A recap, in verse

Recapping the walk-offs, all 15 of 'em
Winning by any means necessary

With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Bronx Bombers last night:
The score stood four to three, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Hinske popped to third, and Matsui K’d,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Peña could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even money, now, with Peña at the bat.

But Cervelli preceded Peña, as did also Freddy Guzman,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Peña’s getting to the bat.

But Cervelli let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Guzman, the much despis-ed for his prior caught stealing, rolled the ball to Yuniesky.
And when Betancourt errored, and the Yanks saw what had occurred,
There was Freddy safe at second and Frankie a-hugging third.

Then from 46,956 throats — or what was left — there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the borough, it rattled in the Bronx;
It knocked upon Manhattan and recoiled upon the flat,
For Peña, mighty Peña, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Peña’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Peña’s bearing and a smile on Peña’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Peña at the bat.

Forty thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Forthy thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing Soria ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Peña’s eye, a sneer curled Peña’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Peña foul it a-back in haughty grandeur there.
Into the Yankee blue seats the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Peña. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, filled with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“We want some pie! We want some pie!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-pied him had not Peña been at bat.

With a smile of Yankee charity great Peña’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Peña still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Ball one.”

“Strike two!” cried the umpire as the next one painted black.
But one scornful look from Peña and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Peña wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Peña’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now Soria holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Peña’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no pie in the Bronx – not-so-mighty Peña has popped out.

* * *

Okay, okay, poetry and Ramiro Peña’s Wednesday home run aside, Wednesday’s game was not what the Yanks expected. Joba Chamberlain used up 91 pitches to get through just 3.2 innings. Although he allowed only three earned runs — and those runs came on some cheap bloop hits — the lackluster Royals mustered seven hits and four walks against the Yanks’ youngster. Joba struck out three, but he was not long for the game.

The bullpen pitched admirable, but Damaso Marte and Sergio Mitre allowed the Royals to plate a decisive run in the 7th. The Yanks again had a walk-off brewing with the winning run in scoring position in the ninth, but as my verse shows, Ramiro Peña could not come through. The Royals grabbed a game from the 102-win Yanks.

We could worry about Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod and Hideki Matsui going a combined 0 for 16, but that’s allowed to happen now and then. The real story was Joba, and he could not build upon his success against the Red Sox. This was his last outing of the season, and as it stands now, I wouldn’t be surprised if Joba isn’t on the ALDS roster and if Chad Gaudin is tabbed for a potential ALCS start. At some point, we’ll assess Joba’s overall 2009 campaign. His regular season effort ended on a very sour note.

Recapping the walk-offs, all 15 of 'em
Winning by any means necessary
  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Eric

    Well done sir!

  • pat

    Ben you’re freaking insane, that was awesome bro.

    • pat

      My grandma used to read me that poem every night when I stayed over, it strikes a chord in my cold black heart.

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
  • Esteban

    That was a lot of effort for a meaningless game against the Royals, but that’s why RAB’s the best Yankees blog out there.

    • Salty Buggah

      RAB = Girardi, then? Apparently, they both burn their energy for meaningless games.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Aw. Be nice to Girardi. If he really wanted to burn his energy for a meaningless game, he wouldn’t have taken out everyone in a tie or one-run game.

        • Salty Buggah

          Heh no I was making fun of ESPN and the Boston writers who said that the Yanks were trying to win everyday and while the Sox were smartly resting their players.

          • Tom Zig

            haha yup, we’re definitely not resting anyone ESPN. That game in Anaheim? didn’t happen! They always gotta find fault with whatever the Yankees do.

            • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Has ESPN touted that narrative? I thought that was Dan Shaughnessy.

              • Salty Buggah

                During the game against Boston, they brought it up I think.

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  It was on BBTN, too.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.baby-bombers.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/melky-cabrera-317x400.jpg Drew

    Ha that was pretty sick Ben. Well done.

    Once I finished the poem I had a hard time reading the three paragraphs without the poetic flow.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Well, those three paragraphs are the negative stuff about Joba. Best we all forget that anyway, eh?

  • Salty Buggah

    “not-so-mighty Penã has popped out”

    Tilde placement fail

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I just fixed thãt one. I didn’t even realize I put a tilde over the a until tonight. Weird.

  • http://imgur.com/NMNVd.jpg Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

    We could worry about Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod and Hideki Matsui going a combined 0 for 16, but that’s allowed to happen now and then.

    Don’t worry, Steve Lombardi’s got you covered.
    He already made a post tonight worrying about the offense.

    Did you know that if you remove cherry picked games in order to fit your theory, shit looks bleak as fuck. That guy is the anti Bob Ross. He paints shit in the most depressing way possible. Many times I’ve gone to his website, read a post, then said out loud, “you just blew my high.” But I like some of the other stuff he does, too, so I take the good with the bad. The facts of life.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Do you know that if you take out the 102 games the Yanks won this year, they were actually 0-57?

      • Salty Buggah

        Well, if you do that for every other team (if thats allowed), we have the least losses so we are still the best.

      • http://imgur.com/NMNVd.jpg Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

        Wait… WHAT!?!?


  • http://twitter.com/sgreen3 Sam

    Wow … just wow.

  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    Dos this sound good let Joba pitch out of the pen Cc start games 1 Aj Game 2 And Pettite Game 3 Have Joba Pitch in The 7th Hughes the 8th And Mo the 9th.In the Alcs U have CC Game 1 Aj Game 2 Pettite Game 3 And Gaudin Game 4 Hes probably gonna give u 5 innings and bring Aceves to relieve him he can go 2 innings and the Pen after that.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Honestly, no. Nothing Joba has done since the start of August would make me move him in front of Aceves or Robertson on the bullpen depth charts. Unless the Yanks are blowing their opponent or are getting blown out, I don’t really see how Joba fits into the postseason pitching plans right now.

      • yankeefan91 Arod fan

        Thanks for the opinion so u think the Yankees are gonna leave him off.

      • Tom Zig

        Would it be such a bad thing to leave him off the roster? He is already damn near his innings limit.

        • JMK aka The Overshare

          Isn’t he past the limit?

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      I’m not trying to be a dick, but that is damn near unreadable.

      • kunaldo

        punctuation is a beautiful thing

        • Jersey


          (assuming it was on purpose)

  • Salty Buggah

    I hope one day, you guys rap about a game for the recap. Hopefully for the recap of #27.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      These are the tales, the freaky tales
      These are the tales that I tell so well

  • Free mike vick

    No mention of swisher pulling a ‘Shelley Abreu’ in RF? That was real ugly…like Johnny Damon trying get down a sac bunt ugly.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I’m sure if Melky would have done that, there still would be no mention. :)

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    That was such a great post, Ben. Thank you!

  • BigBlueAL

    Forget about using Joba out of the pen ahead of Aceves and Robertson, I wouldnt even use Joba ahead of Brian Bruney right now.

  • Mark B.

    Ben, awesome post – well done!

    As for Joba, who would have ever thought that going into the playoffs this year a healthy Joba will be riding the pine through the entire postseason?

    I hope he can turn it around next year and become the starter everyone hoped he would be – I think that is very much up for debate.

  • Lefty

    Ben. I think you mean a 102-win Yankee team. You put 101.

  • Bo

    The only way you can say Jobas 2009 was a success was that he made 30+ starts and is seemingly healthy. The results speak for themselves. If they would have got another backend starter in late July he could have went to the pen Aug 1 like he should have. instead of doing these 3 inning starts. They’d have a pen right now that would be unreal. Now hes just screwed up.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Except there’s nothing at all to indicate that Joba out of the pen would have been as good as he once was. That’s such a faulty conclusion. Based on his stuff and his struggles to get outs lately, I would in fact conclude that he wouldn’t be a good reliever at all.

      • jsbrendog

        seriously, someone said this to me last night and I was like, yes, you are right, I would love for joba to come in in the 8th and walk a guy hitting .071 and then the next hitter and then give up a single.

    • cr1

      You’re right, Bo, if he is in fact healthy. His loss of velocity along with other problems has made me wonder.

      Earlier in the season I hoped they’d switch him and Aceves, but I could see why they didn’t. Aceves would have made a better 5th starter, but it would have been a big risk assuming Joba could do what Aceves has done for the team this season.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      If they would have got another backend starter in late July he could have went to the pen Aug 1 like he should have.

      We’ve been over this already, Bo. All the possible back-end starters were either too expensive (Washburn, Bannister) or shittier than Mitre (Garland, Byrd) or both (Arroyo). There were no back end starters to be had.

  • Jersey

    Yesterday, I would have been in favor of keeping Joba on the ALDS roster as a backup swingman and emergency starter if needed.

    Today…I’m still not totally convinced Gaudin would be an upgrade, but I don’t think you can afford to have Joba anywhere near high-leverage innings.

  • John

    If some of you guys think that Ben actually wrote the whole thing, because reading some comments makes me think of Ben as a peotry God, it’s Casey at the Bat. Great application of yesterday’s game to the poem nonetheless. good job.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I’m pretty certain everyone is well aware from whence I drew my inspiration. :)

  • John D

    that was brilliant

  • Jones

    haha liked the poem. Pena tried. Would of been awesome if he got it, Can’t get em all. But hey at least a homer the other day. El Nino & Cervelli have been contributing this year.