Down 4 runs before the offense can take their cuts is not exactly the way you’d want to start a game, especially not when you’re up against Justin Verlander. Mussina didn’t have any control today and it showed right away as Jose Guillen took him for a ride, knocking one over right field and pocketing himself 4 RBI’s. Mussina let 2 more runs cross home plate again in the 2nd and with a 4 or more run lead the entire game for the Detriot, the Tigers never looked back. However, the Yanks actually did better than I thought they’d do against Verlander, scoring 3 runs and running deep into counts, forcing Verlander to throw 119 pitches in 5.1 innings but still, this game was lost on pitching. The Yankees’ starter didn’t pitch well and the Detroit bullpen did. The Tigers’ bullpen really went to work against the Yankee lineup, striking out 9 batters in 3.2 innings and although they managed to score two more runs in the 9th, with the way Detroit’s bullpen was pitching, the Yanks didn’t have a chance. Usually great pitching is really fun to watch… when the great pitching is from your team, but when it’s on the other side, well… the swings and misses from your team can lull you to sleep, which is exactly what this game was: a sleeper.
-Of the two runs given up by the Yanks’ bullpen, Farnsworth didn’t give up either of them. Although he did hit and walk a batter in that inning, he didn’t allow a hit and didn’t allow a run, which is all we need. If he can keep that up (for more than a day), who knows… Yankee fans might trust him again.
-Duncan didn’t get the start today, but did get to pinch hit, with Joe Torre designating him as the Yanks’ power hitter off the bench, and as soon as his head popped up from the top of the dugout, Yankee fans, who he’s already won over, roared, knowing full well he was capable of giving them the runs they needed. However, he didn’t. He struck out, adding to the 11 total for the Yanks in today’s game. He didn’t get the big hit again, but if he can when the Yanks need him in the future, you’re looking at their new weapon of mass destruction.
And last note: Sheffield gets booed hard, as expected, because no one throws words around about the Yankee manager and gets away with it.
Pettite pitching tomorrow, and with a 2.70 ERA in his last three starts, I’m sure he’ll have a more quality outing than Mussina.