It’s a shame that the Yankees decided to announce the return of Roger Clemens in the middle of this game, because it overshadowed a gem from Darrell Rasner. Rasner went 5.2 shut-out innings, allowing only 3 hits, 2 walks while striking out 4. Proctor (more on him later), Henn, Farnsworth and Bruney finished off the 5–0 shutout of the Mariners.
Hideki Matsui picked up the 2,000th hit of his career, if you count Japan and the U.S., which I don’t. Jeter continued to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 3 with a run, a RBI and two walks. His average is now .353. A-Rod is struggling a little bit, 0 for 4 today.
Back to Proctor: On a Derek Jeter RBI single, Josh Phelps scored from second, and he bowled over the catcher as he crossed the plate. The catcher didn’t have the ball, but he was blocking the plate. I don’t have a problem with this play at all. If there’s no play, the catcher has to get out of the way, when he’s in front of the plate, or even in the neighborhood, the runner has no way of telling where the ball is.
The next time Phelps came up, Jarred Washburn hit him. It was intentional, it was obvious, both teams were warned, dirty looks were exchanged, whatever. It wasn’t that big of a deal, and I don’t have a problem with it. It was retaliation, and the teams were even at that point. The next inning, Scott Proctor came out and got the first two outs quickly, then he threw a pitch behind Betancourt. Proctor and Torre were both tossed, the benches and bull pens emptied, everyone puffed out their chests, then cooler heads prevailed and the game continued.
Proctor shouldn’t have thrown at Betancourt, and he did throw at him, it was obvious. There was no reason for it. He got tossed, so did Torre, which is punishment enough. While I think in this case retaliation was not called for, I am glad that someone on the Yanks has his teammates’ backs. It was misguided in this case, but it’s something that’s been sorely missing from the Yankee staff.
Player of the Game: Darrell Rasner.