There’s nothing better than a good, clean, well-pitched ballgame, except a good, clean, well-pitched ballgame in which the Yankees shut down the opposition and hold them to one measly little hit, especially when the opposition are their crosstown rivals who have prematurely been touted as “the best team in New York.” The Mets, without question, are having an incredible season thus far. However, facing some of the “big boys” of the American League has exposed quite a few weaknesses like their pitching staff, primarily the number three, four, and five starters. I was not at all pleased to have the Mets coming in having been absolutely pounded in Boston and having lost three games in a row for the first time all season, but then I remembered Moose was starting and that the Yankees are probably all a little sick of hearing about how great the Mets are and looking for a little respect, especially considering the Yankees have ten consecutive division titles and have been playing playoff-worthy baseball for much longer than just a few months.
It was very nice to watch another Moose vs. El Duque duel like the one last season while Duque was with the White Sox. They’re both such finesse pitchers that can throw an incredible arsenal of pitches, in any count and from any angle. I’d rather watch these kinds of guys, with pinpoint control and the ability to change speeds as dramatically as they both do, than some wild flamethrower that gets the ball up there around 100 but gives up monster homeruns and walk the guys they don’t strikeout. The Yankees caught a really bad break tonight when Moose had to come out of the game in the fourth inning with a no-hitter because of the rain delay and they had to go to the much maligned bullpen, but those guys did an incredible job and hopefully this shut out will give them all a little much-needed confidence. Villone did a great job giving them a little length, Proctor was trusted with the meat of the Mets lineup and looked sharp, Farnsworth did NOT give up a hit and looked like last season’s dominant and imposing reliever, and Mariano, the REAL Sandman and the best closer of all time, was, well, Mo. The first inning Giambi homerun turned out to be all the Bombers needed, but Andy Phillips’(Whom I affectionately call George, FYI) basehit in the 4th was a huge insurance run.
Taking a look around the league, Joe Girardi and the Marlins did tonight what Willie Randolph and the Mets couldn’t do in three games: beat the Red Sox. The Mets Fenway fiasco is, luckily for them, in the rearview mirror. However, the D-Train was able to hold the streaking BoSox to two runs and finally stopped Boston’s 12-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory. It’s about time!
Oh, and one last thing, going back to the Mets and Yankees. Why is it that the Yankees, according to the media at least, are inconsistent and struggling this year (45-32) while the Mets (47-32) are sometimes called the “best team in baseball”? Take a look at the records, and keep in mind the Yankees play in a division that is infinitely tougher than any N.L. Division, period. You don’t have to knock the Mets, but let’s give the Yanks a bit of respect, huh? I’m getting kind of sick of the Yankee-bashing.
This afternoon's game will be a match-up of Randy Johnson and Steve Trachsel. Hopefully, the Big Unit can continue pitching as well as he has of late and the Yankees can take the series and give their fans some bragging rights.