemed to be that David Ortiz would no longer be the threat to the Yankees he had been in the past and - let's be completely honest here - he should probably consider throwing in the towel.

And that's when Burnett, who had been trying to establish Ortiz on the upper portions of the outside of the plate, came back into the heart of the zone with a 2-2 fastball. Round came the classic swing and only the previous two months' frustration put any question on what was a no-doubt home run to deepest center. Out it sailed into the night, silencing the critics (and Yankee victory hopes) for one more night even as the fans begged for a curtain call from their hero. Let me tell you: the rest of the game might have been a bit dull, but that one piece of schadenfreude was absolutely delicious.