It’s almost hard to remember that there was a time–not so long ago, in fact–when the Yankees were an unstoppable force that we’d always seem to splinter against when it counted most. But after 2004, it’s like we own these guys. Even the once-great Mariano Rivera is greeted with open arms by the Fenway crowds, as his appearance in any game–once the kiss of death–now constitutes a chance for us to steal one away.
And, f@#k, did we do that tonight. At first, it looked like it would be an exercise in frustration. Thirteen men left on base, double plays when we needed key hits, and opportunities squashed like the fat kid sitting on your lunch at recess. But against Mariano, anything is possible. So when Jason Bay went yard for two runs with two outs in the ninth to tie the game at four, I quietly put down my beer, placed my sandwich back in the fridge, and stepped outside on the deck, where I asked the bagpipe band I’d rented for the occasion to kick it into overdrive. Sure, the neighbors were upset, but why the f@#k weren’t they up watching the game?
By the time Youk sealed the deal with a mammoth home run in the bottom of the eleventh, I had already drunk myself back sober. But it was worth it. So much awesome packed into this game, including Mike Lowell’s snare of a screaming Nick Swisher liner, five solid innings of scoreless relief from the bullpen after Okajima coughed up the lead, some lusty booing of Teixeira. And then there was that Youk home run, a no-brainer the minute it left the bat, that not only beat the Yankees but also pushed the winning streak to eight.
Just a filthy, gorgeous win tonight. A walk-off home run to beat the Yanks? It doesn’t get any better than that.
Tomorrow the job falls to Commander Kick Ass. Think he’s gonna let us down?