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STERLING EFFORT
2003-08-17 02:50
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Sterling Hitchcock was about as good as anyone could have expected, allowing three runs over six innings. He didn't throw many pitches and left trailing 3-2. But John Flaherty hit his second solo homer of the game to tie the score in the seventh, and Godzilla Matsui's RBI single drove home Jason Giambi to give the Yanks the lead, 4-3 in the eighth.

Antonio Osuna worked a perfect seventh. He allowed a single with one out in the eighth, and after fouling off 4 full count pitches, D. Roberts popped out to left for the second out. Osuna is throwing relatively hard tonight. Devi Cruz is up next, and he smacks a grounder to third. Boone has to move to his left---I don't know if leadfoot Ventura reaches this one---and goes to second for the force to end the inning.

There was an odd bit of business early in the game when Batista and Gibbons batted out of order. But the Yankee bench was slow to catch the mistake and missed their opportunity to protest the error (which would have erased a Baltimore run). Torre, Zim and company suddenly had extra incentive for the Yanks to win. The questions will sting if New York loses by a run.

David Delluci laid out and made another great catch tonight (this one was on the warning track). Bernie is still swinging a good bat, and Aaron Boone has two hits. Jorge Posada turns 32 today, and was given the night off.

Mo is getting ready for the ninth. It's rare when the sight of Rivera makes one nervous, but since Mo's cutter hasn't been cutting too much lately, this one still ain't over.

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