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April 23, 2004

Bummer Of A Loss
by Larry Mahnken

It was a tough loss, but it wasn't a bitter one. Yeah, the Yankees came within a step of tying the game, but they lost because they didn't score off of Schoenweis earlier, and because Moose pitched pretty poorly in the first.

There was a questionable managerial decision in the ninth, when Joe Torre left Jason Giambi on the bench as Ruben Sierra popped out and Travis Lee grounded into a double play. Maybe he was saving him to pinch-hit for Cairo after Lee, but I think he should have brought him in for Sierra, who probably shouldn't have played anyway. It wouldn't have mattered if Lee could have hit a fly ball, but them's the breaks. I'm already over it, and I doubt the Yanks will dwell on it much.

What's more important about yesterday is that Mike Mussina, after starting out the game looking like he was washed up, looked pretty sharp the rest of the way. He's still missing a few MPH off of his fastball, his location is not as sharp as we're used to, but he can win some games pitching like this.

Until this past week, I wasn't getting excited by baseball the way I usually am. It's probably because the offseason seemed so much shorter to me this year than in seasons past, and because there weren't that many exciting games. That changed on Monday, when the Yanks lost to the Red Sox. Ever since about halfway through that game, I've been riding the emotional roller coaster again, though no chairs are getting thrown yet (though I did punch a wall on Monday, and slam my fist last night).

Boston comes into the Stadium tonight, and the Yanks are looking for revenge for last weekend's 3-1 series loss. Whether they win tonight is mostly up to Jose Contreras, I think, but then the Yankees are due to explode offensively any day now. But I've learned my lesson; I'm not making any predictions.