Mike Mussinaout-dueled Jon Garland in Chicago last night as the Yankees beat the White Sox, 3-1. The Yanks did not gain any ground as both Oakland and Boston won, and the White Sox lost their sixth in a row. Moose threw 115 pitches over seven innings and had his good stuff working last night: crisp fastball mixed with sharp breaking pitches. Garland threw 120 pitches over seven, but never dominated. If the Yanks did not score much, they at least put together stubborn at bats, making Garland work for his outs. Chicago is excellent in the field, no wonder their pitchers have done so well this year--Joe Crede made a couple of nifty plays at third last night.
Bernie Williams had two hits and an RBI batting in the two-hole, while Robinson Cano collected a couple of hits himself from the ninth slot. Gary Sheffield had an RBI single as well. Flash Gordon worked around a one-out hit in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera pitched a one-two-three ninth to earn save number 33.
Meanwhile, off the field, Joe Torre continues to be the center of attention. He was publicly criticized by George Steinbrenner recently, and after the loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday he let his players have it. Tyler Kepner has a terrific article on the Yankee manager in the Times today:
Torre blistered the players for about five minutes after a 7-6 loss featuring a crucial throwing error by the rookie second baseman Robinson Cano and five walks by starter Al Leiter. Torre emphatically let the players know how displeased he was that they had given away the game.
"They knew I was upset," Torre said, while providing no specifics of the postgame meeting. "Just the carelessness, I think, more than anything else - that ball thrown away. It just didn't sit right with me. And the kid, you don't drop it on his shoulders. But you don't think in terms of rookie when you're in a pennant race. You think in terms of, you know better. Just the way that whole game started out with Leiter with all the walks. So a little frustration."
..."He hates mental mistakes," the third-base coach Luis Sojo said. "Errors, you're going to make those mistakes every day. But the fact that you make a mental one was really bad to him. In 10 years, I've never seen him that mad."
"I think (the calm Torre) is just the image that he's been given over time here. There are times when he shows his emotions, sometimes very much. When it happens, it doesn't surprise me. When the cameras are on, he wants to put on a neutral face as much as he can. But that isn't how he is all the time."
As far as the Boss goes:
"I've never been concerned about managing to save my job, because I always manage to try to win," Torre said. "I'm happy to say that other than having to answer questions about it, it's never really affected the performance of my job. Here I've had more success than I've ever had anywhere, so certainly I know what we've managed to do here for nine-plus years has had some semblance of continuity."
Chisox skipper Jose Guillen appreciates the difficulty of Torre's situation:
"That's why Joe Torre gets paid a lot of money, not to manage the team (but) to deal with that stuff," Guillen said. "I think I'm overpaid. I don't have to deal with the problems he deals with. Unfortunately, Joe has so many managers around him, it's not easy. It's not an easy spot."
Chacon verus El Duque today on the Fox Game of the Week.