Well everybody, I didn't even know there was a game today, as I didn't get back into town until midnight last night and my schedule at my desk was from the beginning of the season and the make-up game never made it on.
It looked to be a great game as Jesse Litsch filled in for A.J. Burnett, who had to leave the team to attend to a personal matter. I hope everything is okay with A.J., but things were sure fine for Litsch, who was originally scheduled to go tomorrow. Litsch basically shut down the Yankees, going 7 2/3 innings and yielding only one run, on an RBI groundout by A-Rod. Jesse struck out only one, but yielded no walks and only 5 hits over his 7.2 innings and brought his ERA below 4. No mean feat against a team as offensively dominant as the Yankees, and a team that certainly didn't have trouble scoring over the weekend (save for the first 8 innings of Doc's start on Friday). Litsch got 17 ground ball outs, which will pretty much do it every time.
Offensively, it was again the back of the lineup that did the heavy lifting, as Hill through the bottom of the lineup accounted for all the Jays' RBI and all but one of their runs (Rios). Mac had an RBI to inch ever closer to the 30 RBI plateau for the first time. As for the pen, our hero finished off the Yankees without too much trouble.
My trip to Yankee Stadium for the weekend also went quite well, although the Jays dropped 2 of the three games, they played hard in all of them and, though it was frustrating not to be able to hold the lead, you have to respect the team for giving it their all against the Yankees with nothing on the line. Now all we need to do is play like this when it counts.
I have to say, my brother and I saw no other Jays fans during our trip to the stadium, but we proudly sported our Jays gear and even had the temerity to sit in the bleachers. We were heckled quite a bit (particularly during the excruciating ninth inning), but on the whole, people were very nice to us. J-Mac earned some acclaim for his defense from a perceptive firefighter who was their with his wife and 2 children (who were all completely into the game even into extras), and more than one fan grudgingly admitted respect for Doc, who, by the way, was masterful. The most irritating thing a fan did was proclaim Alex Rios the Yankees 2010 center fielder, and this was mostly irritating because I am afraid it might happen.
Of course, I think a lot of the goodwill stemmed from: 1) our loudly proclaimed hatred of Boston; 2) the fact that the Jays swept Boston just this week; and 3) the fact that people assumed we were from Canada and we did nothing to disabuse them of the notion (okay, we bald-faced lied) Luckily I have passable knowledge of the city and my brother comprehensive knowledge of Avril Lavigne's catalogue and Degrassi: the Next Generation. We both hide our Brooklyn accent quite well. I suspect if folks knew that we were not only native, dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers, not to mention Met fans, our reception would've been quite different. But that's not really the point, the point is that folks were very warm, at least somewhat knowledgable (you can't expect them to know Rey Olmedo), and definitely into the game. Some good-natured-ribbing is to be expected. On the whole, it was great, much better than you'd ever get from Boston fans, I suspect. We even managed to find free parking on the street three blocks from Yankee stadium, the general vicinity of which is much safer than it was even a few years ago.
Also, Yankee fans really really really like Joba Chamberlain, and seem to have collective acute amnesia regarding their incessant booing of A-Rod last season. If I booed one of the best players in the game for having "only" a 140 OPS+, I'd want to forget it too.
So thanks, Jesse Litsch, for stepping up today, and thanks, Yankee fans, for a warm and (mostly) classy reception this weekend for a few migrant Corvids!