Randy Johnson was in fine form last night. For the first two innings of the game, the sun was still shinning brightly over the third base side of the ballpark. It cast beautiful, long shadows for the pitchers as well as anyone on the right side of the infield. Johnson's shadow looked like a blade of grass and it carried almost half-way to first base. It was an odd but memorable sight. The same can be said for Johnson, period. The Big Unit simply cruised through the first six innings--it was vintage stuff--before hitting the wall in the seventh. He continued to falter in the eighth but by then the Yanks had a big lead. Final score: Bombers 10, Indians 4. After the game, Johnson was candid with reporters. According to Tyler Kepner in the New York Times:
"Going deep in the game I'm not going to be able to do that anymore," Johnson said. "I kept them at bay for a while, and then all of a sudden my slider wasn't as effective, and neither was my location. It's just part of getting old. We all know that I'm really old."
..."You look at Maddux and you look at Clemens, those guys and myself, we're all in our early 40's," Johnson said. "We're not going to go seven, eight, nine innings anymore. There's going to be games where we do, and tonight I was trying to pick up the bullpen. But you can only do the smoke-and-mirrors thing so long out there against good-hitting teams."
"It went from (three) hits to seven and one run to four - who would be happy with that?" he said. "That's just me. I could be content with that and say I pitched great, but the one thing I haven't lost is my competitiveness."
Again, Indians kicked the ball around more than somewhat. Miguel Cairo and Derek Jeter each had three hits; Jason Giambi hit a two-run dinger, and newcomer Aaron "Ralph Malph" Guiel--who was as earnest and genuine as any overachiever you've ever on the YES pre-game show--scored three runs.
Yanks head down to Tampa to play the surging D-Rays. Shawn Chacon will not get the start on Sunday--Kris Wilson will instead. The Post has a rumor that the Yanks are considering sending Chacon to Seattle in exchange for starting pitcher Joel Pineiro.