Tonight’s Yankee loss was both gut-wrenching, and a pleasure to watch. Andy Pettitte and Oliver Perez matched each other pitch-for-pitch, the bull pens were spectacular on both sides, and it all came down to a first inning run scored on a shallow fly ball hit to Johnny Damon. Them’s the breaks.
The Yankee bats were quiet, but you have to give credit to the opposing pitcher as well. Perez had the Yanks guessing, and his slurve had a nice bite to it tonight. Andy Pettitte deserved better, but that’s a recurring theme at this point of the season.
Damon was actually involved in two pivotal plays in the first inning. He led off the game with a slap shot down the third base line. He tried to stretch it into a double, but was gunned down by Endy Chavez (who later homered to give the Mets a lead they would never give up). A potential Yankee rally was killed by the Chavez throw. Matsui accounted for all of the Yankee offense with an absolute shot off Perez.
Proctor pitched a perfect eighth. Tomorrow’s game is crucial for the Yanks. The Red Sox/Braves game was rained out tonight, the Yankees now sit 10 games behind the Sox, their largest deficit since 1995.
Player of the Game: Hideki Matsui, 2 for 4, 1 run, 2 RBIs, 1 HR.