ALDS Game 3: Holy Ibanez !&*$%+_@!!!

October 10th, 2012 by Jane Heller

AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES

There really are no words…

But I’ll find some.

Mystique and aura were alive and well at Yankee Stadium as tonight’s improbable 12th inning win demonstrated. Even though the Yanks were down 2-1 for much of the game, it felt like the score was 100-1. Kuroda was great on the big stage and got no run support, as usual. Every at bat, except two by Jeter and Martin, was an exercise in futility. And I’m talking about everyone’s at bats, not just A-Rod’s. When Jeter started hobbling around, I figured we were really in trouble. Even Mo’s presence, both on the mound for the ceremonial first pitch and in the dugout urging his teammates on, didn’t calm me.

And then, as if by a miracle, Girardi “went with his gut,” as he said in his post-game remarks. No binder. No matchup mumbo-jumbo. Just his instinct. And what did his instinct tell him in the bottom of the 9th? Pinch hit Ibanez for A-Rod. It was a bold move and look how it turned out.

Boom. Tie score. Suddenly, we had a ballgame.

D-Rob’s second inning of work in the top of the 12th nearly caused me to have a psychotic break. Why didn’t he get out of Tex’s way and let him catch that ball???? And then the bobble over to the first? Crazy making. But his pitching was impressive and he ended up with the win, thanks, of course, to Rauuuul.

When TBS first showed the homer, I swear I thought it was a replay of the first one. It was only when he was mobbed at home plate that it dawned on me that we’d won the game. Wow. Just wow.

Why Matusz would throw him anything good to hit I have no idea, but not my problem. I’m just so happy right now.

And I’m hoping Hughes will finish this series and give us a chance to breathe.

 

 

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28 Responses to “ALDS Game 3: Holy Ibanez !&*$%+_@!!!”

  1. Sean K says:

    Maybe NOW Girardi will get it into his thick skull that A-Rod is a useless choker in the postseason and sit him on the bench for Game 4. Thank Zeus he took him out when he did or we’d be down 2-1 right now.

    Another clutch performance by Jeter… what else is new?

    Go Yankees tomorrow! Hope Hughes is on his game.

  2. Jane Heller says:

    As Michael Kay kept reminding fans on Twitter, Sean, A-Rod hasn’t been the only weak link in the lineup. You must have noticed that Curtis Granderson, for example, has been horrendous.

  3. Leo says:

    I keep flashing back and remembering how much myself and others in the Yankee fandom about wanting Ibanez released. He’s making me eat my words and I’m glad. I was really frustrated with the lack of offense tonight by just about everyone except the aforementioned players in the blog post. Once again, it looked like the lack of hitting would be our downfall and Ibanez came through twice with the heorics. Of course, credit to the pitching for keeping us in the game. Kuroda for the lengthy quality outing and the bullpen for keeping it scoreless. Can we trust Hughes to help us finish the O’s off? I can only hope so but it all comes down to the offense to score so let’s hope they can their share of timely hits and taking advantage of RISP opportunities.

  4. Jane Heller says:

    I was right there with you on Ibanez, Leo. He looked totally washed up after his hot start early in the season and probably wasn’t prepared to play everyday after Gardner got hurt. Now he looks rejuvenated. Hughes can do it tomorrow, but if not we have a rested Phelps, Lowe, etc.

  5. Sean K says:

    I admit other players have been slumping, Jane. Granderson and Swisher haven’t exactly been lighting it up.

    But A-Rod doesn’t have a postseason HR since *2009* and is batting about .150 in the playoffs since the start of the 2010 postseason. So that’s *3 years* of him being an offensive black hole when we need him most. That’s not a trend, that’s a disaster. Bench him and play Chavez and Ibanez, and leave A-Rod off the ALCS roster if we get there. He’s as useful as a mouse at a convention of cats.

  6. Christiaan says:

    So I had tickets to this game, but as luck would have it, I had to sell them (for less than i paid no less)! Oh well. Ibanez has been amazing lately. What is this his third 9th inning or later homer?

  7. Audrey says:

    My husband had gone to bed so I could not yell when Ibanez did his thing but no matter – I was too shocked to react with much more than an open mouth, a head shake and an “Unbelievable.”

    Like you, Jane, I thought TBS was rerunning the first homerun, which they had done a minute before. But the mob at the plate and the fact that this one landed in the second deck convinced me that I had witnessed more than a replay – I’d witnessed a miracle! I’m not kidding when I say I dreamed of Ibanez last night.

    So now Ibanez has made his name a curse word in both Boston and Baltimore within a week. I hope it’s soon a swear word in Detroit or Oakland. As for me, I have this little shrine in my home where I have a collection of pictures and objects that symbolize things that are important to me. In the midst of my Jane Austen bust, Secretariat stuffed horse and Yankee beanie baby is a chalkboard easel where I write quotes that capture my thoughts for the day. oday it says “‘Raul – so cool!’- John Sterling.” What more is there to say, really?

    P.S. We’ve been traveling and I took a break from technology by leaving my computer home so I haven’t been commenting this past week but I’ve been here in spirit with all the she fans!

  8. Barbara says:

    Unbelievable. I could barely sleep afterwards I was so excited.

  9. Diane Anziano says:

    The pitching on both teams was incredible. I know the bats have been silent for a while now, other than Game 1 at the end, but how much of that has to do with how remarkable the pitching has been. Jane, if you were writing a novel, you could not have ended it in a more astounding way. Ibanez is just incredible, but all of the drama in the extra innings took away from the fact that Kuroda, and really the bull pen too, kept us in the game. Robertson’s last inning was just a little scary with the pop up and the bobble but a W is a W…and I want another one tonight. GO YANKEES!!!

  10. Jane Heller says:

    Sean, feel free to bash A-Rod if you must, but I’d rather celebrate the good things that happened in the game. On Twitter there was a joke going around about how some fans think everything is his fault. Jeter getting hurt? A-Rod’s fault. Ichiro, Tex, Granderson, Cano, Swisher not getting it done? Has to be A-Rod. I’m not arguing that he hasn’t helped the team in this series – he’s been awful – but enough already with the choker stuff. Thanks.

    Christiaan, that’s a shame you couldn’t use your tickets! I’m sure Peggy will tell us what it was like to be there.

    Oh good, Audrey. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the second homer was a replay at first. LOL. Your shrine sounds great. I would love to have heard Sterling do his “Raul is so cool” last night, by the way – he must have said it with incredible gusto – but I was glad to see it on TV for myself.

    Unbelievable is right, Barbara. I kept saying that over and over.

    I do love happy endings in my novels, Diane, and that surely would have been one for the books. The hero in these games always seems to be one of the unsung heroes, doesn’t it? Aaron Boone? Scott Brosius? I kind of figured Nix would hit one out, since he fits the descriptive, although he did make a great defensive play. Kuroda was just terrific.

  11. Ruth says:

    I’m with you on ARod, Sean…I’ve made a fan’s career despising him since he joined the Yankees. To me, he’s the anti-Jeter..he only cares about his stats, not team success. BUT – now I just feel sorry for him and accept who he is. I do think he has changed a bit in his attitude…he seems to be trying to care more about team success and he now knows that Jeter is the King, and he’s just lucky to be on this team. Doesn’t mean I’m still not frustrated with him…but I just don’t expect anything from him.

    Jane, I blame that botched pop-up on Russell….I think in that scenario the catcher should be the ‘quarterback’ and call everyone off and take charge, and he didn’t do that. I think it’s clear Tex expected Russell to do that, and then when he wasn’t moving, Tex clumsily took charge, and D-Rob definitely should have gotten out of his way (although I don’t know why big league pitchers can’t be expected to catch pop-ups). That was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen players of that caliber do. I thought we were doomed then.

    But Raul saved us and I still can’t believe I witnessed all that. Aura and Mystique are alive and well!!!!!!

  12. Diane Anziano says:

    OMG, Jane – I can’t believe you mentioned the Aaron Boone game. That was ALCS 7 in 2003 against The Red Sox. My husband, my daughter and I were at that game – it was the first game we ever attended a Yankee game as a family and it was still the most incredible sports experience of our lives. The stadium was shaking and the noise from the fans was unbelievable. It caused us to purchase the Sunday Home Package which we had until the new stadium opened. But going back to that game, one cannot possibly describe the feeling of being in the stadium of your favorite team and being a part of such an emotional and physical outcome. Thanks, Yankees!!!

  13. Jane Heller says:

    How do you despise a Yankee, Ruth? There have been players I haven’t liked as much as others and you have plenty of company with A-Rod, especially on steroids use. But you’ve read the coverage this morning, I’m sure. You saw how he reacted to being pulled for Ibanez. He admitted that 10 years ago he might have not been as team-oriented, but he is what he is at this point. He doesn’t have to be Jeter. No one will be Jeter. Will he ever be a productive hitter again? It doesn’t look like it, but I hope so for everybody’s sake. On the pop up that dropped between the players, via LoHud: “Both Robertson and Teixeira described it the exact same way. ‘The wind really picked up late,’ Teixeira said. ‘That ball started out behind home plate. I didn’t think I was even going to be in the play, but as it started drifting, I kept drifting. Robbie didn’t think he was even going to be close to the play, so he didn’t even move and that’s why we collided. As a pitcher, you’re taught to get out of the way if it’s going to be close, but he figured just as I figured that Russ would probably catch it right around home plate.’”

  14. Jane Heller says:

    Lucky you, being at that Boone game, Diane!

  15. Leo says:

    I can never actively hate anyone on my team so I can’t understand the mostly irrational A-Rod hate. He is always the scapegoat when more often than not, blame can also be placed on others. I’ve come to terms on accepting that he will never be the MVP caliber player that he once was. He is still a productive player; just massively overpaid and that wasn’t his fault. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at all frustrated with his current postseason production but so far it’s just a small at bat sample size. Let’s see what happens should we move on further. Ultimately, we can’t just be solely relying on him. Everybody else also has to step up.

  16. Jane Heller says:

    One thing about A-Rod, Leo. He does generate controversy. Michael Kay said last night that one of the reasons people attack him is the money he makes, and Michael points out that the other players who haven’t been hitting aren’t exactly on food stamps. Anyway, what a great game it was. So magical.

  17. dj says:

    I have never been a A-Rod fan. I agree with Ruth – always saw him as the anti-Jeter. I do believe he has turned around and sees himself as lucky to be part of (& has accepted not being the King) a fabulous Yankees team/franchise. I, too, noticed his reaction being pulled for Ibanez and how excited he was when Raul kept it alive. He has really become PART of the team. I still am not a big fan, but do accept him as a Yankee, finally.

    Holy cow manure!! Raul is beyond cool! I happened to see it on tv (hubby had it on, surprisingly) while I was listening to John. He did announce it with gusto and both times actually sounded the same. Except of course, the latter was followed by “Ballgame over. Yankees win! Theeeeeeeeeeeee Yankees win!”. So exciting!

    Oh, and I did wear the lucky sweatshirt and listened to Empire State of Mind. I also donned the old ‘lucky’ jersey for the extra innings. I’ll have to do that again tonight prior to going to listen to Tess Gerritsen speak. I’ll miss a good chunk of the game, but will hopefully hear the last couple innings.

    Not much more to say except: LET’S GO YANKEES!!

  18. Bob Cerv says:

    Hope that TODAY my posting POSTS. In fact, I’ll try two, because I’d like to record SOMETHING…

    It was an ending for the ages. It’s NEVER been done before. Like everyone, I was bemoaning the utter lack of hitting (had the Yanks ever faced this kid b4? Was it the dreaded “unfamiliar pitcher” syndrome?), and was fully aware that the ONLY hit with RISP was a wind-aided misplay by Double-Bubble Adam Jones, and of course Jeet died on 3rd. I’m so cynical about A-Rod by now; he looks like Roger Maris at the end of his career…couldn’t hit a fastball. Except back then, Maris changed leagues, and the NL pitchers didn’t know, so he thrived awhile longer. So when Ichiro flied out, I thought Why Not, can’t be any worse.

    Best thing I saw? That huge sign, “RAH OOL.” And it was displayed after HR #1. They could sell that on e-Bay and retire tomorrow. Okay, end of Part 1 in case this doesn’t post.

  19. Ruth says:

    I know, Jane. I see both sides of the argument, and my sister and brother-in-law mock ‘Yankees Fans’ all the time for booing their own players. I guess old wounds die hard for me, and I’ve never gotten over the things A-Rod said about Jeter, and I can’t stand the ‘greatest player ever’ title he often gets. He hits home runs, but the greatest ever? I don’t know. Well, you’ll lose even more respect for me when I tell you this:

    I waved a towel at the Nats game yesterday, along with the other 40,016 people…..I’m sorry to have to tell you that – LOL!

  20. Bob Cerv says:

    Well whaddya know…it posted. Big Whoop.
    Like most of y’all, I was sitting up in bed watching. No hitting whatsoever, Kuroda pitching his heart out and just two mistakes to FLAHERTY and MACHADO?!? Okay, maybe Machado’s a superstar someday, but…
    Was wearing a Redskins T-shirt to bed. With the 7th inning, I thought Oh Hell, go to the clothes drawer and put on a Yankee shirt. It worked for Game 1. Black Nike shirt with NY in the very center, over the heart.

    After HR #1, I turned off the TV and slinked downstairs. She hates the Yanks, and I don’t wanna be either exulting or suffering if she wakes up. Three more innings of pulse-pounding. Can’t stay up ALL night, and the O’s win EVERY extra-inning game…so I’ll watch Rah Ool bat one more time, and that’s it.

    That was enough. Shades of Reggie Jax (1st pitch). Shades of Bucky Dent. Shades of Chris Chambliss. Now please, let’s hope this is not just a pretty footnote, like those fabulous rallies in the 2001 Series…

    Today, I believe A-Rod will start. Allegedly he has a .400 lifetime BA against Joe Saunders, but frankly I don’t think A-Rod could hit .400 in my Old Mens’ 55+ Slo-Pitch League right now. We shall see.

    One last comment…to Ruth. Girl, I know where you were yesterday afternoon, and my heart bleeds. We are all devastated down here in DC, and it likely ends tonight. But GOOD FOR YOU to hang with our Yanks too! It was a long, long day…but at least, at last, a very pleasant ending.

  21. Jane Heller says:

    Enjoy Tess Gerritsen, DJ. She should be an interesting speaker, so do report back.

    The Yankees had faced the O’s pitcher, Dave, and not done well against him. He came out of the minors (both in the O’s and Red Sox organizations) and did nothing there but he’s been great in this second half.

    Haha, Ruth. I’ll try not to hold your hankie-waving against you :)

  22. Peggy says:

    Hi Jane and Fellow Baseball Fans….

    OMG !!!!!! WHAT A GAME !!!! The place was rocking throughout the extra innings…not so much during the game (to my disappointment). The Oriole “playoff” fans really put us to shame up until the extra innings. After Raul hit the homer and from then on …the place was shaking. Most were standing for every pitch throughout the final innings. The on field interview with Raul after the game was so cool and the fans kept chanting his name. LOVED IT !!! I can’t believe I won’t be able to watch the game tonight ….it’s the agony and the ecstasy for me tonight …agony of missing the game …ecstasy of seeing Babs. I’m just hoping they clinch tonight …GOOOOO YANKEES !!!

    Ruth ..I’m with Jane on this one. I can’t understanding anyone despising a player on their team. He wears the pinstripes …I root for him. Heck…I didn’t even despise Carl Pavano ..the “American Idle” of the Yankees. There were two men behind me who were unmerciful in their booing of Alex and I was furious. How do you boo your own player? I can’t understand that at all. What about Swisher & Granderson (who has looked awful on his K’s..of which there have been many). I love Swish and Grandy but they are just as much to blame as Alex for not producing. Those same two men booing Alex and the rest of the team wouldn’t stand for Kuroda when he exited the game either. They said why is everyone applauding ..he gave up two runs and is losing. Well…I guess I don’t have to say much more about them after that statement. They had my blood boiling the whole game with stuff that was coming out of their mouths about the team. They were all decked out in Yankee gear but you could have fooled me as to them being fans. With fans like them ..who needs enemies…haha. I think Alex did a fine job of handling the situation too. It couldn’t have been easy for him and I loved his quotes after the game. I love the “team” player that Alex has become these past few years. He was young and foolish (plus had Boras whispering in his ear) when he said those things in Sports Illustrated about DJ. Supposedly, Alex and Jeter are good friends again so if Jeter can forgive ..so can I. I want each and every player to succeed. It’s not like they go to the plate to make an out ..they are trying (well ..maybe not in the case of the American Idle…haha). Anyway …I hope we win tonight. I have tickets to the 2nd ALCS game so the Yankees BETTER win or else I might have to “divorce” them like someone else I know was going to do … :o). (Of course …that would never happen because win or lose I’ll ALWAYS LOVE MY YANKS !!)

    Have a great day all…GO Hughsey…GO YANKEES !!!

    Go Yankees 2012 !!!

  23. Sean K says:

    I hope Hughes pitches as well as Kuroda did last night! We really need to close this out in 4 so we don’t have to burn CC in game 5 and we can have him ready for game 1 of the ALCS.

    Jeter is awesome. When he eventually retires, he’s going to be the Yankee I miss most.

    GO YANKEES.

  24. Jane Heller says:

    I wondered about the crowd being so quiet, Peggy. The TBS guys kept talking about it – I think it was Smoltz who said it sounded like a movie theater at the Stadium – but everybody certainly came to life after Raul’s first bomb. As for the booing, sigh. What can I say. I know you remember from my She-Fan book how aghast I was at that last ALDS game when the “fans” around me not only stopped cheering early on but booed everybody in sight. Just don’t understand it. As for Grandy, it’s been suggested that he sit this one out and let Ichiro play center. Could happen. Have fun at Babs tonight!

  25. margaret says:

    I made the mistake of going to the bathroom.
    I came out and I too thought this was a replay.
    I even rewound it to see what I missed and then realized OMG we won!!

    I think I need a cathater during these games. :-)

  26. Jane Heller says:

    LOL, Peg! I think I need a straitjacket.

  27. Freya says:

    The way I deal with all the tension is to clean my house. So last night as I paced from room to room I cleaned up a lot of messes. I kept peeking at the TV and I carried my iPad from room to room, but I was too nervous to sit and watch. I thought to myself “Maybe Ibanez will hit another home run.” I wish all my wishes like that would come through all the time! My sister who is also a huge Yankee fan and I call each other when the Yankees hit a home run, and we both get insanely nervous when the Yankees are not doing well. My son who lives 2000 miles away is also a huge Yankee fan, so he calls too when there is excitement to share. Of course I stayed up for the post game show. And it was fun to read the sports section of the newspapers today.

  28. Jane Heller says:

    Funny you mention cleaning to deal with the stress, Freya. In about the 8th inning, I decided I couldn’t just sit there watching, so I started washing dinner dishes with my back to the TV and turning around to look every few seconds. It made me feel that I was actually accomplishing something instead of being tortured!

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