Sports Outside the Beltway

Busy day for the Yankees

I’ll get to Pettitte, but the Yanks offense finally put on a show. It wasn’t the normal big inning that won the game but spreading the offense around, never giving Boston a chance to catch up. They scored in six different innings. The big blow came in the first inning with a Matsui two-run homer just over the right field wall. He had crushed a fastball foul on the previous pitch, and for some reason, Schilling threw another fastball only out over the plate – Matsui didn’t miss the second one.

But the real hero was, once again, Andy Pettitte. A brilliant performance by the lefty, going seven stellar innings allowing just one run.

This brings me to the home plate umpire: one of the worst umpired games I’ve ever seen, specifically balls and strikes. From the first inning, CB Bucknor had one of the smallest strike zones I’ve ever seen. Pettitte could have legitimately struck out David Ortiz on consecutive pitches, both called balls (fortunately he induced a swinging strike on the next pitch). I recall several curveballs that came in waist high that have been (by every other ump this year) called strikes. The same went for Schilling, who had to groove pitches just to get strikes. He’s a guy that won’t give in and walk a guy – he’d rather give up a HR than a walk, which happened twice tonight: Matsui’s and DMint’s HRs were on full counts. Considering the ump and the lineup, Pettitte’s outing was perhaps his best of the year.

Jeter had three hits tonight and passed Joe DiMaggio for fifth on the Yanks all-time hit list. He will certainly pass Lou Gehrig (2721 hits) to overtake the top spot, then become the first Yankee to ever surpass 3000 hits, and even has a legitimate shot at 4000 hits (Jeter’s average of 208 per season means 8.6 more years to reach that milestone), something only two other players (Cobb, Rose) have ever done.

Great to go into the off day with a win, especially a series win against Boston. A sweep would have been nice, but I won’t complain about two out of three. Ty Clippard goes for his second win against Anaheim on Friday. I’m looking forward to see if he can reproduce his success from Sunday night. His changeup, his best pitch, wasn’t even working well against the Mets, and he still pitched superbly.

- Roger Clemens pitched for Double-A Trenton tonight, and labored (102 pitches) through 5.1 innings, giving up three earned runs. His next start may be next week in Toronto for the big club. He didn’t seem that ready tonight, so I wouldn’t mind him getting another minor league start (maybe for Scranton) before hitting the Bronx.

- Bad news: Carla Pavano will have Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season (this is the first time I’ve ever referred to him as ‘Carla,’ but it’s now warranted). Good news: we will never have to concern ourselves with him again. The biggest free agent bust ever? Probably not. The biggest Yankee free agent bust ever? Quite possibly.

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