If I lived back east, I would have been thrilled to sleep through tonight’s atrocity at Angels Stadium. Instead, I had to witness Yankees’ relief pitchers walk six batters – the Angels actually batted around without a hit – and blow what had been a tense pitchers’ duel between Phelps and Weaver.
Home plate ump Laz Diaz didn’t help. With bases loaded with Yankees and nobody out, Gardner stepped in and was the beneficiary of a couple of truly bad calls. Girardi came out to argue, got tossed and hung around to have what looked like an aneurism. He and Diaz have history and Diaz has ejected him before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Joe go nuts like he did tonight. Sheesh.
So yeah, Diaz is a lousy ump, but that doesn’t excuse the parade of grotesqueness that was Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton and Preston Claiborne. The game had been tied at 1-1 and what did they do? Lose the game. How do you not throw strikes? Ever?
Lost in all this was Phelps’ terrific performance. Just great. Ichiro laid down the most beautiful bunt; I hope the other players were taking notes. And Jeter’s bat had life after all, although he did hit into a double play and kill a rally.
I’ll try to swallow this bitter pill, but it’ll be hard.