It’s game four of the only division series that didn’t result in a sweep. So we here at Daily Sports decided to celebrate with a running diary. Tonight’s game will either almost certainly end the Joe Torre era in New York, or set up a decisive game five back in Cleveland. How will it turn out? Sit back and enjoy the ride with us to find out.
7:04 p.m. – And we’ve already gotten breaking news. Per a ridiculously dressed Craig Sager: Roger Clemens is no longer active. At first we thought this was a commentary about his diminishing physique, but apparently he’s just been taken off the active roster because of an injury he suffered Sunday.
7:15 – The analysts seem to be playing catch in the studio. The rest of the people in the Daily’s newsroom want the TV muted so it’s tough to hear what people are saying, but we’re pretty sure Frank Thomas just tried pushing Ernie Johnson over with his glove while playing first base. He’s a designated hitter for a reason, we guess.
7:30 – No more studio announcers. We thought this was good news until it went to the play-by-play crew and one of the first sentences out of Tony Gwynn’s mouth was “Offensively, the Yankees finally got the offense going.” Thanks, Tony.
7:38 – First pitch by Yankee’s starter Chin Ming Wang: a strike, looking. Things are looking up for Yankees fans.
7:39 – Third pitch by Wang: another strike. Unfortunately, it was a strike right down the middle of the plate that Cleveland’s Grady Sizemore cranked into right-center field. Cleveland leads 1-0. That was quick.
7:50 – Wang still isn’t out of the inning. After getting Jhonny Peralta down in the count, the Indians’ No. 5 hitter blooped an RBI single over Robinson Cano’s head to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
7:58 – Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu hit back-to-back singles with one out against Cleveland’s starter Paul Byrd in their half of the inning. New York fans are on their feet chanting “MVP” as Alex Rodriguez comes to the plate. Over/under on how many pitches until they start booing him? We’re setting it at two.
8:00 – Damn. It was three. A-Rod strikes out on three straight pitches. Cleveland gets out of the inning unscathed after Kenny Lofton makes a diving stop the next at-bat.
8:12 – Wang nails Kelly Shoppach’s bat with a ball when the catcher squares to bunt. It looks like it hit his hand, and the umpires award him first base for being hit by the pitch, loading the bases with nobody out. Joe Torre runs out to argue – or is he just heading out of the dugout to get a running head start before getting fired?
8:13 – The replays clearly show it was an atrocious call. This is the worst call in New York since the Knicks decided not to settle that lawsuit.
8:15 – Wang’s already been yanked (haha, we’re funny). But yeah, this game is a mess. Why did we think a running diary was a good idea?
8:20 – Chip Carey following Cleveland’s third run of the game: “The Yankees can’t really afford to give up any more runs.” In other news: The sky is blue, this game sucks and Lloyd Carr has conservative coaching tendencies.
8:23 – Another run. George Steinbrenner’s assistant would already be preparing Joe Torre’s pink slip for the Boss if he wasn’t already changing Steinbrenner’s diaper.
8:34 – And Gwynn pulls back ahead of Carey, 2-to-1: “If you’re Torre, you’re not happy with the two calls that went against you.” This appears like it will be the only close matchup in tonight’s game.
8:49 – The Yankees are finally on the board. We say finally, but it’s somehow still the second inning. Derek Jeter hit an infield single with the bases loaded and two outs. Maybe this game isn’t over yet.
8:52 – That’s the lone run. Hmm . and it’s almost time to flip over and watch some Monday Night Raw.
9:02 – Wow, Randy Orton’s the new WWE Champ. That’s awesome. . Not like we still watch wrestling or anything.
9:28 – Cleveland now leads 6-1 going into the bottom of the fourth. This game has been so drawn out and boring that it’s tied with curling on our sports-to-watch list. Also, why are you reading this, anyway? The result of this game is listed on page 11. Unless you read the paper backward or just like hearing about New York’s misery, you really shouldn’t be wasting your time with this.
9:44 – Good news for Yankees fans: New York just got its first 1-2-3 inning of the night. Better news for people watching this game: It’s actually starting to exceed its snail pace. Cleveland’s up 6-1 after fourth and a half innings.
9:55 – We just heard Tony Romo has thrown four interceptions in the first half of the Monday Night Game. But instead of flipping to see his demise, we’re stuck watching this snoozefest. Why did we agree to do this? Why?
9:58 – Mike Mussina has just been pulled. No innuendo this time. Sorry.
10:07 – Robinson Cano leads off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo homer. If the Yankees want to make a run, they need to do it now: 6-2, and Byrd has been taken out of the game.
10:10 – The Yankees are beginning to mount a comeback, so what do the executives at TBS do? Interview Jon Bon Jovi. Makes sense.
10:16 – It’s rally time. Derek Jeter is up with runners at the corners and one out. The crowd is starting to chant “Derek Jeter.” We know what happened the last time the crowd started chanting something .
10:20 – Jeter hits into a double play, ending any semblance of a rally the Yankees were making. A-Rod secretly fist pumps, knowing he won’t be the scapegoat after this loss. Torre is probably halfway into the locker room to empty out his office as we write this.
10:26 – Just some food for thought. In last week’s Daily, five senior editors made their playoff predictions. One took Chicago (swept), another chose Philly (swept) and the other three picked New York to win the World Series. Oops.
10:33 – The Yankees are nine outs away from having another season end early, Joe Torre is nine outs away from the unemployment line and the Major League Baseball powers that be are nine outs away from having just one major market team left in the playoffs. Oh well, at least MLB didn’t have to deal with its most storied record being broken by a suspected cheater. Oh, wait .
10:45 – With all pressure off his back and the season seemingly over, A-Rod jacked a home run into deep left-center. His first postseason RBI since 2004. Go figure. 6-3 Cleveland.
11:05 – Mariano Rivera is in to try and get New York out of a jam without allowing any runs in the eight. “Is this the last trip to the Yankee mound for Joe Torre in a Yankee uniform?” Carey asks. Our guess: Yes.
11:10 – Derek Jeter makes a nice play to end the Indian’s half of the eighth inning. He could end up being the hero. Oh wait, no he won’t: He ruined the Yankees’ best shot at a run by hitting into a double play. It’s still 6-3 Cleveland heading into the bottom of the eighth.
11:20 – Clutch performance in the bottom of the eighth: groundout, strikeout, strikeout. This game is an inning away from being over. First the Cavs, now the Indians. It’s been a great year for the state of Ohio so far. Maybe this means all of the good karma will be used up by Nov. 17. We can only hope.
11:22 – To be honest, we completely forgot to keep a tally of the ridiculous comment competition between Carey and Gwynn. Let’s just call it a draw.
11:30 – Johnny Damon makes a great running catch to save a run at the end of the ninth inning. Wow, great job! Now you’ll only lose by three instead of four.
11:34 – Jeter pops up. Two outs to go.
11:36 – Don’t book this as a Cleveland win just yet. Abreu just ripped an inside pitch deep down the rightfield line for a home run. The Yankees now tail 6-4, but have just two outs left still.