And not just because it was Esmil Rogers who did the Gatorade honors last night at the Stadium instead of the injured Brett Gardner. There were so many unlikely aspects to the finale against the Rays.
Early on in the game, the Yanks were getting no-hit and it felt like another night of offensive futility. I kept saying, “Why am I even watching this?” But then Chris Young, an unlikely hero if ever there was one, broke things up and, later, won it with his walkoff homer. Also unlikely? That Martin Prado would come off the bench, hamstring aching, and smack one out. I hope he didn’t reinjure himself by staying in the game.
And then there were the two not-so-happy surprises: Jeter getting hit in the elbow and poor Headley getting hit on the chin – on the same night that the Marlins’ Giancarlo took one in the face during their game against the Brewers and had to be carried off on a stretcher. Jeez. What amazed me was, intentional or not, these pitchers weren’t warned or ejected or anything. Sure, they were shaken up – who wouldn’t be? – but professional guys shouldn’t be throwing at the heads of batters, period. If your control is that bad at this point in the season, go do something else for a living. Ugh. At least Headley wasn’t hit in the neck/throat/windpipe, which I had initially feared.
What does the Rays series mean to the Yankees’ playoff hopes? Nothing, if you ask me. But it was nice to see the team get a boost. The players looked excited and happy and that made me happy too.