Bruce Beck talked the Yankees after Thursday night's 5-2 victory over the Twins, which gave the Bronx Bombers a 2-0 series lead in the American League Division Series. Game 3 is Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.
All that worrying about Andy Pettitte certainly turned out to be a waste of time, huh?
In hindsight, it's a bit funny to think that there were so many people up in arms about Joe Girardi's decision to pitch Pettitte in Game Two against the Twins on Thursday night. After all, this wasn't some wet behind the ears Andy-come-lately that just showed up out of the pumpkin patch. Pettitte's experience of success in these situations, a 6-3 record in 14 career Game Twos before Thursday, is well-documented and it should have given everyone a sense of security instead of creeping fear.
That Pettitte, his cap pulled down low and his left arm dealing from pitch one, would win Game Two should have been considered inevitable by everyone who has witnessed him in these spots before. He pitched like beating the Twins in Target Field was his birthright, every jam just serving as another chance to paint a masterpiece worthy of the MOMA or Cooperstown. Worry about Andy Pettitte in Game Two of a playoff series? Your mental energy is best spent elsewhere, true believers.
Perhaps you can turn it to finetuning the coming robot umpires that baseball demands. Hunter Wendelstedt didn't cost the Twins the game when he called a clear strike to Lance Berkman a ball in the seventh inning, but he did make yet another case for the need for wholesale reform of the way the men in blue do their jobs. A plot of his strike zone in that at-bat shows that Wendelstedt is an abstract expressionist in a world that demands brutal realism.
Berkman doubled in the go-ahead run on the next at-bat, his second big hit of the night and second big hit since he became a member of the Yankees. This is part of that fated story we've seen play out so many times before, especially against the luckless bunch from the land of 10,000 lakes. The Yankee lineup wore down another opposing starter and another unlikely name took its place in the memory book alongside Brian Doyle, Luis Sojo and Don Larsen, who finally got a little company on Wednesday.
Some Twins fans might use that call as a crutch to get them through the night, but deep down they know that the 5-2 loss wasn't about one bad call or even one great start. It's become clear that the Yankees beating the Twins is, like death, an inexorable reality of life on our planet. The Yankees haven't played particularly well and they've given their opponents ample opportunities to take games, yet nothing that happens can alter the script that ends with Mariano Rivera on the mound and silence among the faithful at Target Field.
Barring a change of unthinkable proportions, that silence will be replaced by Frank Sinatra on Saturday night. Unless you live in the Twin Cities or up Brainerd, that should be a comforting thought. It means that the sun will come up in the morning and that everything is just as it should be on the blessed little orb we call home.