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How Sweep It Ain't: Happy Birthday George!
"They probably wanted it more than we did," said Yankees reliever Tom Gordon, who allowed the game winner. "They played harder. We played good baseball. Don't get me wrong; we played hard. But they didn't quit. They absolutely did not quit, and they played winning baseball. That's a good ball club over there."
"You don't enjoy it when you lose," Torre said. "But I was proud, as I'm sure Artie was, with how hard the players played. That's all you can ask. The results aren't always going to be what you want them to be. We've been spoiled, because we've won a lot of those games where we've come back and come from behind. They bent a lot but they didn't break. You really have to give them credit." (N.Y. Times)
The Yankees needed a solid effort from Javier Vazquez yesterday and didn't even come close to getting it. While Vazquez wasn't as awful as Jose Contreras had been on Saturday, he was far from impressive as the Mets took it to the Yankees once again. Horrific pitching, and cockamamie base-running did the Yankees in on Sunday as the Mets swept the Yankees for the first time since Inter-league play began in 1997. In addition, the Metropolitans beat the Yankees in the season series for the first time as well.
Vazquez struggled with his control from the begining. He looked gassed, his body lanugage tense, and he ostensibly had nothing. It was painful to watch. But I was impressed that he hung in there and didn't spit the bit completely. Felix Heredia was useless and Flash Gordon looked fatigued as well. I don't think the Yankees will miss Richard Hidalgo much, huh?
The Yankees didn't lie down. The offense chipped away. Bernie Williams went 4 for 5, but made a crucial mistake on the bases, limiting a Yankee rally. Jorge Posada later pulled his own numb-nuts move (that the Yankees filed a protest on the Posada play speaks to their level of frustration more than anything else). Williams' solo home run off Jay Seo was the highlight of the day for the Yankees. Seo left a pitch up and over plate which Williams smacked high and deep to right. As soon as he hit it, Williams dropped his head and shoulders comically. It wasn't a David Ortiz, let-me-admire-this, hot dog move. It was a "Oh, man, did I ever kill that," reaction. At the same instant, Seo swiped at the air with his right arm, "Drat!" Head bowed, Williams paused for a moment and then went into a home run trot.
Alex Rodriguez continues to struggle offensively. He is not performing well with men on base at all. But the Yankees offense wasn't the problem this weekend, it was pitching, pitching, and more pitching. 11 runs, 10 runs, 6 runs: 'nuff said. The only silver-lining for New York was that Derek Lowe and the Red Sox were torched in Atlanta. For the Yankees to get swept and only lose a game in the standings is a lucky break if I've ever seen one. Of course, it doesn't get any easier this week, with the improved Tigers in town for three, and then the D-Rays here for four to finish out the first half. The Yankees dragged their way through the weekend; they need to stay sharp this week before they can exhale and get a break during the All-Star festivities.
Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be starters in the All-Star game; Gary Sheffield, Flash Gordon and Mariano Rivera were elected as reserves.
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