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September 7, 2006

Matsui, Thunder take opener
by SG

This Matsui kid looks like a keeper. More impressive than Hideki's first game action back, check out Phil Hughes's line for those who haven't yet seen it.

6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 13 K.

The big club whipped up on the Royals 8-3 last night. Randy Johnson was great, almost Anibal Sanchez-like, taking a no-hitter into the seventh before allowing a double. Johnson was pulled after seven innings and 81 pitches, and I was fine with this. The Yankees were winning 8-0 when he would have started the eighth, and with the game well in hand, many of the regulars in the lineup had been pulled. Gone were Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada.

If the game was so obviously over, why was Scott Proctor brought in? The Yankees currently have the following bullpen:

T.J. Beam
Brian Bruney
Octavio Dotel
Kyle Farnsworth
Sean Henn
Jeff Karstens
Mike Myers
Scott Proctor
Darrell Rasner
Mariano Rivera
Jose Veras
Ron Villone
Jaret Wright

Scratch Mo, who's working his way back from a muscle strain. Scratch Villlone too, who has been acknowledged as perhaps slightly fatigued. Hell, scratch Bruney, Henn, and Dotel since they had pitched Tuesday night. You still had SEVEN other options with an 8-0 lead to get 6 outs before allowing eight runs. Instead, Torre went to Proctor, who leads all of baseball in appearances and innings and pitches by a reliever, in a low leverage situation. The same Scott Proctor who had pitched in two of the previous three games, once with a six run lead. With Mo ailing and Kyle Farnsworth being Kyle Farnsworth, there's a chance that Proctor may be the Yankees' most useful reliever if they get to the postseason. Why Joe? Why?

Eh, enough whining. It was a nice win to take the series against a Kansas City team that's been playing pretty well since the All Star Break. Yanks have a day off today, then open up a 3 game series in Baltimore.