Mariano Rivera, of whom B&B are fans, blew yesterday's Yankee near-win over Oakland. Our heads were in our hands, then they were bouncing off the walls while the chihuahua looked on, appalled.
The Yankees had hustled so much in this game, making the best of runners on base, knocking in sac flies at every opportunity. Even after the bad news about Mussina and Pavano, Pettite had pitched seven complete innings, only to have his win undone by one misplaced pitch from the lanky Panamanian. Sportswriter Will Leitch quipped:
We would have liked to have seen the Vegas odds on Mariano Rivera vs. Marco Scutaro in the ninth inning on Sunday. We probably could have secured 2,000-1, and that house in the Hamptons would have been ours (complete with horses Snoopy and Prickly Pete). The scene: Two runners on, two outs, Rivera ahead in the count 0-2 on Scutaro, who is hitting .050 for the season so far. Even Scutaro's mom is in the parking lot to beat traffic. But Marvelous Marco drove the next pitch to the screen just inside the left-field foul pole for a three-run homer, giving Oakland a 5-4 win over the Yankees. Sweet Fancy Moses.
These kinds of situations are what makes Betty hate the idea of the one-inning pitcher that Mo and Joe have so honed in the Bronx over the last decade. Mo is good and sweet and all, but what the hell? At the risk of sounding like an old fogey and a child of the 80's, pitchers used to pitch until they couldn't pitch any more, or until they were strategically removed for not being ambidextrous. Pitching one inning per game does not impress me. I'm fine with Mo not pitching much because he's frail, but he should be used strategically, not just inserted into games to build his save numbers. It's a particular Yankee problem that big numbers and starbuilding seem to be prized over strategic, commonsense play. This game seemed to be going against this trend until Mo came jogging in for no reason. Joe should have left Proctor in.
Let's hope the rookie starter we just called up to replace pretty boy Pavano will fare better. The lack of ego should help.