Prior to this afternoon, the Yankees were 2-15 in games in which Johnny Damon started and went hitless. Make that 3-15.
In a game delayed nearly an hour by a rain storm that hit the Bronx but not Brooklyn, the Yanks downed the Reds 4-1. The rain, in fact, may have saved the Yankees.
Andy Pettitte continued his hot pitching, throwing 6 strong innings. He allowed just four hits — none for extra bases — and walked two while striking out four. He’s 8-5 now, and his ERA is 4.04. Pettitte, it seems, is back.
Meanwhile, the Yankees were again making a mediocre pitcher look like a Cy Young contender. Johnny Cueto and his 5.19 ERA threw five one-run innings, and the right hander had struck out seven before rain hit. Surprisingly, Dusty Baker removed Cueto after the rain delay, and the Yanks scored three runs in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada.
The Reds’ only run of the game came off of — surprise! — Kyle Farnsworth. It was the 19th home run of Griffey’s career in Yankee Stadium, and unless the Kid ends up on a AL team before the trade deadline, it was also the last plate appearance at the Stadium for Griffey. The homer marks the fitting end for someone so enthusiastic about Yankee Stadium and the Yankees.
Meanwhile, the Yanks may have lost Farnsworth for a few days, as Krazy Kyle forgot to use his glove. In an attempt to barehand a ball hit by Brandon Phillips, Farnsworth tore up his hand. He needed a few stitches, but the Yanks don’t see a DL trip in his future.
Mariano Rivera came on for the somewhat shaky four-out save. It was his 21st of the season, a mark he didn’t achieve last year until August 28. When all was said and done, the Yanks emerged victorious, winners of 8 of their last 10 and 12 of their last 17.