Let me set the scene for you.
It’s 5-2 Yanks after six innings. Roger Clemens, over 100 pitches, had given up his share of hits, but a nifty variation of the strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play kept the Tigers from really breaking out against the Yanks.
Out in the bullpen, Joba Chamberlain, rookie stud, is unavailable. But Edwar Ramirez is. Instead, in trots Yankee Enemy Number One: number 48 Kyle Farnsworth.
Farnsworth had lost the set-up job after months of inconsistency. Recently, he had pitched better but only in non-pressure situations. Today, it would be different. Farnsworth would have to protect a three-run lead against the Tigers’ 2-3-4 hitters including the hated Gary Sheffield.
Well, Krazy Kyle kame through. He K’d the last two hitters he faced and got the first out after running the count full to start the inning. The crowd erupted. On Tuesday, we came to bury – or is that boo? – Farnsworth. Today, we came to praise him.
Luis Vizcaino pitched the 8th, and our fears were assuaged when Mariano nailed down the save. All was well in Yankeeland.
Seeing Farnsworth throw well is huge for the team. If he can throw consistently and get outs, the Yanks could have a stellar and solid bullpen. For now, though, we’ll take this inning. One day at a time for the Yanks and Farns.
And, hey, when all is said and done, Farnsworth is no Eric Gagne. Just ask the Red Sox fans.