In the first extra innings game of the season, the Yankees followed up a 9th inning rally with a 6-2 loss in the 12th inning in tonight’s 4 hour 11 minute game against the Diamondbacks. All the runs scored in the first 9 innings were by solo home runs, 2 from Arizona, allowed by starting pitcher Phil Hughes (in a rather solid pitching outing tonight, 7 innings, 6 hits, 6 strikeouts, no walks) in the 3rd and 6th inning. Going into the bottom of the 6th, the Yankees down 2-0, suddenly found life in the bat of Robinson Cano via his solo home run. The Yankees stayed 2-1 going into the bottom of the 9th, when Francisco Cervelli knocked his solo home run into the left field bleachers.
Trouble began in the top of the 12th with David Phelps pitching his 2nd inning of the night. A double, a fly-out, a base taken on catcher’s interference (Cervelli’s 2nd of the night, though I’d be tempted to argue that one wasn’t interference as much as the batter made it out to be), and then a hit by pitch. An RBI single starts the Arizona rally, and then former Yankee Eric Chavez clears the bases with a very nice 3-RBI double to bring the score up to 6-2 Arizona. The Yankees couldn’t rally again in the bottom of the inning and thus lost the 3rd game of the series tonight. But taking 2 out of 3 is always a bonus. If the Yankees can continue to do at least that, we’re in for a good season already. (By the way, we’ve been sitting over .500 for a team average for the last week.)
But tonight’s loss isn’t the loss everyone’s going to be talking about. Word came in from Tampa today that we won’t be seeing Derek Jeter don the pinstripes any time before the All-Star break (mid-July). His ankle had been giving him trouble earlier this week, so after a precautionary CT scan, the diagnosis is a small crack on the ankle bone, a new injury to the same ankle he broke last October. Cracked bones, often called broken bones, take 4-8 weeks to heal before you can do anything on them. This one, however, will not require any new surgery or plates, just rest. This pushes baseball activity off until end of May/June at the earliest. Girardi’s statement recently of “he’ll be ready when he’s ready” is never more accurate and appropriate. Like I said yesterday, I think we’d all rather have him fully recovered and fully healthy and ready for the end of the season and postseason than rush recovery and risk another injury. So in the meantime, we wish him “get well soon!”
Setbacks and losses are all part of the game. But it doesn’t make it easy for me to write about positive things without sounding naively hopeful or optimistic. And while I’ve made a personal commitment to write every day about the team, it’s days like this that really play with my mind and distract me from my mission on this blog. I don’t want to glide too far into the cliché territory that borders on just fluff writing, so I have to constantly think of a new spin to stay positive, especially on days where there’s not a lot to be positive about. Spring Training certainly pushed those boundaries for me, but I kept the hope alive for a less dramatic regular season. Perhaps, that too was naive.
Whenever you do anything publicly, you run the risk of drama, critics, negativity, and misunderstanding. Maybe that’s why I prefer my public presence to be on a semi-anonymous blog and not in front of tens of thousands of people every night. I can edit my thoughts, my actions, my motivation if necessary before publication and sometimes edits after can lead to the delete button. But what happens with thousands of witnesses cannot be as easily undone or forgotten. The safety of a blog can be misused to amplify the public life of those who live such a life, but I guess that’s why I chose to use my “powers” (as it were) for good. There’s so much negative everywhere, and in this world that we live in now, isn’t it time we chose to shut out the negative, even those who are indirectly negative (you know, the “I’m only trying to help” people), and listen to those who want to continue to bring positivity to this world, even if only through words on a computer screen. So tonight, we remain positive and hope for good health and many wins for the team we love.