Talk about a night to forget in the Bronx. The Devil Rays set a dubious team record issuing fourteen walks, but the Yankees only managed to score two lousy runs (how's the old blood pressure, Yankee fans?). The Bombers stranded sixteen men on base. The two teams combined for nine stolen bases, but poor base running cost New York. In the end, the Rays rallied against Mariano Rivera in the tenth and won the game, 4-2. Gary Sheffield grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Despite the unsightly performance, Joe Torre wasn't angry. Asked to explain how a lineup of All-Stars could miss on so many chances to break out against a mediocre pitching staff, the manager simply nodded to the baseball gods.
"There is just no explaining it," he said. "The quality of the at-bats was there. Nobody gave anything away. You scratch your head sometimes over how things happen but you know there's nothing you can do. I can't find fault with anything but the result."
As Roger Angell once wrote--trying to describe how the Orioles swept the once mighty Dodgers in the 1966 Fall Classic--"the only explanation must be that baseball is still the most difficult, and thus the most unpredictable and interesting, of all professional sports." Look for the Bombers' bats to bounce back tonight.