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July 14, 2005

Get used to it
by Sean McNally

Eight runs given up. Fourteen hits. Six runs given up. Six runs. One Yankee win.

Hope you all enjoyed that, because the Yankees are probably going to have to play a lot of these games going forward to stay in the race for the AL East.

Before the game, Chien-Ming Wang was place on the 15-day DL with an inflamed shoulder. Word out of Yankee camp, particularly out of Michael Kay (who relayed a story from Ruben Sierra), is that Wang may have hurt his rotator cuff during a side session Sunday. Wang is supposedly on his way to see Dr. James Andrews, who incidentally stitched Wang’s shoulder together four years ago, for a second opinion on the shoulder. But the word doesn’t seem encouraging for a return any time soon.

The Wang injury leaves the Yankees with just two healthy starters that could be described as “major league quality” in Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson to start an 11-day, 11-game, three-time zone road trip.

So with recently acquired and called up Tim Redding going on Friday, Johnson on Saturday and perhaps Mahnken on Sunday the Yanks desperately needed Mussina to go deep into the game and give the pen a rest.

Mussina gave up four runs in the first. Thanks Moose!

The Yankees halved the lead on the strength of two solo homers by Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams in the second. Not bad for a couple of dead guys, eh?

A Gary Sheffield double plated Robinson Cano in the third, cutting the lead to 4-3. Cano, who earlier tried to stretch a double into a triple and killed a potential big first inning, wound up 2-for-5 in the game from the two-hole.

Moose gave that run back on a Jason Varitek RBI ground out, but the Yankees would ultimately knot the game at 5-5 in the sixth after a fifth inning Sheffield homer and a throwing error in the sixth by Bill Mueller.

Tanyon Sturtze came on in the seventh, and did alright, save for a David Ortiz homer giving Boston a 6-5 lead.

In the eighth and afterward, Joe Torre did something he hasn’t done in a long time: made great tactical decisions.

Jorge Posada doubled and was promptly pinch run for by Tony Womack. Bernie grounded out to second, moving the most expensive pinch runner in baseball over to third with one out and bringing Melky Cabrera.

Melky was pinch hit for by investigative reporter Ruben Sierra who drove a ball just inside the bag at first to tie the game.

Tom Gordon pitched a solid night then everyone's favorite Red Sock Curt Schilling came out to close.

Throwing with a noticeable lack of push and velocity, Schilling got ripped for a double off the deepest part of the Green Monster by Sheffield, bring up Alex Rodriguez.

For all of the offseason and spring training, Schilling and other Boston players took shots at ARod. He was a dirty player. He was a deadbeat dad. He wasn't a "real" Yankee.

Real Yankee this.

On Schilling's first pitch, ARod blasted a pitch to straightaway center. 8-6 Yankees.

Given a lead, Torre turned the ball over to Mariano Rivera, who was set on showing the Sox that April was April, and the calendar says July.

Thirteen pitches. Three swinging strikeouts. Game over and New York pulled within a game-and-a-half of Boston.

So a bunch of hits, a bunch of runs and shutting the opposition down late. Hopefully we'll get to see that formula a lot over the next 10 days.