And then there was 1...Yanks one win away from clinching division

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If the Yankees win a game, but the game was called by Tim McCarver, is there a Yankee who hasn't killed himself who stayed alive to hear the game?

The Yankees shut down the Red Sox in game 2 of the much hyped series, with CC Sabathia retiring the first 11 batters before walking Jacoby Ellsbury in the 4th. No-no stayed in tact until the 5th when Mike Lowell knocked in a single. That was the only hit he allowed, recording 8Ks and walking 2 to make him the first pitcher in the league to reach 19 wins. Talk about money well spent.

On the other hand, the Boston pitcher who's seen the light of day for about 45 minutes this year, is not exactly earning his $53 million paycheck. He was out for what seemed like 7 years on account of fatigue (wasn't this guy billed as special because he could eat up innings like they were mini powdered sugar donettes?)

Dice-K pitched 7 innings, let up 6 hits, struck out 3, and held the Yanks scoreless until Robinson "I'd be MVP if no one was ever on base" Cano sailed a long ball into the left field stands. Actually, it wasn't all bad an outing from Dice-K, but you gotta do better than that if you want keep pace with the Yankee 0-9-line.

(Or they'll hit liners at your knee caps. Jeter pulled a Melky in his first AB, and drilled Dice-K in the leg. Are they aiming now? Either way, Boston certailnly seemed to think so, and hit Jeter with a pitch twice and Melky once. Sometimes I think Dice-K doesn't completely understand the rules of the game.)

The formidable offensive army should have run the score up to about 9-0, the Red Sox got a gift that they never bothered to unwrap. The Yanks were only 1-15 with RISP, leaving 11 men on base. As happy as I am that they suffocated the Sux, I'm not overtly thrilled with this habit of seeing how many people we can put on base before getting mowed down for the next 3 outs.

Winning this brought the Yanks' magical number down to 1, and it's a good thing this doesn't work like darts. Because it we won tomorrow, we'd be down to -1 for our magical number, and if this were darts and we overscored, it wouldn't count. So..uh yeah. Good thing it doesn't work that way.

Billy Wagner let up the other 2 runs after Cano's solo shot. Billy Wagner is the biggest joke, I can't look at him without remembering how he was brought in for a save against the Yankees in May 2005, with the Mets up 4-0. And was so terrible that he let us tie the game, with 3 of those runs coming with 2 outs. I love the fact he's on Boston, because he predictably brought his Mets-ness with him.

And this was never more evident than in the bottom of the 4th, when a bloop hit by Matsui engendered a move I really thought the New York B Team had the market cornered on.

A can of corn hit so high everyone could have balanced their checkbooks during its hang time started descending a little beyond the infield, and it became a classic case of "Do you have it? Should I catch it? Are you gonna call it? Ok fine you can have it. Wait, what?" Yup, dunked right in. No runs scored because of it or anything, but it made it clear that where a Mets vet goes, so goes his inherited fumbling ennui.

Speaking of idiots, Tim McCarver and Josh Lewin make more and more headway with every broadcast in their bid to turn people off from baseball completely to just completely sidestep the risk of ever having to hear them talk.

I think a part of me died a little today when I had to listen to them say, "Hey you know what? Red Sox fans can say, 'well, who's won more World Series this century?' Because technically, haha, Boston's got them beat there! Ya know?"

Really? Really? No, I didn't know that! THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION! You really know how to boil the game down the most salient and unique perspective, Tim. I mean, I'm surprised I haven't heard that from Boston fans ad nauseum ad infinitum for the last 2 years. It hasn't been the #1 most ridiculous jab I've had to endure since 2007.

Thank you, Tim. Thank you. For bringing the fascinating insight to light and giving all of us something to think about. Also, please go play in traffic.

And if it isn't too much trouble, why don't you go ahead and bring Youkilis along for the ride. I don't see any real benefit to his existence, outside of giving us Yankee fans an unending pool of idiocy of which we can relentlessly rip apart. Today, in fact, we got this gem to work with:

(On the importance of this series as it relates to the postseason)

"I don't think it matters," Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "Both of us are probably going to the playoffs unless we don't do something right."

You guys are soooo blase and irreverent. Nothing belies "not caring" quite like going out of your way to establish yourself firmly in nonchalance. Boston= Ipecac for Yankee fans.

The game lasted 3 hours, which is shocking since Dice-K was pitching like someone had told him it's mandatory is count to 10 Mississippi first. See, yet another reason why it's strategic genius to keep a bucket of spare ribs in the dugout. You don't see CC wasting any time up there, do you? No. All you gotta do is dangle a carrot landfill of complex carbs in front of him, and we got gold.

Speaking of gold, the Yanks look to call fives on the division tomorrow. I very much hope they don't celebrate though. I think it pisses people off more when you don't rub it in, or explode into an obnoxious symphony of jeering.

Because it's like this unspoken threat between you, and it's almost as if they get frustrated by the fact they can't retort with anything. And by the fact they know you can, at any given moment, choose to pull our your ace. But you never do. And it drives them crazy that not only did you defeat them, but you're above them.

Now it's off to a Red Sox bar. I swear to God, this isn't my doing. I would have liked to remain alive to at least see the Giants and Yankees 1:00 games tomorrow. But as fate (and my buddy's choice of birthday party locale) would have it, I may not get out of here in one piece.


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