Final Score: Yankees 4, Nationals 1
Dame of the Game:
Adam LaRoche: 2-4, HR, RBI, R. If the Nationals offense yesterday were described as “comatose,” LaRoche would be the lone wiggling toe that would prevent a passerby from assuming it was a corpse and throwing it in a ditch.
Shame of the Game:
Tom Gorzelanny: .2 IP, 2 R, ER, 2 H, K. Brad Lidge may be gone, but fortunately there are still people in the bullpen who can be counted on to give up runs when the need arises or repel women trying to get in the clubhouse.
The Yankees have done many impressive things in their history. They have employed some of the best players of all time. They have won more World Series than any other team. They have spent more money than any other team. They have made more people hate them than any other team. But there was always one jewel missing from the Yankee crown. One achievement that, year after year, has ever eluded them. On Sunday, the Yankees finally caught their White Whale. They swept the Washington Nationals.
Sweeping the Nationals has always been the greatest goal of the Yankee franchise. It’s not as widely known, but Lou Gehrig also said in his “luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech that “my only regret in life is that we never swept the Nationals.” When Yogi Berra famously said “it ain’t over till it’s over,” the first “it” was referring to “the lack of fulfillment in my life” and the second was referring to “sweeping the Nationals.” Always taken out of context. The only reason why George Steinbrenner spent billions of dollars signing marquee players like Hideki Irabu and Enrique Wilson was so that they might one day contribute to a sweep of the Nationals. But all these efforts were in vain, even after the Nationals actually started existing and the Yankees got two previous chances to play them.
Now, it is truly over. The New York dream has been accomplished. The Yankee greats of past and present can finally rest in peace. It is ironic that the Yankees waited until the Nationals were a worthy opponent to defeat them, but perhaps that is the most fitting end to their historic quest.
The Nats got the thrill of being a part of history, but now it’s time to attend to their four game lead in the NL East that somehow still exists, since the Orioles finally achieved their century-old goal of taking two of three from the Braves for the second time.