...It just lays down and loses four straight games to its biggest rivals. In the span of four days, the Yankees managed to lose four games to become the first team in baseball post season history to be up three games to none and lose a seven game series. Gotta give credit where credit is due, the Red Sox have guts and they pulled off a miraculous series of wins. The biggest comeback and the biggest collapse in baseball history. You have to wonder though, where did the Yankees vaunted comeback ability go? Where did Mr. Everything/Mr. Clutch/Mr. Captain Derek Jeter go? He hit .200 with one extra base hit. Nothing quite like a lead off man who doesn't set the table.
The Red Sox started last night's game with offense from the start. A two-run home run by series MVP David Ortiz in the 1st off Kevin Brown and a grand slam in the 2nd by Johnny Damon. Damon's slam was all the Red Sox would need; he finished 3-6 with 6 RBI and 2 home runs. Brown didn't even make it out of the 2nd inning. For the Red Sox, Derek Lowe pitched with ice in his veins. Over six innings, he allowed only one run and one hit. For some inexplicable reason, Lowe was pulled after six and replaced by Pedro Martinez. Lucky for Terry Francona, that move didn't fully backfire. In one inning, Martinez gave up 2 runs, temporarily reviving the crowd at Yankee Stadium.
It didn't last long as Mark Bellhorn hit a home run in the top of the 8th, deflating the New York crowd and giving the Red Sox more than enough runs for their eventual 10-3 victory. The Red Sox now have a chance to reverse "The Curse" and they took a huge step towards that last night. Not only are they in the World Series, but they defeated their biggest rival to do that. Could this be the year?
What's next for the Yankees? George Steinbrenner must be furious with his team and their performance. Will he add more payroll to get some pitching or more offense because that's what puts butts in seats? The departure of Andy Pettitte, the "retirement" of Roger Clemens, the trade for Alex Rodriguez, signing Gary Sheffield? What could have been done differently and who's head will roll for the results of this post season.
The 2004 Yankees will be remembered as a team with a record payroll and nothing to show for it. Good job Yankees, good job.
Photo by the AP