And his name is Fausto Carmona. Tonight was Carmona's "here I am" moment, an utterly dominating 9-inning performance against a stacked Yankee lineup in the middle of what looked like Biblical plague #11. While his teammates were flailing away against Andy Pettite, Carmona was a groundball machine. 19 groundouts out of 27 - add that to his 5 strikeouts and the 2 double plays he got and all of a sudden that's 26 out of 27 outs either on the down low or just plain missing bats. That's domination.
Don't forget that the last two outs he got were strikeouts. He made Derek Jeter look absolutely silly, then after his defense let him down on Bobby Abreu's grounder to short, he went to work on Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod, to his credit, had a magnificent at-bat. He went down, guns blazing, against one of the best pitchers in baseball on a night when he had simply filthy stuff.
(Not that this will matter to the New York media, who will conveniently ignore Jeter's flailing swings to concentrate that A-Rod failed in the clutch. But that's a given.)
Meantime, heralded Yankees rookie looked like he might be following another post-season path: Rick Ankiel's. After a dominating seventh, he had the wheels come off in the 8th. Hit batsmen. Wild pitches. A visible loss of composure on the mound, and almost heartwrenching shots of him standing there, bugs crawling all over him as he visibly tried to pull himself together before throwing another one in the dirt.
All in all, it was a magnificent game, and absolutely riveting. Or, to put it another way, when Grady Sizemore sprinted home to tie the game, my wife the extremely casual baseball fan, noticed. When Jeter struck out, she put down her knitting and watched. And when Pronk ended it in the 11th, she cheered with me.
Now that's a game.