The morning after, which do you think about first: The grand slam or the win?
“You know, this game is very, very difficult,” Alex Rodriguez said. “If you’re not going to enjoy these great moments, then it’s not any fun. Lou Gehrig is not only one of the all-time greats, but he’s one of ours. He’s a Yankee.”
Last night, Rodriguez hit the 23rd grand slam of his career to tie Gehrig’s all-time record. In almost any other context, the grand slam is all you’d be reading and hearing about this morning. But after last night’s game, the grand slam is a part of a bigger picture.
“I feel like we’re starting to get hot, we’re starting to play great baseball now,” Nick Swisher said. “But you’ve got to continue to keep things going. On a normal team, if you’re getting beat down for seven innings, you might turn it in. But not this squad. We battle, and we fight to the last out.”
Was anyone saying that three months ago? Was anyone praising this team for its resolve? For its ability to battle? For its undying belief that a big hit would come at a big moment?
“Alex comes up, you think, we’ve got a chance to win the game,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s why he’s talked about a lot, because he can always change the complexion of the game with one swing. There aren’t a lot of guys you can say that about.”
You could say that about Gehrig, You can say that about Rodriguez. And this morning, you can say that the Yankees are finally playing like a team that can come through with a hit like that in a game like that.
“I think this team’s in a good place right now,” Rodriguez said. “We’re not playing like really exciting baseball, we’re just playing winning baseball. It would be great to score 8, 10 runs a game and every time you get bases loaded to come up with a big hit or a double, but that’s not the way you win games all the time.”
Associated Press photo