Rookie Sean Henn walked seven batters in less than five innings of work last night. By the time he was relieved by Paul Quantrill, the Devil Rays had a 3-0 lead. A bloop single made it 4-0, and Tampa Bay added another run in the following inning. All of which seemed more than enough for Casey Fossum who cruised through the Yankee lineup for the first six innings (the first hit for the Bombers–a double by Hideki Matsui–didn’t come until the fifth). Alex Rodriguez doubled to lead off the seventh, narrowly missing a home run (run dummy!), then Matsui walked. But the Yanks couldn’t do anything else as Posada flew out to left, Giambi whiffed, and Williams grounded out to third.
In the eighth, however, Cano singled, chasing Fossum from the game. Lance Carter replaced him and promptly allowed a single to Jeter. After retiring Womack–who got an earful from the boo birds–Sheffield chopped a base hit to left scoring Cano. Rodriguez went fishing after a breaking ball and popped out to second, but then Matsui hooked a change up over the right field fence and the Yankees were suddenly down by just one run.
That was as close as they would get. Posada walked and Giambi whiffed again (he still can’t catch up with those good heaters). Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth, uncharacteristically walking two men. But the Bombers went down in order against Danys Baez in the bottom of the ninth, as the Devil Rays pulled out a 5-4 win.
“We’ve got to come out and play with our hair on fire, and I don’t think we did that today,” said Alex Rodriguez…”Today we were a little lazy.”
…”Just a disappointing performance by us tonight. We have to do better than that.”
Tonight gives Johnson vs. Nomo. Bank on the Yankees doing better.