Murphy's Law loosely states that if anything can go wrong, it will. A much more disambiguated definition applies eerily to baseball:
"If there's more than one possible outcome of a job or task, and one of those outcomes will result in disaster or an undesirable consequence, then somebody will do it that way."
For the moment, this can sadly be applied to too many aspects of Yankee baseball, so we will focus on one game, specifically the 9-3 whipping suffered at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The fact that Joba started the game at all is a topic of contention among Yankee fans. But he did. And according to the Law, if there's a chance Joba's first start could be a disaster, then it would.
Joba came within a few pitches of his pre-determined limit. Only trouble is, he was closing on that limit after just two and one-third innings. As bad as that sounds, the Yankees were actually up by a run when Joba left. It was Joba's actually leaving that seemed to be the catalyst for more examples of the Law.
It would take five pitchers to record the remaining 20 outs Joba left behind. The Law would apply to them as well. They would collectively surrender seven runs on 10 hits. Ramirez was most victimized by the Law; using 17 pitches to walk three batters and give up four runs, while recording no outs.
The law made it's presence known at the plate too. The Yankees squeezed three runs out of nine hits while leaving 10 runners on base. That stat would be more fitting for a seven inning softball game.
But in last night's nine inning baseball game, the remaining two innings of inactive Yankee offense can be attributed to a few notable oh-fers: Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera and Jose Molina went for a combined 0-19.
One thing Murphy's Law isn't, is constant. It happens sometimes. Joba could've had a rough outing on a night when Yankee bats can't be stopped. Joba could've still been in the bullpen if either Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy had thrown up at least a .500 winning percentage to this point in the season.
Should'ves and could'ves won't win a baseball game...they're only an epitaph to why one got away. Ideally, the answer is to put the best team possible on the field. A team that senses Murphy's Law striking an opponent, and doesn't hesitate to jump on them.
If should've and could've have a small negative place in post-game interviews, let's hope they're not even uttered during any post-season interview.
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