It went a little bit something like this: infield single, infield single, line drive single, HBP, ground out, ground out, infield single. And all of a sudden, the Yanks had a 4-2 lead. They wouldn’t look back.
Behind another solid outing by Mike Mussina, the Yanks salvaged a split of their four-game trip to Cleveland. Moose worked his way through five innings, and what we saw today is what we’ll get from Mussina. He tired around 85 pitches; he gave up 7 hits; he struck out just two. But he kept the Yankees in the game.
As long as Mussina’s not throwing against the elite offenses, he seems to be a good back-end starter for the Yanks. He’s 3-3 with a 4.72 ERA, and I’ll be happy if he can keep that ERA around that 4.50-4.75 mark. Anything else is gravy.
After Moose, the bullpen took over. Jonathan Albaladejo, Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera combined for four innings of work, three of which were 1-2-3 innings. Tonight’s inning was Kyle Farnsworth’s fourth 1-2-3 appearance of the season. Hell hath frozen over.
Rivera meanwhile continues to wow everyone all the time. In ten games, he’s thrown 11 innings and has allowed four hits. He’s walked no one and has 11 strike outs. He has eight saves already this year.
On the other side of the ball, the Yankee offense again packed little punch. Outside of that sixth inning, the Yanks managed just one hit, and after the wind knocked down a few first-inning blasts, they hardly hit the ball with much authority throughout the remainder of the game. A Hideki Matsui RBI double in the 8th would be the loan rocket. But a win is a win is a win, and the Yanks return home after a brutal stretch of the schedule at 14-13, one game out of first and two games ahead of their 2007 pace.
But for all of this, the win pales in comparison to the news that came out of Yankee camp after the game. When Johnny Damon pinch hit for A-Rod in the eighth, we all knew something was up. And something is up indeed. According to Kat O’Brien, A-Rod has reaggrevated his quad injury. He felt it in the fourth, and it got worse as the game wore on. The slugger says he won’t be able to play on Tuesday, and he feels he rushed back from the initial injury.
In other bad news, the Yankees, according to Tyler Kepner, fear that Posada could have damaged his labrum by playing through his shoulder injury recently. The Yankees and Posada are awaiting word of the catcher’s trip to Dr. James Andrews. It is important to note that this not an age-related injury. Posada tweaked his shoulder on an awkward throw to second on Opening Day. That could happen anytime. Cashman detractors will criticize the Yanks for tossing a 36-year-old catcher a four-year deal, but this injury is not a good selling point for that side of the argument.
The Yanks will take the win, but it’s a bit bittersweet as two of their top sluggers work their ways through injuries. A trip home has never sounded so nice right now.