This one hurts.
Mike Mussina was shellacked, the bullpen was awful and the Yankees couldn't touch Edwin Jackson, who entered the game with a record of 1-9 and an ERA over 7.00, as Tampa Bay lambasted the Yanks 14-4 on a Friday night at The Stadium.
Shelley Duncan. Duncan made his major league debut on Friday night and he picked up his first hit and RBI. The Yanks called him up from Scranton before the game and the big righty came in with a reputation for homers and strikeouts. Well, he K'd in his first two at-bats and launched a ball deep but foul so I guess his game will translate in the bigs. It must have been exciting for Duncan to pick up a ribbie on his first Major League hit in Yankee Stadium. Too bad it only sliced the D-Ray lead to 13-4. Duncan went 1 for 4 with a single and a run batted in.
Mike Mussina. The Moose's career is officially on life support. The D-Rays pounded Mussina for nearly two hours during the third inning. Mussina gave up four runs in that frame including a monster upper deck homer by B.J. Upton. Still, Mussina could have had a somewhat productive outing if he just gave the Yanks some innings. That didn't happen, either. His performance Friday night hurt the Yanks twofold. Obviously he pitched lousy and they lost, but his short stint forced the pen to pitch 4.1 innings going into a doubleheader tomorrow. Unacceptable. Just think, the Yanks will have Mussina for next season too. Moose fell to 4-7 with this: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.
Edwar Ramirez. Joe Torre really set this kid up for failure on Friday night. The lanky rookie hadn't pitched in two weeks and Torre put him in with a runner on second with one out and the Yanks down 5-0. Everyone in the ballpark (and in TV land too, I guess) knew the kid was going to be rusty. Well, he was and Torre pulled him before he could record an out. It was a damn shame. Still, Ramirez is in the bigs now so I have to put his terrible performance in my "bad" section, but Torre gets an assist on this one. The rookie's obscene line: 0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 1 HR.
Ow, my side. Melky Cabrera wasn't in the lineup on Friday because of an ab strain he sustained early in Thursday's game. Torre doesn't think it's serious and said Melky should play on Saturday, but I'm not so sure. Ab or rib cage injuries can be really tricky. Sure, Cabrera came into Friday night's game to pinch-hit, but he didn't take the bat off his shoulder and struck out. Personally, I don't think he had any intension of swinging and was hoping for a walk. Anyway, I hope I'm wrong and the injury won't keep the Melk-Man out of the lineup. The Yanks can't afford to lose him.
The Yanks and Rays will play two on Saturday. Matt DeSalvo will go for the Yanks in Game 1 and Tampa will send Jason Hammel to the hill. DeSalvo went 1-3 with a 5.87 ERA in his first go-round with the Bombers, but he's pitched well in Triple A, going 3-2 with a 2.95 ERA. Hammel isn't really a starter, in fact, this will be his first start of the year. He's 1-0 on the season with a 6.11 ERA. Looks like it's going to be a slugfest in the opener.
The Yanks will send the beleaguered Kei Igawa out for Game 2. This will most likely be the last start for the erratic lefty. The $40 million off-season acquisition is 2-2 on the season with a robust 6.97 ERA. The Rays will counter with southpaw J.P. Howell and his 1-3 record and 6.62 ERA.
If the Yanks don't score a combined 20 runs in these two games they should be embarrassed.
Then again, those 20 runs may not be enough to win.
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