Just what the doctor ordered. Man, did the Yankees ever have a fine weekend. After Kevin Brown's brilliant, eight-inning performance against the A's last Thursday, Javier Vazquez, Orlando Hernandez and Jon Lieber all pitched eight innings themselves. The result? Three Yankee wins, and some much-needed rest for New York's bullpen. Mike Mussina will make a rehab start shortly and if he can return to form, the Yankees pitching suddenly doesn't look so uncertain. If Brown, Mussina and Vazquez are healthy, the Yankees should be alright. Anything Duque, Loaiza and Lieber can give them is cream and sugar.
Vazquez allowed a three-run homer to Carlos Delgado in the first inning on Friday night, but Godziller Matsui tied the game in the bottom of the first with a three-run bomb of his own. The Yanks scored another run in the inning and Vazquez never looked back, throwing as well as he has in months. Matsui added another homer and had 6 RBI on the evening.
Duque was in vintage form on Saturday, mixing his pitches well, including a couple of sloooooow curve balls, clocked in the low 50s. Bernie Williams had a couple of doubles as the Yanks crusied 6-0. Bernie ended things early on Sunday with a grand slam in the first. I've given up the dream that Bernie might make the Hall of Fame one day; instead, I'm taking great pleasure in each and every positive thing he does as he climbs the ladder on various all-time club records. John Olerud played well on Friday and Sunday (Tony Clark got the start on Saturday against Ted Lilly), and Gary Sheffield continues to mash, adding a tremendous shot on Sunday afternoon that bounced off the facade of the upper deck in left field. After the game, the last placeBlue Jays canned their skipper Carlos Tosca.
Boston lost Friday night but won on Saturday (Prince P) and Sunday (Bomb Squad) and are a season-high ten-and-a-half back. Jorge Posada sat the weekend out with a sore right thumb. The Yankees go for the series sweep with a rare Monday afternoon game today. They travel to Texas for three with the Rangers before heading up to Seattle to meet the M's over the weekend.
Chris Smith has a long piece on Brian Cashman in this week's New York magazine. Worth checking out. Oh, and since it is Monday, that means that the latest edition of Rivals in Exile is ready to roll. As always, a must-read for Yankee and Red Sox fans.
Finally, be sure and see what Dr. Manhattan makes of the American League two-thirds of the way through the season over at Blissful Knowledge.