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Berth Day

Today I plunked down about $3,000 for the full run of postseason tickets at Yankee Stadium. Four seats, eleven games, including game seven of the World Series, should they get that far. I have yet to attend a World Series game in my lifetime, and my fingers, toes, and imaginary appendages are all crossed that this is the year I finally get to one!

And today I know at the very least they will be making the postseason. They won a thriller in Anaheim, a stadium where they have the worst record of any spot in the majors, 0-5 this year until tonight, and 5-19 since 2005. For the past few days, all they needed was either a Rangers’ loss or to win one game for themselves, and it just hasn’t happened, until tonight.

Little things meant a lot in this game, as they always do in postseason play. For example, when Alex Rodriguez sent a 3-0 pitch (one of only 20 homers hit in the 2009 season on a 3-0 count, and that’s out of 4703 total homers hit in the big leagues this season) into the rock garden next to the batter’s eye, there was a man on base. The man was Hideki Matsui, who reached on catcher’s interference. He had grounded to shortstop, and he almost never grounds the ball that direction, so the moment it happened corwin and I turned to each other and said “what happened there?” But then the umpire ruled that Mathis’ glove had touched the bat, and replays confirmed it. In a game where one run was the difference, that’s huge.

So was A-Rod’s sac fly in the top of the ninth, the game-winner, which came on the first pitch he saw. No waiting around. He golfed a low strike on a line into center, which had it sliced or hooked might have gone in the gap. Instead Torii Hunter charged it and put a good throw to the plate, but Gardner was fast enough to beat it. Gardner is the only guy on the roster who would have been fast enough to beat it. How about the fact that Gardner swiped second on a pitch out? Good times.

Jeter probably had the funniest line off the night when after the game he said “We got the monkey off our back. No pun intended.” (Yes, the Rally Monkey did make an appearance, and the Angels did rally to tie the game, but the Yankees won it anyway.)

October, here we come.

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