"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


The Big Unit made short work of the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at the Stadium as the Yankees cruised to a 6-1 win through the raindrops in the Bronx. Johnson allowed five hits, including a solo home run by Michael Restovich, but the Pirates were never really in the game. Johnson began the game by striking out the first two batters on six pitches. He ended the game by mowing down Daryl Ward for his eleventh K of the night. The Big Unit’s slider has far more bite to it than it did earlier in the year–Jose Castillo swung through one that actually hit him on the right thigh in third inning. Johnson was in a foul, competitive mood all evening, growling over pitches that weren’t called strikes, cursing at himself when the Pirates hit the ball hard. He was dominant: 86 of the 110 pitches he threw were strikes.

His counterpart Oliver Perez wasn’t nearly as sharp. I’ve read about Perez’s involved delivery, and he seems to have body parts moving every which way. (His motion is almost as complicated and intricate as his facial hair.) During the early innings he was too hyper, bouncing off the mound after several pitches as if he had a hot foot. Perez is dynamic and he’s clearly got very good stuff, but his location was off, and the Yankees scored all six runs in the first four innings. Hideki Matsui cranked a two-run bomb halfway up the right-center field bleachers in the first, Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano had RBI hits in the second, and Gary Sheffield had an excuse-me, bases loaded double in the fourth. That was all the Yankees would need, as Johnson polished off the Pirates in two hours and nineteen minutes.

Done and done.

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1 Zack   ~  Jun 16, 2005 9:48 pm

1.  I was hoping what with calling up Bubba and Womack out of the lineup that by now we would have breaking news on a trade or a release, but alas, it looks like the move was motivated due to Hideki's ankle...Sigh...One can always hope...

2 Ryan   ~  Jun 17, 2005 6:26 am

2.  That facial hair ruled.

3 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 17, 2005 7:21 am

3.  Hang in there, Zack, I have a feeling Womack will get traded to SD. On this homestand. And I would hope that Cashman manages to get Nady in return rather than Roberts.

4 dtrain   ~  Jun 17, 2005 7:22 am

4.  i don't care what we get for womack. let's just give him away.

5 jonm   ~  Jun 17, 2005 7:49 am

5.  JohnnyC, I too have the feeling that a Womack trade is coming. That may explain Cashman's meeting with him last week. (Let's keep our fingers crossed!)
Have you heard Nady mentioned anywhere specifically? If that happened I would be thriled, but even Roberts would be okay. No matter what, a Womack trade is an addition by subtraction.

6 Simone   ~  Jun 17, 2005 8:58 am

6.  If Cashman gets a bag of balls for Womack, the Yankees get the better part of the deal.

7 David   ~  Jun 17, 2005 9:27 am

7.  The New York Times pointed out: "Giambi, who went 1 for 2 with a double last night, is batting .301 (22 for 73) since his average sank to .195 on May 9." Is this .301 a fair indication of how he's batting? It would be great if we could expect Giambi to hit .300 for the rest of the season.

8 Peter   ~  Jun 17, 2005 9:58 am

8.  I heard the other night that Giambi's hitting .341 for the month of June, and he's had a few extra base hits recently. He was looking good this spring, hopefully he's turning it around now.

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 17, 2005 10:13 am

9.  What Giambi has done in the last two games that he's not done all season is hit mid-90s fastballs. His game-winning homer on Wednesday and his RBI double last night were both on 94-mile-per-hour fast balls. If he has indeed been able to speed up his swing and can hit those pitches with authority, his season could turn around. Two hits are not a lot to base anything on, but I do think this is significant.

10 bp1   ~  Jun 17, 2005 10:22 am

10.  Don't forget Giambi's 400+ foot shot off the center field wall in the first game of the series. Three games in a row where he's hit the ball hard at least one at bat. Twice last night (his only out was a warning track fly ball).

Impossible to draw any conclusions at this point, but I certainly prefer this version over the zombie he was earlier in the year.

How 'bout that Godzilla fella? Whoo hoo!! We've missed ya, ya lug.

What's w/ all the trade rumours. Didn't Cash come out and say this is the team we're stuck with, and that he doesn't have any options? Someone been teaching him how to work the press? Hmm ....


11 jedi   ~  Jun 17, 2005 10:57 am

11.  It's coming...

NY Newsday - A person who spoke to Cashman recently confirmed Cashman is pursuing a significant deal.

"It sounded like he was close on some stuff," the person said. "He's working it."

12 Simone   ~  Jun 17, 2005 11:11 am

12.  bp1, it is wonderful to have last season's Godzilla back isn't it?

13 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 17, 2005 11:33 am

13.  The Matsui thing is a direct result of his sprained ankle, it's forcing him to keep his weight back when he swings. Apparently he was lunging before. Mattingly has said that if Matsui reverts to the lunging once the ankle is better, he'll crack him in the foot with a bat himself.

14 bp1   ~  Jun 17, 2005 11:54 am

14.  Funny, Cliff. :-) Two homers in three games. Hope Donnie keeps a bat handy, just in case.


15 Ben   ~  Jun 17, 2005 12:09 pm

15.  I know I'm not going to win any arguements on this one, but I'll miss Womack if they trade him. I know his game is limited and that he is a defensive liability, etc., but I can also see what George liked in him. I like watching him bat because he is very alert and doesn't K much. His skills may not be there, but I've enjoyed watching the way he approaches the game. He is nothing if not intense.

16 Murray   ~  Jun 17, 2005 1:31 pm

16.  Just passed through Grand Central at around 415pm. It's lousy with people in Cubs shirts and hats.

17 monkeypants   ~  Jun 17, 2005 2:15 pm

17.  " He is nothing if not intense."

That's one way to put it. Intensely bad, maybe.

18 Knuckles   ~  Jun 17, 2005 2:25 pm

18.  Murray,
That's the time where you gotta show those Chi-town folks who's got the bigger shoulders. Square up and walk directly at them, bro.

Go Yankees.

19 Zack   ~  Jun 17, 2005 2:36 pm

19.  As for San Diego rumors, I live here in SD, and there hasn't been any mention of it what so ever. The paper and radio, for what they are worth, which is not much, are solidly focused on getting another pitcher and unloading some of their contracts like Klesko...

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver