Friday: Yankees 7 - Rangers 6. WP: Kevin Brown LP: Jay Powell Save: Mariano Rivera
Saturday: Rangers 8 - Yankees 1. WP: Juan Dominguez LP: Jon Lieber
Sunday: Yankees 2 - Rangers 1. WP: Mike Mussina LP: Ryan Drese Save: Mariano Rivera
Season Series Results: Yankees 3 - Rangers 3, final.
Fun Facts: The Yankees won the series despite being out-hit 27-22 and outscored 15-10... The Yankees hit nine home runs during the series, including two from Gary Sheffield and Bernie Williams and including six in Friday's game. In fact, all of the Yankees runs this series were scored via the long ball. Scary thought, that... The Yankees had scored five or more runs in 11 straight games before being held to just one run on Saturday and two on Sunday... The 10 runs that the Yanks scored during the series were the second-fewest of any three or four-game series they've played this season. They also scored 10 against Anaheim during mid-May and the Red Sox held them to just four runs when they swept the Yanks back at the end of April.
What We Saw:
Friday: Brown was actually bad in this game. His stuff was staying up in the zone and the Rangers were just killing him. A sinkerball pitcher won't give up two home runs in a game unless his pitches aren't sinking. That said, he still got a win and is now 7-1, though I'm sure he'll be talking to his shrink about that inflated 3.89 ERA. This is the American League buddy, get used to it. At least he won't have to face the Rangers again this year, as the Yanks are done with them now. In two starts, Brown has a 8.41 ERA against his old team... How about that Yankee power? Six home runs? In one game? Give me a break. Poor Kenny Rogers was doing so well this season until that start. This opens the door for Javy Vazquez to get some All-Star looks though. Bernie, Wilson, A-Rod, Sheffield and Matsui all went deep off of him, and Sheffield got one off of Powell for good measure - and the game... Jeter left the game with a "tweaked groin" and is going to miss a few games. Wilson's out too, so Homer Bush gets to start, hooray!... Alfonso Soriano was cheered loudly in his first at bat in Yankee Stadium since being traded, and he tipped his helmet to acknowledge the crowd.
Saturday: Brad Fullmer victimized Lieber in this one, and Lieber looked poor for his second straight start. He's still not walking anyone - three walks in 46.2 innings - but batters are making way too much contact. Sooner or later, those balls are going to find the sweet spot, and that's what they're doing now. Like Brown, Lieber's too over-the-plate and not low enough. He'll make the proper adjustments though... This game wasn't pretty for the Yankees, as only Sierra's home run saved them from a shutout... Why can't the Yankees ever seem to hit rookie pitchers? Dominguez absolutely shut down the offense, something that more experienced pitchers haven't been able to do throughout May. He looked very sharp though, could be the beginnings of a real rotation in Texas. Five strikeouts, five hits and only one walk over eight innings. What more can the Rangers ask for? About three more of those guys, I suppose. Felix Heredia and Gabe White both pitched in relief and both gave up runs (Heredia's was unearned). I'm starting to really dislike watching both of them pitch. That being said, there's very few effective lefty relievers in the league these days and those that are effective (Seattle's Eddie Guardado for instance) are over-priced. Keep an eye on that situation.
Sunday: Finally, Mike Mussina looked like the Mike Mussina we all know and love. He was absolutely lights-out and dominating for the first time all season. He didn't allow a run until the leadoff man tripled in the ninth and Mariano Rivera allowed him to score. Other than that, he was flawless. Eight innings, four hits, TEN strikeouts and ZERO walks. This was easily his best start of the year and it lowered his ERA almost 40 points. Nice to have you back (we hope), Moose... Speaking of returns, Jason Giambi came off the DL and started at DH. The slugging first baseman, who had been out with a sprained ankle, homered in his return. His solo shot turned out to be the game-winner. It was his tenth of the year. Bernie Williams led off for a change with Jeter and Kenny Lofton both out with injuries. Williams went 3/4 and hit a line-drive homer into the right-field seats for his seventh of the year.
Next meeting between these teams: The series is finished for the regular season.
On deck for the Yankees: Interleague play starts on Tuesday with a three-game set against the Rockies. Vazquez (6-4, 3.75) will start the opener against Jeff Fassero (0-5, 6.47).