The sweep is complete. The Yanks put away the Rangers 5–2 in the night portion of today’s day/night double-dip. This is going to be quick and dirty because I switched over to the Warriors/Mavs immediately after the game and I don’t want to miss another minute of it.
Mike Mussina came back from a hamstring injury tonight and gave the Yanks pretty much all that we could hope for: 5 IP, 1 earned, 4 hits, 3 Ks. The pen came in and did its job (more on this later), Bruney, Henn and Proctor combined for 2 scoreless, Farnsworth gave up the obligatory bomb, then got out of the eighth. The Yanks picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth on Derek Jeter’s third hit of the game (fourth of the day). Jeter extended his hitting streak to 20 games.
Matsui and Melky also picked up four hits on the day. Cano didn’t have what you’d call a stellar day, he was 0–7 combined, with 3 Ks.
While I was pretty sure Mo would be called upon to save both games, if the opportunity presented itself, I was shocked to see Farnsworth out there in the second game. Joe usually doesn’t use Farnsworth on back-to-back days, let alone twice in the same day. It was almost a tragic mistake by Torre, Farnsworth took a misstep on one pitch and crumbled on the mound. Luckily, he didn’t pull a hammy and finished the inning strong.
Something important and terrifying happened in the bottom of the sixth. Brian Bruney started the inning off strong, recording two easy outs on 9 pitches, then Sammy Sosa stepped up to the plate. Keep in mind that three Yankees had already been hit in the double header. Bruney drilled Sosa with a 97 MPH fastball, right in the helmet. This is a good sign because it shows that at least one Yankee pitcher is willing to defend his teammates. It’s a horrible sign because I don’t care how many of your guys get hit, you don’t hit the guy in the head.
I’m choosing to believe that the pitch got away from him a little bit, and rode up to Sosa’s head. Torre didn’t seem as convinced, he yanked Bruney from the game before he threw another pitch. Sean Henn came in, but I think Bruney works an inning at the minimum if he doesn’t bean Sosa.
Mo broke two bats in the ninth, one found the outfield grass for a hit, but he settled down and recorded his third save of the year on a 4–6–3 double play hit by Kenny Lofton.
Player of the Game: Derek Jeter, 3–5 with a double and 2 RBIs. Honorable mentions: Doug with a 2–run bomb and Mo for his two saves on the day.