What’s that noise? That’s the sound of two cities collectively enjoying a stress-release. The weekend’s action around the diamond-terrain brought with it some much-needed “reassurance” to the annually spoiled supporters of the New York Yankees and the forever frustrated Toronto Blue Jays faithful.
Michael Pineda‘s long awaited arrival as a rotation-fixture in a pinstripe uniform has officially hit the New York City runway after the original hype surrounding the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Dominican’s dominant showcase made headlines once again in Game 2 of this three-game set. Yankees fans can start the upside-train but know all to well not to leave their injury-guard down.
Canadian-soil was brought the same gift as R.A. Dickey went toe-to-toe with Pineda, forming an intimidating presence of his own. Flashes of his 2012 Cy Young form was unquestionably in attendance, as the knuckleball’s uptick in velocity was keeping the Yankees’ lumber off balance throughout.
Is Dickey’s 2013 debacle now a thing of the past? Well, let’s just say in order for that to take place, the knuckleball needs to bring its dancing shoes out with more consistency, no matter what music is playing.
The patience of each fanbase was rewarded on Saturday, if just for one afternoon. The jury of long-term implications, however, is still experiencing a deadlock vote.
Now full speed ahead to Sunday’s intriguing rubber-match.
Much like any other major sports town, New York City is a place that evokes its “what have you done for me lately” love-hate relationship with its athletes; the only difference is, the Big Apple just might be the worldwide leader in chewing you up and spitting you out. C.C. Sabathia‘s recent trend in the downward-spiral category has the less hefty lefty on extremely thin ice. The former pillar of strength endured a Bronx-backlash in 2013, as his ERA (4.78) and WHIP (1.50) hit the north of 4.00 and 1.25 clips respectively for the first time in eight years.
As for the opposing career direction of Jays’ starting hurler Drew Hutchison, his employment record has skyrocketed since a solid effort in the season’s opening series facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays.
But this game can humble you in a nanosecond. That’s the beauty that baseball presents on a nightly basis. Hutchison experienced its wrath with an effort that failed to live up to his lofty season debut. You will eventually get eaten alive in this league when your burgeoning repertoire is seemingly ditched to become fastball-city.
Just when one thought Sabathia’s present-day woes would rear its ugly head, the veteran dug deep to wave off a potential collapse. He also managed to save his dignity in the process, allowing for the Big Apple’s thin line of mockery to remain on the bubble.
Underlying stories of the afternoon: Melky Cabrera‘s continued rise back to prominence has unleashed the now-formerly underrated difference-maker. However, the big picture nugget is a golden one, as Derek Jeter passed former Blue Jays’ hero Paul Molitor for eighth on the all-time hits list with his 3,320th career base-knock.
As for Brett Lawrie‘s ninth inning base-running, well, the saga continues.
The AL East drama will only get thicker, and each city’s stress level is sure to be set on full blast once again. Stay tuned.