With Bob Gibson in the house, Randy Johnson pitched angry yesterday, and turned in his finest performance as a Yankee. The Big Unit threw seven shutout innings, and while Flash Gordon worked into trouble in the eighth, Mariano Rivera saved his bacon, striking out pinch-hitter Larry Walker looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the frame. Rivera got Albert Pujols to pop out in foul ground to Tino Martinez, and then struck out the next two batters in the ninth to nail down the Yankees' 5-0 win.
Alex Rodrgiguez drove in the first and last runs of the game, while Derek Jeter had a big two-out, two RBI single. Godziller Matsui followed and double Jeter home, as the Yanks rebounded from their horrid Friday night performance.
Catcher John Flaherty said: "This is the guy that we thought we were getting (from the Arizona Diamondbacks). When you get ripped by your manager like we did, the best guy to have on the mound is a dominating lefthander."
... "It was different from what I remember," center fielder So Taguchi said. "Usually it's fastball, fastball, slider. Today it was slider, slider, fastball, changeup. He had his command ... very tough."
"I am upset," Steinbrenner said through his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, but added, "I have confidence in (Torre). He is safe. He has said he can turn this around. Let's see if he can do it."
(N.Y. Daily News)
"If I'm consistent about one thing, it's that I stink at the beginning of each and every season," Williams told a writer, explaining that it is nearly impossible now for him to find any rhythm. "Then I always make it happen. It's frustrating when you're not given that opportunity. I still get to wear the uniform, and that gives me great pride. But they always stress loyalty to the team during contract talks, and then that only goes so far when it's the other way."
Huge game for New York this afternoon. If they can pull out a win, they will return home with some dignity. If not, after this disheartening stretch, it will be a long trip back East.