Last Thursday was my second trip to New York City in as little as a week. In the spur of the moment I found out that Gilligan’s in Sherburne was selling tickets for the game which included a ride to and from that day. Obviously you can’t pass that up and so I rushed over that Tuesday night, bought the ticket and waited for the bus to take me and a bus full of Yankee fans to the Bronx at 7:30 that Thursday morning.
We arrived at a public parking lot around 12:30 p.m. We walked through an alleyway and a train stop to find Yankee stadium and I had two immediate reactions. One was of awe at how massive it was and another was of how bland it looked. It looked like if you plucked that building up and set it down in Washington D.C. it would just fit right in with Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial and pretty much any other large, white building/monument in our nation’s capital.
As I took my seat the game was about to begin. I looked around and the inside looked as massive as it did on the inside but I still was not impressed with the atmosphere with the place. There were several concession stands where you can buy steak, shrimp and just regular hot dogs but it just seemed like too much just for a baseball game.
Speaking of the game, it was a very good battle between the All Star Tamba Bay Ray pitcher Blake Snell and New York Yankee pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Ray’s surprised Tanaka and the Yankees early with four hits in a row. After the conga line of Mallex Smith. Joey Wendle, Jake Bauers and Tommy Pham produced three runs, Tanaka settled in and stopped the Ray’s from extending their lead of 2-0 after the first.
At the start of the fifth inning I figured I would get up and grab something to eat and check out the inside of the stadium. You could easily get lost in this place as it was dark in the concourse area and it always seemed busy. It was as if everyone in Yankee Stadium was busy and going to somewhere important. All the while there just happened to be a Major League Baseball game going on at the center of it.
After looking around and waiting for food next to a screaming child for two full innings (that poor kid, he really didn’t want to be waiting in line that long and he pretty much was expressing what everybody was thinking.) I went back to my seat for the start of the seventh.
After witnessing a woman almost lose her dress and accidently expose herself on the jumbotron, I settled in and saw a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Bauers to bring home Smith to make it 3-0. After that it seemed like the Yankees were doomed and going through the motions to yet another loss.
The bottom of the eighth seemed to create some sort of spark as it appeared that Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton hit a two run home run off the right field wall. Yes not over the right field wall, of the right field wall. The ball was hit right on the yellow foul line and mid way up the wall and the umpire decided it was a home run. This was one of the weirdest calls I have ever seen and it was put to review and was then ruled an RBI Double for Stanton and he was then standing at first with the Yankees trailing 3-1. At this point, Yankee manager Aaron Boone should have started yelling at the umpire and got tossed. He should have done this for two reasons: 1) To voice his displeasure for the utter ridiculousness of what just transpired. And 2) He should have fired up the boys and that could have possibly started a rally and light a fire in the dugout. Instead he complained and went back to see his team ultimately fail in the ninth.
The Ray’s called on Sergio Romo to close out the ninth but he was struggling to find the umpires zone as he gave up a hit and walked two to jam the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. Good for the Yankees, really bad for the Ray’s. After a call to the bullpen, rookie lefthander Adam Kolarek would try to maneuver out of a New York traffic jam. Meanwhile Romo was visibly upset going to the Ray’s dugout, questioning the zone and calls the umpire was giving him.
Kolarek settled in and pitched to Greg Bird. Bird swung and popped the ball foul right into the glove of the Matthew Duffy. After that, Kolarek struck out Brett Gardner on a slider and Austin Romine on a high fastball, leaving the bases loaded and securing the 3-1 win.