Thursday, June 5, 2008

"The mustache is staying"

So said Jason Giambi to YES Network's Kim Jones after blasting a pinch-hit, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth to cap an improbable and exhilarating 9-8 win over the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon in the Bronx. Wow.

How in the hell did the Yankees win this? It was one of those games that seemed destined to tease and disappoint before putting you to sleep. Wang's struggles, Melky's huge drop, Rolen and Overbay diving all over the place, Cano's bunting deficiencies, Wilkerson robbing Damon, another poor showing by Farnsworthless. All wiped away with one swing of the bat by the mighty Giambino.

It's a game that will be spotlighted as a potential springboard for a team that has lingered around .500 for more than two months. And while we should be careful not to invest too much into one game in early June, this was a huge win for a Yankees team that had been suspiciously short on magic more than one-third of the way through the season.

The walk-off home run is nothing new to Giambi, who famously "became a Yankee" (whatever that means) with a game-ending grand slam to beat the Twins in the rain in 2002. The slugger's legacy remains a curious one as he plays in what is likely his final season in pinstripes. He is grossly overpaid ($23,428,571 in '08), his body has been slowly breaking down for four seasons, and the steroid cloud will always envelop every discussion about him.

That said, Giambi has always been productive. Never quite at the level of his Athletics hey-day, but always a tough out and genuine power threat from 2002-present. The Yankees are a better team -- offensively, anyway -- when he is in the lineup. He proved that in a big way today in the Bronx.

So where do we stand now? 60 games played. 30-30 and six games behind the Red Sox in AL East, 5.5 out in the Wild Card. The lowly Royals now come into town for four games, before the team embarks on a six-game road trip against the Atheltics and Astros.

It's time to do some work.

Around The Horn: Johnny Damon is on a fire. Another member of the 'stache club, Damon has raised his average from .265 to .315 in the last nine games. ... Chien-Ming Wang delivered another poor outing (4.1 IP, 7 R, 6 ER). At some point you have to wonder if the Yanks' No. 1 starter is going through more than mechanical issues. A scary thought. ... The 2008 First-Year Player Draft was held today, the Bombers' first pick (28th overall) was RHP Gerrit Cole. Standing six-foot-three and 190 pounds, Cole is a California high school kid with a 93-97-MPH fastball, lively slider and a changeup said to need work. Worth noting that Cole's agent is Scott Boras. Wonder if there will be any lingering bitterness over the A-Rod opt-out debacle? You can find complete coverage of the Draft right here. ... Kyle Farnsworth Terror Threat Level: 6/5, 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 K, 1 BB, 4.45 ERA, W. Threat Level: SEVERE

1 comment:

TheReber said...

Who else is rocking the stache?