Before Roger Clemens and Barry Zito faced off on Sunday afternoon, Oakland's Scott Hatteberg--who is featured in Michael Lewis' forthcoming book "Moneyball," said that it was going to be like, "Cy Young vs. Cy Old." He immediately caught himself. He wasn't trying to stir any shit up.
So what does he do, but hit a homer off of Clemens his first time up. It would be enough for the A's, because even though Rocket pitched well---allowing 1 earned run in seven innings of work---Zito was better, and the A's bumped off the Bombers, 2-0, taking the series, the first the Yankees have lost this season.
I don't mind losing to Hudson, but Zito is tougher to swallow. Pedro is about the only guy who is harder to stomach. But man is Zito sharp. Jim Kaat mentioned several times during the broadcast that Zito, and the other Oakland pitchers look like they are simply playing catch with the catcher. Kaat compared Zito with Lefty Carlton, in that Zito is oblivious to the batters, concentrating soley on putting the ball in the catcher's mitt.
Zito also had the Gods with him yesterday. When the Yanks hit the ball hard, they hit them at an Oakland defender. When they got on the bases, they ran (or didn't run) themselves into outs. The only part of the game that frustrated me was that Nick Johnson was brought in to pinch hit with two-out in the ninth and he flew out to center, ending the game and ending his nifty little consecutive-games-with-a-walk streak.
Nuts. But hey, at least the Sox lost, and so things are exactly as they were going into the weekend: Yanks ahead of Boston by three. Red Sox fans must feel like they are right where they want to be. If they were three ahead, they'd be nervous. But three behind is a comfortable place to be.