The Yankees lost a disapointing game in Toronto last night. However, they won the series and didn’t lose any ground to the Red Sox who were defeated by the Orioles in Baltimore. I call the loss disapointing because Jon Lieber was excellent, pitching into the eigth inning, just what the Bombers needed. With the Yankees up 2-0, Lieber allowed a run in the seventh and with two out in the eighth he was removed after walking Vernon Wells. Felix Heredia–insert curse words here–came in to face Carlos Delgado, and gave up a run-scoring double on a 2-2 pitch. It was yet another poor night for Heredia. Wells would hit a solo dinger to left with one out in the tenth inning off of Scott Proctor to give Toronto the win.
Again the Yankees (Lofton, Clark, Jeter) hit the ball hard but right at Toronto defenders. They also made two careless plays which proved to be costly. After Gary Sheffield launched a solo bomb into the fifth deck in the first (career homer #401), Alex Rodriguez singled. With two out, Hideki Matsui slapped a liner to left, but Rodriguez got an awful jump and was thrown out at third to end the inning. It was nothing short of an embarassing play. Then, in the seventh inning, when Delgado lined the double off of Heredia, Gary Sheffield threw the ball into second base and not to the cut-off man. They surely had a play at the plate, but it wasn’t to be. (Sheffield and Matsui did collect assists though.) Derek Jeter hit the ball hard in his final at-bat, but had a poor offensive night. He has slumped for the past week.
Finally, the strangest play of the night came in the top of seventh. With two out and men on first and second, Enrique Wilson fouled a 3-1 pitch off of his own helmet. He knocked himself down, cracked the helmet, but came up laughing. Then he floated a single up the middle to give the Yankees their second, and last run of the game.
Lieber’s fine outing was wasted, and because of Heredia’s ineptitude, Paul Quantrill and Scott Proctor worked the game. The trading deadline is only a few days away and New York could use some pitching help. But all of their eggs are invested in the Randy Johnson basket. As it stands, the two teams are playing a game of chicken. (Cluck, cluck.) Some observers think that it is likely that Johnson will stay put. Regardless, the Yanks do not seem to be persuing any other options. It will be a relief when Saturday has come and gone. It will also be interesting to see what Kevin Brown has to offer tomorrow night when he is expected to start against the Orioles at the stadium.