HOLLYWOOD, CA – West Coast Craig here, pitching in on another Saturday post and happy to talk about baseball. Yankees baseball, in particular.
As much as I’m pulling for the Bombers, Houston is the obvious sentimental favorite this year. Everyone loved the Tribe going into the playoffs, but they peaked too early. The Astros are young, exciting, fun, and their home town was destroyed by a hurricane less than a month ago. As a West Coast observer, the Dodgers peaked too early as well, but they were smart enough to go into their swoon with plenty of time to turn it around… though they’re not getting any sentimental treatment, which is too bad because Hollywood has been dealing with its own destructive Hurricane Harvey lately, this one ravaging young ingénues and potted plants all over the place.
Manscapades. I had to try and explain to my 11-year old tonight that Yankees don’t have facial hair, because, well, they look more professional that way. Now I’ve had this same goatee longer than the Astros have been in the American League, but I’m not a professional Yankee, nor am I a millennial hipster, whom I’ve read are really into the big lumberjack beards because it makes them look more “wise.” The Astros are an exciting young team, so growing facial hair that could be woven into a very ugly poncho might work to make their opponents cower before such assumed wisdom and knowledge. The Yanks don’t get that advantage, and I don’t think any of them have had any facial hair since Jason Giambi’s porn ‘stache. Dallas Keuchel’s mighty beard would’ve made King Solomon proud last night, I think Girardi should’ve asked the Umps to check it for nail files and tubes of Vaseline before the game.
“Judge got a Reinhold of that one!” I like to hope that John Sterling experimented with that home run call after watching the Phoebe Cates scene from Fast Times. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had much chance to say it or any corny home-run calls for Judge this post-season. The Yanks’ gargantuan young right fielder’s struggles these playoffs have been well documented, and he’s assaulting the record books with each K he racks up…which isn’t as difficult as it sounds if the umps are going to start the strike zone on a six-foot-seven man at his ankles. He can strike out 8 out of 10 times as far as I care, as long as the other two are bombs, but give the guy a chance. Good to see a potentially nice clutch hit for him last night, if Greg Bird were a little faster or slid a little further off the plate.
Still, Bird’s blast to halve the score in the ninth, off Houston’s closer Ken Giles—who struck out four but took a whopping 37 pitches to get five outs—is a great sign. Of the Yankees’ vaunted bullpen, Chad Green ate up two tough innings to keep the rest fresh the rest of the way. It took a nearly flawless game by Houston to win last night, and they barely did at that. The Yankees are in this one, folks. If it wasn’t for foul-tip strike three that was mis-called as a hit batter in game two of the last series, the Yankees wouldn’t have needed a fifth game…and here they have seven to exploit their bench and bullpen advantages. This is shaping up to be a great ALCS.
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