On paper, last night’s Roy Halladay-Jaret Wright matchup screamed landslide victory for the Blue Jays. As it turns out, the Jays won 7-2, but the game was far closer than that score indicates.
Jaret Wright allowed a two-run home run to Frank Catalanotto before getting an out in the first, but then held the Jays scoreless through five innings, thanks in part to four double plays turned by the Yankee defense. Not that he pitched all that well. He walked four and struck out none, throwing just 52 percent of his pitches for strikes. Wright left in the sixth with two men on and none out. Scott Proctor came on and got away with a hanging curve to Troy Glaus only to have another to Shea Hillenbrand leave the park to make it 5-0. Much like Wright, Proctor settled down from there to pitch two more scoreless frames, though through more of his own doing, striking out two, walking none, and throwing 69 percent of his pitches for strikes. The Hillenbrand homer was the only hit Proctor allowed in three full innings of work.
Roy Halladay, meanwhile, kept the Yankees off the board entirely through five and a third, despite throwing just 55 percent of 99 pitches for strikes. Scott Schoeneweis came on to face lefties Giambi and Matsui, but walked Matsui and then surrendered Bernie Williams first home run since August 26 of last year (184 plate appearances ago). The home run was just Bernie’s second extra base hit since September 7 of last year (151 PAs ago). Williams’ next at-bat came with two outs in the eighth with the Yanks down 5-3 and runners on the corners and ended in a 5-4-3 double play that was aided by first base umpire Bruce Dreckman, who called Bernie out despite the fact that he was clearly safe.
Joe Torre then handed the ball to Tanyon Sturtze, who, after getting Lyle Overbay to ground out, gave up another Hillenbrand homer, a Bengie Molina single, an Alexis Rios double (oddly the red hot Rios did not start the game), and a sac fly by Aaron Hill that put the game out of reach.
Today, the script is flipped as Randy Johnson, who has been outstanding in four of his five starts (the one exception being a very off night in Toronto last week), takes on Josh Towers, who is 0-4 with an 8.35 ERA after four starts. Here’s hoping the results are similarly reversed.