It’s easy to take the efforts of two certain baseball players for granted, simply because those efforts result in a consistency that’s rather unheard of in baseball. We’ve visited the luck dragon in the past, and while the mythical creature may be a formidable foe for the rest of Major League Baseball, if anyone has escaped its fiery breath, it’s two particular pitchers, one starter, one reliever, that have dominated their opposition so reliably that when they don’t, it’s almost shocking. And maybe that’s why it’s so strange that Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera would both falter on the same evening.
For Halladay, his brush with humanity came last night against the Milwaukee Brewers, where he allowed six runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. That line may be a little unfair as only four runs had scored when Halladay left the game with two outs in the seventh, but David Herndon promptly surrendered a three run home run that scored all of his inherited runners.
Similarly, Rivera’s blown save in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays probably isn’t remembered with the same vividness if Ivan Nova doesn’t give up Travis Snider’s game winning RBI double in the bottom of the tenth, but it would’ve still been hard to forget a definite Yankees two run lead falling apart in front of the greatest reliever in baseball.
Yunel Escobar led off the ninth with a double and took third base on a Travis Snider groundout. Then the unthinkable happened: Rivera threw a wild pitch with three balls to Jose Bautista, allowing Escobar to score from third and giving Bautista first base. Adam Lind then followed with a single that put runners on both corners. John McDonald, who was only in the game because Aaron Hill injured himself stealing a base (yay, running game), then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt single that scored Bautista to tie the game.
Halladay and Rivera are like that perfect meal that only your mother knows how to make, but even your mom, from time to time, is going to reach into the freezer and cook its frozen version for you from time to time. Last night was both time and time.
And The Rest:
Today in lawsuits: A Yonkers woman is suing the New York Yankees claiming that her father came up with their infamous top hat logo design, while the composer of the Da-da-da-da-da-da-charge! rally cry is suing the company that licenses the chant to sporting venues because he hasn’t seen a single cent for it.
When the Rays do something like this, it’s Joe Maddon’s genius. When the Cardinals do it, it’s Tony LaRussa’s madness.
Tampa Bay will open its post game concert series with REO Speedwagon. I haven’t seen them since I last flipped through the bargain bin of a record store.
Joe Posnanski writes, and then writes some more, about what a sixteen game schedule would tell you in baseball.
Can we correlate clutchiness with anything?
Barry Bonds has Tim Kawakami’s vote for life.
Alex Rodriguez should be making his return to the lineup tonight.
Ayn Rand’s favourite softball team ever.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have finally given up on Brandon Wood.
Big changes are a-coming with pension benefits for former MLB players.
New York Mets tickets are beyond affordable at the moment.
I’m pretty sure that Aroldis Chapman has got his velocity back.
How the size of MLB players has changed over time.
Finally, this is pretty cheeky:
But it’s still got nothing on this: