Tuesday, September 6, 2011
D.J. Mitchell had just worked eight dominant innings. Jorge Vazquez drove in three runs and hit as long a home run as he hit in his record-setting season. And 2011 ended on a clean, crisp, 5-1 win over Buffalo.
In that clubhouse, one disappointed days ago that it couldn’t secure the franchise’s unprecedented sixth straight playoff berth, there was a sense of finality to it all.
As he was giving his postgame interview, Mitchell’s eyes lunched toward the television. The slugger who helped spark the Yankees offense all season, catcher Jesus Montero, had just hit his second home run of his big league career.
The [Scranton Wilkes/Barre]Yankees players milling around the clubhouse flocked to any television they could find to watch their former teammate trot around the bases.
As his old teammates watched Montero take his curtain call, Miley had the last big job of the season. He called outfielder Greg Golson, infielder Ramiro Pena and pitchers Hector Noesi and George Kontos into his office to deliver the news they had been hoping for or, in one case, waiting for an entire lifetime.
They were going to the big leagues.
“I can’t even describe this feeling. It’s surreal,” said Kontos, his cell phone in hand and tears welling in his eyes as he pondered who to call next to talk about his first big-league call-up. “It’s everything I worked for, my whole lifetime. To think that I’m going up, it’s unreal.”
More reinforcements on the way.
And in case you’re curious, here’s an update to the AL postseason odds after yesterday’s action.
W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)
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