Do Not Try to Adjust Your Standings

The Yankees have not lost since Boston’s Ryan Dempster plunked Alex Rodriguez on Sunday. On Thursday, the Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz told USA Today that perhaps Dempster’s pitch “woke up a monster.” “Maybe it did,” Manager Joe Girardi said.

via Yanks Add Some Luck to Their Streak, With Two Bad Calls on One Play –

Yeah. The Blue Jays woke up a monster.

A bloated, hoary, medicinal-ointment-tainted monster, stumbling lecherously to life with fistfuls of crumpled taxi receipts.

Albeit weeks too late, most likely.

Still, we’ll always have Thursday. Andy Pettitte pitched well for a change, which is worth blogging about, right there, giving fans who sweated out a three-hour rain delay on a muggy afternoon in the Bronx a reason not to hang themselves: a 5-3 win, aided in large part by an umpire’s blown call.

It was the Yankees’ 10th in a row against the Blue Jays, which I think says it all about the quality of general managers — really, of sportswriting — in the game today. The Blue Jays were supposed to be THE team in the East, what with all their fancy free agents.

In reality, those back-bacon-frying chee-chawkers are in such a funk that the thoroughly unremarkable Yankees are 11.5 games ahead of them.

Eleven and a half!

“We’re feeling good about ourselves,” Mr. Pettitte told reporters afterward, “and you knew this was going to happen.”

We did? Yes, we did. We knew that what would get the Yankees moving was bad umpiring and a four-game stretch against a crappy team. “It was just a matter of when, and you hope it’s not too late,” Mr. Pettitte added. (See my remarks, Paragraph 2.)

Somehow, in the past week, the Yankees have gained a lot of ground in the playoff races. They are three and a half games behind the second wild-card spot, six and a half back in the East, and they play the division-rival Rays this weekend. That is the sort of mathematical story problem that makes Yankees fans stop dreaming up Vernon Wells trades and pay attention.

“We’ve got a good shot,” the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson said. “We still control our destiny.”

That much, I will buy. The Yankees control their destiny, for sure. If they keep winning, nothing can stop them, quod erat demonstrandum.

“Yankee Stadium is a tough place” to find a decent sandwich is what Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons should have said after the game. He got ejected in the fifth — arguing that blown call — so never mind what he really said.

I empathize with Mr. Gibbons, though. Black is white, up is down these days. Even Alex Rodriguez, the reviled Alex Rodriguez, made tangible contributions to the victory, so I am led to believe.

“Each day you’re able to make up a little ground, it seems more attainable — and that’s good for the guys in that room,” Mr. Girardi said.