"They have QuesTec everywhere now, right? I'd like to see the grades on that game...That was the old day game, getaway day, Yankee Stadium strike zone."
In Sunday's Daily News, columnist John Harper asked, "When's the last time a Yankee pitcher threw a [Juan] Dominguez-type gem?"* Mike Mussina had an answer for Harper and the Rangers on Sunday afternoon as he tossed his most impressive game of the year, shutting out Texas through eight innings (he would allow one run), striking out ten and walking nobody. Mariano Rivera relieved Mussina in the ninth and got the save. It was another unseasonably cool and overcast day in New York; Mussina's kind of weather. Buck Showalter wasn't crazy about how balls and strikes were called but Joel Sherman and Bill Madden report that this is just the kind of start that the Yankees needed. Ryan Drese was almost as good for Texas, pitching a complete game. The difference was solo home runs by Bernie Williams, who went 3-4 batting lead-off for the first time since April 16, 1996--and Jason Giambi. Gary Sheffield, still ill, was sent home and did not play. Derek Jeter was out too, and may not play until Wednesday. Inter-league play begins tomorrow as the Colorado Rockie (?!?!) come to town.
The Yanks remain two-and-a-half games up on the Red Sox, who defeated the Royals yesterday in Kansas City.
*Dominguez shut the Yanks down on Saturday afternoon. In yesterday's post I incorrectly stated that it was the first start of Dominguez's career. He started three games for Texas last season and one earlier this year. Thanks to Repoz for setting me straight.