Jays vs. Yankees - ALCS Preview Part II
Apologies to the Yankees - they brought the A-Team. Here's the line-up:
1 - Johnny Damon - LF
2 - Derek Jeter - SS
3 - Bobby Abreu - RF
4 - Alex Rodriguez - 3B
5 - Jason Giambi - 1B
6 - Jorge Posada - C
7 - Shelley Duncan - DH
8 - Melky Cabrera - CF
9 - Juan Castro - 2B
SP: Phil Hughes
11:59 - Yankees taking BP right now. Wind really starting to blow in. First drops of rain falling. Game in serious doubt here. Good Lord, what does the Doppler 9000 say?
12:04 - The Doppler 9000 says we should begin gripping our ankles.
12:06 - Politics, people. That's what really matters. Big Democratic primaries today.
Left-hander Mike Gosling has a picture of Barrack Obama taped over the nameplate on his locker. This was not his doing. Apparently, he wore an Obama T-shirt into the clubhouse the other day. So someone thought this was the next logical step. And they've started calling him 'Obama'
"They thought it would embarrass me," Gosling said. "It doesn't."
I said to him, "Man, you must be the only Democrat in baseball."
"No," Gosling, who has a great deadpan, said. "There's another one. He's at the Dodgers camp."
Big day for the personable Californian all around. Primaries. Brett Favre is retiring (he wore a Packers t-shirt today) and he might be pitching later.
Mike Gosling. He's one of the good ones.
12:14 - Idiot of the day. PA announcer looking for the owner of a car parked across the street. "Your car is running and the doors are locked." Maybe he crawled out the trunk.
12:31 - Spike Lee is apparently in the house. My hip hop theme is taking on a life of its own.
12:50 - Rain holding off after a few sprinkles. I think we're going to have some baseball. But I wouldn't count on a full game.
1:02 - The Sun's Ken Fidlin, after closely examining the National Weather Service website, predicts rain in 20 minutes. We know only the Doppler 9000 can be trusted.
1:08 - Litsch on the mound. Wind tearing all over the place. Fielding will be an adventure. Damon quickly grounds out to second.
1:09 - Litsch follows that by striking out Derek Jeter. He's number five! He's number five!
1:10 - Abreu short hops one in front of home plate. Litsch calls Zaun off and gets on it quickly, but his throw dies before it reaches Lyle Overbay at first. Base hit. Baseball's version of a T-Rex approaches the plate.
1:13 - Litsch walks Rodriguez. Smart move.
1:15 - Giambi grounds down the first base line. A typically efficient Lyle Overbay defensive play. Litsch wins this round. Or inning. As they say in baseball.
1:17 - Eckstein grounds out. With exceptional hustle. And grit.
1:18 - Rolen flies out to right. Let me guess that this will be the last time he ever bats ahead of Reed Johnson.
1:20 - Johnson grounds out to first. Where's that rain, Kenny? "Shouldn't be long," he says hopefully. The wind picks up. Somebody's game program whips through the infield.
1:23 - After frightening the beejeezus out of a Knology security guard with a hard-hit foul, Jorge Posada grounds out 4-3.
1:25 - Shelley Duncan rips one into left-field just beyond Shannon Stewart. Duncan runs the bases like he's being chased.
1:26 - Cabrera rips one foul in the general direction of where my car is parked. Pray for me, people. I took the damage deductible.
1:27 - From now on, all bat work will be referred to as ripping. I should add that Duncan was in with a double.
1:28 - Cabrera knocks a grounder into left-field. Stewart bobbles it. Duncan scores. 1-0 Yanks. Cabrera on first. One out.
"Clouds are getting heavier now," Fidlin says. The Doppler said that would happen. Oh wait, here it comes. Spike Lee attempted to weather the storm for "about 10 seconds", Sandler says. The game continues while the crowd flees.
1:30 - Rain subsiding slightly. Castro (who's first name is Bernie, by the way. My further apologies to the Yankees) grounds to short. Hill can't quite turn the double play.
1:32 - Dazzling sliding catch of a dying Damon flyball by Vernon Wells. Next up for the Jays - Wells, Thomas, Overbay.
1:34 - Rain starts again. Sorry folks. Looks like we're done here.
1:41 - Gibbons and Girardi shake hands at (tarped) homeplate. It's really and truly done. See you tomorrow versus Philadelphia.
2:15 - Okay, I've spoken too soon. They're trying to see if they can wait this thing out. Rain tailing off. Haven't they seen the Doppler?!
2:35 - We're up and running again. Buck Coats pinch hitting for Vernon Wells. He grounds out to second.
2:36 - Frank Thomas pops up to the catcher.
2:37 - Chip Cannon subbing for Overbay. He strikes out.
2:39 - The regulars are all gone.
SS - Pedro Lopez
3B - Joe Inglett
RF - Adam Lind
CF - Buck Coats
2B - Russ Adams
1B - Chip Cannon
LF - Matt Watson
C - Curtis Thigpen
P - Scott Downs
DH - Travis Snider
And as I write that, the rain starts again. Yoy.
2:43 - Ball slips out of Downs' hand and hits the ... I can't see who it is through the downpour. This can't last much longer.
2:45 - Somebody else grounds into a double play. The announcer has given up. Kei Igawa taking the mound for the Yankees. Adams-Watson-Thigpen due up for Jays.
2:49 - Igawa strikes out Adams. Oh yeah, he's gonna prove all those doubters wrong this year.
2:49 - Watson grounds out to short. Thigpen flies out to centre. I can't see anything through these damn windows and if I open them, my computer will be soaked. Man, covering baseball is a series of can't-win choices. If this game goes two more innings, the Yankees will have the team bus driver playing in right field. Shawn Camp takes mound for Jays.
2:54 - Morgan Ensberg doubles into the left-field corner. Jose Molina grounds out, Ensberg moves to third. One out.
2:55 - Shelley Duncan singles into centre-field. 2-0 Yankees.
2:59 - Justin Christian grounds into a 6-6-3 double play.
3:01 - Pedro Lopez up for the Jays. He grounds out to third. Joe Inglett coming up.
3:02 - Inglett flies out to left. Adam Lind up.
3:03 - Molina drops strike three. Lind aaaaalmost legs it out to first. Lance Carter coming in to throw the fifth inning.
3:07 - Bernie Castro singles into centre field. Greg Porter (who?) is up.
3:08 - Coats makes a nice catch in centrefield. One out, man on first.
3:09 - Alberto Gonzalez flies out. Juan Miranda will now read Carter his rights.
3:11 - Another base stealer foiled by the Jays catching corps! Thigpen nails Castro. The Jays backstops are now 4-for-4 this spring (Zaun 2, Barajas 1, Thigpen 1).
3:15 - Coats strikes out. Snider up.
3:17 - Snider strikes out looking. Chip Cannon strikes out. Leftie Billy Traber pitching there and strikes out three lefties. "Three lefties you've never heard of," a NYC writer corrects. Okay, yeah. Randy Wells taking the mound for Toronto.
3:22 - Wells walks Juan Miranda.
3:23 - Cody Ransom rips one into left. Men on first and second, none out.
3:23 - Rain kicks up again. Ump orders the field cleared. Is that it this time?
3:26 - Yup, that's it. Seriously this time. And the Jays didn't manage a hit in five innings. Panic time?! No. No, it's not. See you tomorrow.
3:29 - Not just a no hitter, but a perfect game for the Yankees. Something tells me this doesn't make the 2008 Yankees commemorative highlight DVD.