Well, it took 4 starts but Mike Mussina circa 2007 finally showed up
. The Moose was obstinate, frustrating, underwhelming and most of all horrible in his 3 innings of work tonight. Not one, but two 85 MPH fast balls right down the middle to Manny Ramirez. Unacceptable.
Two points from tonight's game, the first is a big vote of confidence for Kyle Farnsworth. He came in to face the aforementioned Manny Ramirez in the top of the 7th and his first pitch sailed right behind Manny. I would've preferred actually drilling Manny in the ribs, but the message was sent and then Farnsworth went on to throw a dominant inning, his second in a row.
I know there's a lot of talk about how bean balls don't have a place in the game, blah, blah, blah. Needless to say, I disagree. The Red Sox have made a habit out of beaning A-Rod and Jeter. Not a series goes by when one, the other, or both of those guys don't take one in the ribs. Under Joe Torre, the Yanks never retaliated. Seriously, it never happened. The closest they ever came was Joba's two airmailed pitches over Youkilis' head, neither of which made contact, but they still earned him a bogus suspension. If you were watching the YES broadcast, I swear their broadcasters just don't pay attention sometimes. They spent the rest of the game trying to guess when the Sox would retaliate. The whole point was that Farnsworth was retaliating for A-Rod the night before. As far as I'm concerned, the teams are even right now.
The second point, and this one will leave a bad taste in my mouth all season long, came in the bottom of the ninth. Jason Giambi led off the inning against Papelbon with the Yanks trailing 7-3. Boston utilized their insane shift and basically gave Giambi first base if he could just lay down a bunt. Down by 4 runs, leading off the ninth against one of the best closers in baseball and Giambi doesn't even give a thought to pushing a bunt down the third base line to give the Yanks a runner. This is either an example of one of the most selfish players in the game, an ineffectual manager who will not tell one of his players to do what's best for his team or both. There's no defending this move. What's the best-case scenario, Giambi hits a solo bomb? Great. What are the odds of him hitting a bomb off Papelbon? I can guarantee you they aren't anywhere near the odds of him reaching base on even a half-way decent bunt. This isn't the MVP, roided-up Giambi we're talking about here, folks. This is the Giambi that's hitting .125 and didn't have a prayer of catching up to Papelbon's heat. When someone gives you a gift base when you're trying to mount a comeback you take that gift every time.
Kudos to the Melk Man for punishing a Papelbon fast ball later in the inning to bring the Yanks to within 2 runs.
Phil Hughes will look to emerge from his funk tomorrow night at Baltimore against Daniel Cabrera.Player of The Game:
Kyle FarnsworthTeam Record:
9-8Damon's Broken Bats: