Yankee Notes

Notes about the current Yankee series:
– I went to Game 1. We (the family) share season tickets with two different groups, and we scored tickets down the first base line. The family had prior committments, so we did not get to Fenway until 7:45. We thought we were good. Then two things happened.
(1) We got caught in the wrong ticket stream, so got stuck when the police shut off access to let the crowd currently in Fenway to disperse.
(2) When we finally got in, around 7:55, I got seperated from the family, and I was drawn to the first entrance to Fenway, while they were able to bypass it. The family made it into the stadium in time to see Derek Jeter’s first at-bat (Top 1). I, however, was stuck in the crowd and was not able to make it into the stadium until Manny’s first at-bat (Bot. 1). My family did not believe me when I said we’d probably not make it when we left our house, but I knew how these things happened, from being at other Sox games that were popular, such as home openers, playoffs, etc.
Unfortunately, it was pretty much impossible to see the game. Everyone decided it was popular to stand up and cheer when Sox players hit a single (a single!?) or when a Sox player fielded a ball for an out (like they’re expected to). I can understand standing up and cheering for a great play, but these were just routine plays. I was always a little slow in getting up, so I never really got to see the entire play. Plus, almost everyone took forever to sit back down, and there were always stragglers (the SAME ones) that wouldn’t sit down until a couple of pitches had already been thrown to the next batter – and wouldn’t ya know, right in my field of vision. There were also two fans that heckled the players – that’s great and all, but can’t you heckle them sitting down … especially when everyone else is doing it sitting down?
Also, people constantly were moving up and down the aisle – not just ushers, but people. In the MIDDLE of an inning no less … against the YANKEES! They could at least leave at the end of the inning, but most people left during the middle of the inning and came back the middle of the next inning. So with the constant stream of people filing in and out of the aisles and the standing, I barely got to see the game.
But what I saw of the game – Javier Vazquez didn’t look too good. He was lousy most of the evening, but showed flashes of a future Cy Young winner. Not this year, though. I thought we could have smacked around their relievers a lot more – they don’t really scare me. Paul Quantrill, Gabe White, Jorge DePaula, Donovan Osborne? The score should have had “15” next to the word “Boston”.
– This relief situation is constant throughout the series. We really should have won Game 3. Quantrill did not really have anything going. Why can’t we hit White? We really should have knocked Contreras around a little more than we did. He got pulled with only three runs allowed – it should have been much more. The score could have easily ended 7-6 in their favor, making it a close game that we could pull out. It looked like that after Contreras left, we threw our arms up and said “Well, that’s it. We hammer the Cuban, and now he’s gone, so we might as well go home.”
– Mike Mussina. Yankees ace. Ha, ha, ha.
– This whole Derek Lowe situation was waiting to happen. Lowe should have gone Friday against the Orioles, with Pedro being pushed back to start the first game of the Yankee series, followed by Wakefield, Schilling, and Arroyo. No way you cut it, the Yankees series is more important than the Orioles game.
– Even though people scoff at the notion that tomorrow’s game is a must-win…it is. If we had won today’s game – especially coming back from a 7-3 deficit, Stienbrenner would have been steaming and we would have been on an high. But now it feels that the momentum is exactly even, even though the Yankee bats went quiet again when Malaska came in to relieve Lowe. Arroyo has pitched well against the Yankees, and he will need to continue to do so. The Red Sox face their first starting pitching challenge when they go up against Kevin Brown, who does not wilt under pressure, as Mussina, Vazquez, and Contreras have. This is going to be a low-scoring game (assuming Arroyo is on target) and we need to eke out every hit possible.
– Pitching Malaska and Seibel takes them out of the running for tomorrow, but they were able to shut them down, and now we know lefties can shut them down. Embree should be used tomorrow, probably immediately after Arroyo’s departure from the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another trade bringing another lefty reliever to the team. When Kim comes back, the casualty should be Castillo (even though I like him). Then when Dinardo is ready, who has impressed the Sox brass, Seibel should get the boot even though he pitched impressively today. I think this three lefty idea is going to remain all season. Embree can bring the heat, Malaska can shut you down with movement, and Dinardo, while he does not have great speed, has great control and can shut a lineup down.
– Arroyo will be closely watched tomorrow. This is why Castillo was brought in to get out of the jam – to rest the other pitchers as possible. One can argue that bringing in Castillo is like conceding the game. Some points about that. (1) Castillo would not be on the team if the manager did not have confidence in using him. (2) Castillo is a veteran, and he got out of the jam, didn’t he? (3) Castillo can pitch innings, which means that if the game got tied, Castillo could continue pitching, and (4) Castillo is a Yankee-killer. Expect to see Embree, Timlin, Williamson, and Foulke ready to pitch for a must-win tomorrow. We MUST atone for this loss, so we go into the Bronx supremely confident.

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