So my last blog basically called for Joe Girardi’s head after he literally gift-wrapped Game 2 and gave it to the Indians, putting the Yankees’ backs against the wall in this best-of-5 ALDS. While he is still absolutely not off the hook for that, especially if the Yankees lose Game 5 tomorrow, my spirits are infinitely higher than they were Friday night after witnessing two Yankee wins. Let me explain how the past 48 hours were the peak of my Yankee fandom/probably life in general.
My friends and I were in attendance the last time the Yankees made the playoffs in the 2015 wild card game. That Yankee team limped into the playoffs and got dominated by the Astros. After missing the playoffs in 2016 and having an exciting season this year, my friends and I again decided to try and go to the wild card game. However, tickets were very expensive. So we decided to take our chances and get ALDS game 3 tickets, which were significantly cheaper.
After the Yankees gave us all heart attacks as we watched from scenic New Brunswick, New Jersey on Tuesday, they beat the Twins to advance to the ALDS. We were going back to Yankee Stadium for some playoff baseball.
The next two games were less than ideal, with Trevor Bauer dominating the Yankee lineup in Game 1 and Joe Girardi forgetting how to use his brain in Game 2. So here we were, headed to watch what could be the last Yankee game all season, down in a 2-0 hole. The series should’ve been 1-1. We knew it. The Yankees knew it. The Indians knew it. Everyone knew it. But regardless, the Stadium was rocking for Game 3.
After a solid tailgate, we all grabbed our tickets and headed into the game. As I went to take everything out of my pockets I noticed my wallet was gone. I freaked out a little, but told myself at least it wasn’t the ticket I lost. Thank goodness, because what I witnessed after that was one of the best Yankee playoff games I can remember. Seven shutout innings from Masahiro Tanaka, Aaron Judge robbing Francisco Lindor of what could have been another game-changing home run, and Greg Bird’s solo shot gave us a 1-0 victory to force a Game 4. The Stadium was absolutely electric, hanging on each and every pitch. I was a wallet down, but at least I saw a Yankees playoff win in person for the first time.
The next day, as I was about to begin the process of replacing everything in my wallet (Drivers’ license, school ID, tampons, etc.), my Mom suggested I call the Stadium and see if they had my wallet. Worth a shot, right? After being on hold for 5 minutes and the guy asking my name like 3 times, they said that they actually have my wallet. I was absolutely shocked and ecstatic. This was about to save me a lot of time and money. I texted the group chat with all my friends who had been to the game the night before. I jokingly suggested that since they found my wallet, we had no choice but to go back for Game 4. Then we checked ticket prices.
I would’ve thought tickets would be well over $100, considering it could’ve been the last home game for the Yankees all year. Somehow, tickets were even cheaper for Game 4 than we got our Game 3 tickets for. Maybe people realized they had last minute conflicts, or were scared off by the chance of rain. Whatever. Regardless, we all had to decide within minutes whether or not to abandon our original plan of watching on the game on TV and “send it,” as the kids say these days. Send it, we did.
We walked in through Gate 2 and I quickly retrieved my wallet. Shoutout to the guy who said “I’d ask you to show ID but I doubt you have any left,” that made me laugh. We stood on the third base side near left field for the Yankees’ 2nd at-bat. We were right there for Todd Frazier’s and Aaron Judge’s doubles. The Stadium was going absolutely nuts. From where we were standing, it looked like Judge had just hit a three-run homer. Regardless, the Yankees had just scored four runs and knocked that nerd Trevor Bauer out of the game. (Disclaimer: I have nothing against nerds and am in fact a nerd myself but when you injure your finger flying a drone during the playoffs you bet your ass I’m gonna make fun of you for it.)
The Yankees tacked on three more runs with a Brett Gardner infield single (sorta), a sac fly by Gardner where third-base coach Joe Espada embodied our “send it” mentality for the night because it was a very shallow fly ball, and a solo homer by El Gary. Luis Severino completely bounced back from his disastrous wild card game start, pitching 7 great innings and giving up only three runs. After Dellin Betances did something that definitely wasn’t pitching for two batters, Tommy Kahnle slammed the door shut. Kahnle was brilliant, getting six outs on 22 pitches, including five strikeouts.
If you told me 24 hours after Game 3 I’d be walking out of Game 4, having witnessed another Yankee win and gotten my wallet back, I’d say you were absolutely insane. But baseball and life are both unpredictable, and anything can happen.
I’m obviously ecstatic the series is going to Game 5, especially after it seemed like we were done after the way we lost Game 2. But if you’re a Yankees fan that’s satisfied because they proved everyone wrong, you are incorrect. They need to win Game 5. This team has outplayed the best team in the AL (and all of baseball at the end of the season) in 3 out of 4 games. It’s time to take what they deserve and win this series.
CC/Kluber round 2, a literal rematch of Game 2. This time, it’s win or go home for both teams. Let’s go Yankees, baby.