The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 then a 4-1 lead against Oakland's aceMark Mulder last night at the stadium. Jon Lieber got lucky in the first two innings; though the A's hit the ball hard, he got two double plays to save his bacon. But his luck ran out as the A's pounded Lieber, Tanyone Sturtze and "the Run Fairy" Felix Heredia to the count of 13-4. The Yankees ran into some bad luck of their own in the fourth inning. With the score tied at 4, Bobby Crosby made a beautiful diving grab, robbing Tony Clark of a hit. He then doubled Ruben Sierra off of first base. With two out and two men on, Jermaine Dye celebrated his birthday early by making an improbable catch at the right field wall, denying Jeter of at least a double and two RBI. Drat.
That said, the A's were swinging the bats so well, it may not have mattered if the Yankees scored a few more runs. For New York, Jorge Posada hit a three-run homer in the first and Gary Sheffield later hit a line-drive solo homer which brought back memories of Dave Winfield. The Yankees lead over Boston was reduced to eight games after Curt Schilling and the Sox defeated the Devil Rays, 5-2.
John Olerud joined the Yankees yesterday and is expected to start tonight. Joe Torre said he left a message for Jason Giambi yesterday. My feeling is that Torre hopes he can get Giambi back for the playoffs, but nothing is certain. One thing is for sure, there hasn't been much sympathy offered to the Yankees' ailing slugger, either from the press of from the fans. If Derek Jeter had a tumor it would be covered as a national crisis. You'd think we'd see some kind of puff pieces on Giambi now that his erstwhile team is in town, but I haven't noticed anything yet. I am as guilty as the next guy for glossing-over his condition too. Both Steve Bonner and Steve Goldman have been far more sensitive. Though I haven't mentioned it, I do hope he starts to feel better soon.
Finally, it's really getting to me watching Bernie Williams atrophy before our eyes. Lately he looks old and his bat has been extremely slow. I hope he has a hot streak left in him, but right now, he doesn't look long for the baseball world, does he? (He is signed through 2006, though the Yankees have an option to buy him out after next season...again, can you say Carlos Beltran?)
The Voice of Beer
My friend Alan, a Met fan, used to like to say that Bob Murphy's voice sounded like what beer would sound like if it had a voice. Schlitz beer. Or Reingold, right? I always enjoyed tuning in to the Met game on the radio to listen to Murphy's call: "Eeeeee strug 'im out." My condolences to Met fans everywhere, who have lost a team legend.