Wednesday, May 20, 2015

No! Why did it have to be Ryan Zimmerman (again!) with a walkoff against the Yankees?

Here is today's edition of "Behind the Squawkers," and it relates to last night's horror show against the Nationals. Cue flashback music. It was way back in June 2006, the first year of this blog. Squawker Jon and I had gone to Washington, D.C. to visit my brother, who lived in Arlington, Virginia then, and to watch the Yankees play the Nationals. The weekend was a bit of a nightmare, as it always has been for me whenever I have driven in the D.C. area. Between towed cars, broken-down cars, and getting horribly lost, I have had all sorts of "adventures" on the road to Washington. Finally, the last few times I visited, I gave up driving there! But I digress.

That weekend was a mess. First of all, we got lost driving in from New York that Saturday morning and trying to find RFK Stadium. We stopped at a gas station to ask for directions, but the knucklehead there never even heard of the stadium! As it turns out, we were only a few blocks away, but this was in the days before GPS on smartphones (I was still rocking a flip phone back then!) So we ended up driving to Union Station, spending $$ on parking there, and taking the Metro to the stadium.

Of course, we were late to the game. But we did get to see Johnny Damon, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada all hit homers in the fifth inning, giving the Yanks a 9-2 lead. We also saw Shawn Chacon get taken out of the game in the bottom of the fifth, after having been very shaky. I remember that Joe Torre seemed extremely disgusted with Chacon. I was, too!

The Nationals kept on chipping at the lead, and ended up beating the great Mariano Rivera, who made a rare eighth-inning appearance, to win the game 11-9. What a nightmare.

The Sunday Yankees-Nationals game was even worse. Chien-Ming Wang was dealing, and it at first looked good for the Yankees. They were leading, 2-1, in the bottom of the ninth. But for some reason, Joe Torre decided to keep Wang in the game, even though Wang was tiring by then. I remember being positively irate that he was keeping Wang in, when it was a disaster unfolding before our eyes. And some Nationals rookie by the name of Ryan Zimmerman hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yankees, 3-2. And Squawker Jon gloated, of course, the whole ride back to New York. Good grief.

Back to 2015. Last night, Zimmerman hit the 10th walkoff homer of his career to beat up Andrew Miller and the Yankees in extra innings, 8-6. Not only was it nauseating to see the Zimmerman and the Nationals kill the Yankees again, but the sight of Zimmerman being drenched in chocolate syrup was pretty disgusting, too. I am not a neat freak by any means, but that really creeped me out. Zimmerman had to have smelled like something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory after having chocolate poured onto his hair. Ick! Disgusting.

Even more nauseating was the injury Jacoby Ellsbury suffered last night. His going on the DL with a right knee sprain is not exactly a shock. I have been pleasantly surprised that he has stayed healthy in his 1 1/4  seasons as a Yankee, but he is an injury-prone player. He is also one of the players the Yankees really cannot afford to lose. Ellsbury leads the Yankees in batting average (.324), on-base percentage (.412), hits (48), runs (29), and stolen bases (14).  He is arguably the Yankees's best all-around player this season, and has the 3rd best OBP and 10th best BA in the American League this year. So losing him, even if may only be for a few weeks, is pretty devastating.

The Yankees have already lost six of their last seven games, and things have to look even more bleak. And last night's win meant that they are now tied for first place with Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, Washington now gets to share first place with...drum roll please...Squawker Jon's New York Mets. At least there is one silver lining! Heh.

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