Jason Johnson has been up and down all year, but Tuesday night, on the biggest stage in baseball, Johnson brought his A-game, and came out of the House that Ruth Built with a big victory, his 6th of the year.
Not only did Johnson shut down the powerful Yankee lineup, but with his 8 innings of work brought along some much needed rest for the Tiger bullpen. The group, after a series in run-happy Colorado and a Monday night game where starter Nate Robertson only made it 1 2/3 innings, was desperate for a break.
They got it with Johnson's start, with only Ugueth Urbina pitching out of the pen - and Urbina was anxious to pitch anyway, after blowing his 2nd save of the year against Colorado this past Friday.
As for the offense, the offense decided it was time to take matters into their own hands - although it turns out the effort wasn't needed. Taking advantage of a tired Mike Mussina, working on only 3 days rest, the Tigers hit Mussina, and hit him hard - to the tune of 7 runs in 6 innings.
The Yankees didn't have much offensively, getting their lone run from a Jorge Posada single.
The Tigers, back at 6 games under .500, now will have their rubber match with the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon - a day game televised nationally on ESPN. Brad Halsey, who was originally slated to go Tuesday but was moved back a day for Mussina, will start for the Yankees. Jeremy Bonderman is up for the Tigers, trying to shake off a rough stretch in which his ERA has jumped 2 runs. Game time is 1:05pm.