Heading home from Yankee Stadium Wednesday night I had finally convinced myself the season was over. No sooner had Dustin Pedroia connected on a grand slam to make it 11-2 my mind was made up. In fact I was up and out of my seat on the way home before that ball even landed. I was even convinced that they were going to get swept in the final Yankee-Red Sox series in the current stadium. I had even told a Red Sox fan congrats on winning the wild card.
As I headed to the Stadium today, I only hoped for a well played game and a win. I just didnt want to see another double digit slaughter by the Sox. I am heading to Florida this week and figured that this was a good time to get away and not worry about the Yankees for a week. They would be 8 games out with 29 to play and just swept by the Red Sox.
But with a couple Giambi swings everything seemed to change. The Stadium had a weird feeling all day, it was almost like the fans were expecting the Yankees to lose. Down 2-0 heading into the 7th things looked bleak. It looked like another game where the Yankee bats would fail them, which is the same script that has been followed for the first 120+ games. Cody Ransom's double with two outs looked like a meaningless hit. And when Girardi brought in the Big G to pinch hit to face Hideki Okajima I had my doubts. I was even questioning the move (I had no faith in Giambi.) But the Big G ran into an Okajima fastball and crushed it to leftcenter and the Stadium was rocking again. The fans were looking for something to chear about and Giambi's 27th homerun was what they needed. He had stopped the final nail into the coffin from being hit (for now.) And then with the bases loaded Giambi lined an 0-2 Jonathan Papelbum pitch to centerfield to send everyone home happy. The Yankees had a huge weight lifted off their shoulder.
This win pulled me back into the season. I was ready to watch them play out the string. I would still watch every game just not live and die with every pitch. But now 6 games back with 29 to play seems slightly do-able. Crazier things have happened. This is a big momentum game that the Yankees can possibly build on. It would be easy as they face Burnett and Halladay this weekend and only have 7 games with teams under 500. Maybe they are done and this was one last good feeling for the 2008 season, maybe this was just a tease, but the Rockies won something like 18 straight games last year to reach the post-season, why cant the Yankees. You have to believe in a team led by Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
As I was riding the 4 train home all I could think was "I thought I was out but they pulled me back in."