Twins 4 Yankees 0: Puh-thetic

Last night I ended up on the phone with Frank the Sage for a couple hours, during which I saw a continuing episode of the Michael Phelps Freak Show just as the Yankees game was wrapping up. In it, he buzzed to a world record in the 200 freestyle while also besting a world-class field by a full two seconds. For anyone not watching it, Phelps literally won the race off the start, coming up out of the water ahead and increasing his lead from there, often doing so off the turns when he propelled himself farther ahead with a tremendous dolphin kick. Absolutely ridiculous. Natalie Coughlin also broke the world record in the 100 backstroke, beating the field by a full body length. Aaron Piersol made a stunning comeback in the 100 backstroke, using a great turn and second half to also set the world record. The night of Olympic competition wrapped up with the US men’s gymnastics team, none of whom had any Olympic experience after the Hamm brothers withdrew with injuries, taking the bronze medal in the team competition. Quite a night for US athletes.

Unlike the Yankees, who looked woefully lethargic in dropping a 4-0 game to the Twins, with the game flying by at 2 hours 14 minutes as a result of Ponson pitching well and Glen Perkins pitching better, allowing the Yanks all of four hits. As usual, the Yankees had problems with a lefty, even one they had beaten before. As usual, the Yankees stranded runners early, wasting a golden opportunity to stake Ponson to an early lead. Two-out singles by Abreu and A-Rod put runners at the corners in the first, but Nady’s fly out ended that chance. The next inning was far more egregious, with Cano leading off with a single then going all the way to third on a throwing error from Perkins on a pick-off attempt. Sexson then walked, but Pudge’s fly ball to shallow center failed to score Cano. Melky the Horrible then hit the first pitch he saw into a 6-4-3 DP, atrocious yet again. Fittingly in the bottom of the second, the Yanks saw what happens when scoring chances get wasted when Buscher walked with two outs and light-hitting Adam Everett, of all people, homered to left, 2-0 Twins.

It was all downhill from there, with the Yankees managing just two walks and a single the rest of the game, with Abreu’s sixth-inning single quickly erased by A-Rod’s DP ball. Joe Nathan, arguably the second-best closer in the game behind Mariano, then fanned Abreu, A-Rod, and Nady with ease in the ninth to complete Perkins’s win. Yet it seemed last night that Marlin Perkins could have shut down the Yankees, who put up no fight. It sure was a good thing that hot-hitting Johnny Damon, who’s leading the AL with a .322 average, sat last night in favor of Christian, or Melky for that matter. Christian went 0-4 with a K, Melky was 0-3 with the GIDP and part of the bottom third that combined to go 0-8, and Jeter and Nady were also each 0-4. Only Abreu (2-4), A-Rod (1-3), and Cano (1-2) managed hits. Last night’s lineup had trouble written all over it. It ended up worse and more weaker than I thought.

Too bad, because Ponson was quite good, going 7 2/3 allowing 7 hits, 4 runs earned, walking 2 and fanning 2 on 107 pitches/64 strikes. His sinking fastball was tremendous, getting a staggering 19 ground ball outs. The mistake to Everett hurt, but Ponson was certainly otherwise good enough to keep the Yankees in a game they seemed indifferent to winning.

The Yanks have lost four straight games, have dropped to only seven games above .500, have dropped to nine games behind Tampa in the East and five behind a victorious Boston for the Wild Card. Weak, losing, indifferent, fading baseball.

Lest I forget, I hope any night owls caught the terrific meteor show last night.  Starting at about 2 a.m. ET, I clearly saw a few shooting through the sky before waking up my wife and kids, who all wanted to see the even too.  My little guy was conked out and wanted to get back to bed, however, so GLG, my better half, and I stayed outside for a bit before GLG headed in, leaving my wife and me on the patio behind our house with a great view of the clear sky.  It was very enjoyable and, like the Olympics but unlike the Yankees, well worth watching last night.

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 10:39 am  Comments (12)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. phelps is amazing to watch–and i haven’t missed any of his swins, but you have to love what you saw from our gymnasts–everyone had written them off after paul and then morgan hamm dropped off the team but they were pulled together by the strength of jonathan horton who really seems to be the de facto leader of this team. not one of them have any olympic experience so despite some last round jitters, to have them win bronze was quite an accomplishment. they showed a lot of character, especially after some pretty harsh scoring from the obviously anti-american panel of judges.

    ( it’s what happens when you invade other countries etc..)

  2. I saw only a little of the gymnastics, but there’s no question in my mind that a couple of the scores on the pommel horse were judged ridiculously harshly against the Americans. They did comport themselves well during the blatant favortism. China was the best team for sure, but a home job is a home job–not unlike the US in 1984, I’d add.

  3. yeah good point about USA 84

    here’s an intersting article about underage chines female gymnasts–i must admit that when i saw the first day of competition they looked about 11 or 12 to me…

  4. Phelps is an amaaazing swimmer. Phelps makes it look easy… he doesn’t even seem to be breathing hard after his races. I’ve been watching as much of the Olympics as I can get [loving it] and the Americans have made it interesting. Jonathan Horton stuck everything. The relay swim was an incredible comeback for the US team. The Yanks should take some notes. I wish O’Neill were still on the team. The Yanks can say they’re frustrated and “trying” but after every bad at bat they just go back to the dugout, sit down and just have a “blah” expression on their face. At least Pauly would let it all out, smash some water coolers or get in the face of the umpire. Anger is useful. Watching the Yanks just makes me want to go to sleep.

  5. Whom misses Kyle now? huh? ya’ good for nothing two timing back stabbers! What’s with Marte he’s falling apart…..He looked at me and tipped his hat to me at the game so he carries my sympathy for now.

  6. Boston over Texas in a combined (10) diffrent pitchers, (36) runs and (4) errors.

  7. oh crap?

  8. Marte just lost my sypathy-

  9. Just what the doc’ ordered Moe in a knot game. This doen’t look very good……

  10. I wasn’t watching the game distracted Moe’ gave it up wow um does anyone know the number for the suicide hotline?

  11. Phelps totally dominated and I hope he wins 8 gold medals.

  12. Thanks for the article link, Mike. They do look young, but it’s very hard to tell how old the Chinese women’s gymnasts are.

    Agreed about Phelps, and it’s a good point about the team lacking fire Vanessa.

    I don’t miss Nuke, Leo. Haven’t missed him once.

    He just might, Sean, though Ryan Lochte will give him a good run for his money in the 200 IM. That will be a tough gold for Phelps to win.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: