Well friends, that was anticlimactic. Except for, you know, the many peaks and valleys that lead to a quite enjoyable climax by baseball game standards. Today is the first time that I, as a co-proprietor of a semi-popular baseball blog, have to reconcile the fact that my favorite team blew a chance at clinching the pennant with the fact that there are millions of folks out there who derived an amount of joy that is equal in magnitude to my own misery. A great game? Sure. A game that tore the heart straight out of my chest? Absolutely.
I saw a 4-0 deficit turn into a 6-4 lead and turn back into a 7-6 deficit. Others saw a 4-0 lead turn into the deficit back into a lead. There is no more difficult task as a fan than to praise your opponent, but I have to point out that Angels catcher Jeff Mathis was the sparkplug for yet another Angels rally; his leadoff single in the seventh started the switch from 6-4 to 7-6 and turned me from a happy boy to a sobbing mess on my living room floor.
Lots of folks are second guessing Joe Girardi's moves (or lack thereof) that led to the seventh-inning pitching fiasco, and rightfully so. He's a postseason naif. I'm right on board with that criticism but, on the same hand, I forgive him his trespasses as well as the sins of the pitchers who put fastballs right down the happy track to be knocked around like wiffle balls.
Still, one fact cannot be ignored: the Yankees took a road trip to California and took the one game they absolutely, positively needed to win. They're coming home with two more chances to join the Phillies in the chilly World Series, and have one enormous ace looming up their billowy sleeves. I have faith; I just need the Yankees to control the peaks and valleys so I can control my emotions and stay off the floor.