Monday, April 28, 2008

Bullpen Delivers

Mike Mussina pitched decently for 4 innings, was struggling in the fifth, but managed to get out with only giving up 2 runs. For Mussina, that's as good as it gets these days although ideally you'd like to see him be able to tough out another inning or two. Mussina and the Yankees intentionally walked the hot-hitting Victor Martinez with 2 men on base and it payed off. The Manny Ramirez incident still hangs heavy over Moose and the Yanks.

The bullpen was fantastic, pitching 4 scoreless innings. Albaladejo gave up a walk and a hit while Farnsworth, Chamberlain and Rivera retired the side in order during their respective innings on the mound.

It was interesting that Girardi only let each pitcher throw 1 inning out of the bullpen. In the past he hasn't been afraid to use Joba or Farnsworth for 2 innings. I'm not sure it would have been better to give one of them the day off and let someone pitch 2 innings in relief.  Perhaps Joba or Mo could have come in earlier if the others started struggling.

Mussina picked up the win and Rivera got hit 8th save of the season.

There were a few hits, but the Yankees got the hits when they needed them. Aaron Laffey pitched a no-hitter through 5 innings then came undone in the 6th. The Yankees strung together a few hits and walks to load the bases. A-Rod was then hit by a pitch and one run was forced in. Giambi and Matsui grounded out but drove in runs and Morgan Ensberg batted another run in with a weak single.

Johnny Damon came in to pinch hit for A-Rod (who was the DH tonight) in his next at bat. Girardi said afterward that it was a precautionary move but that A-Rod may sit out tomorrow's game.

I like seeing the Yankees hitting with runners in scoring position and not leaving too many runners on base. Tonight was one of those occasions where the Yankees took advantage of their opportunities.

Chris Stewart was called up from Scranton to back up Molina behind the plate if needed. It remains to be seen whether or not the Yanks will recall Moeller from waivers.

The Yankees have finished their grueling road trip and now have 18 or their next 25 games at home. They are 1 game over .500, 1 game out of first place and given everything that has happened, you have to be a little relieved. Phil Hughes will get the start tomorrow against Detroit's Kenny Rogers. Hughes' 7.85 ERA will be well matched against Rogers' 7.66.

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