Look, when you score four runs in the first inning and have Randy Johnson on the mound, you expect a win – especially when you are averaging 6 2/3 runs per game. But Randy proved that he hasn’t shaken the demons of yesteryear, and proceeded to yield 7 runs (two dongs) over a pathetic 3.1 innings. I don’t even know where to begin venting my frustration.
Here’s the thing with Randy. He pitched damn well last year, and was downright dominant at times; the numbers showed that he was among the best pitchers in the American League. But every once in a while, Caroll Spinney (that’s the person who played Big Bird on Sesame Street; yes, I looked that up on Wikipedia) would show up, fork up a few bombs, and in general look like a struggling 41-year-old. The hope this year wasn’t so much for more good games than for fewer Spinney games. Last night, we got No. 1 for 2006.
[MORE]Thankfully, the bullpen adequately stepped in, tallying just two earned runs (a third run added because Sheff is an idiot) in the game’s final 4 2/3 innings. Scotty Proctor continued to pitch well, and it seems he’s earned the Joe’s coveted confidence. This, of course, is a damning in disguise. I think Sturtze was the last one to win Joe’s confidence, and that misplaced trust cost us at least five games since last June. So once Proctor inevitably combusts sometime in May, we’ll still be seeing him in crunch-time innings until at least August.
Having scored five runs, I can’t complain too much about the offense, though Jorge pissed me off something fierce. I’m curious as to the thought process behind swinging at the very first pitch you’re thrown, from a new pitcher no less. He must have been looking down and thought, “wow, my legs are really disproportionate to the rest of my body. Oh shit, swing!” But, uh, coulda used that base runner you doubled out, Jorge.
Damon owned the lowest WE among hitters, but his game wasn’t particularly troubling. Everyone puts up blanks, and none of Damon’s five outs came at particularly crucial times. Maybe you count grounding out with Stinnett on second and one out in the second. But he did advance the runner, so he could have done worse.
It’s A-Rod and Sheffield (yeah, and Posada, too) who pissed me off in this game. Mr. Rodriguez, who finally hit a home run that mattered, botched his encore by grounding into a double play, negating a leadoff walk. Sheffield, the man whom A-Rod doubled up, blundered a routine pop up, confirming that he’s an idiot. He should have been under the damn ball, anyway. Instead, he slowly pranced towards the fly, allowing it to nearly miss his mitt completely. I made the following comment after that beauty:
“If I’m Sheff’s manager, I’m yanking him immediately. Take a shower, Gary. You suck.”
My idiocy was quickly pointed out: “That cost Billy Martin his job. He did that to Reggie.” So, by my doing, I was compared to Billy Martin. I feel shame.
Day game tomorrow, with a rare 12:30 start at Rogers Centre, Mussina vs. old buddy Ted Lilly. I’m betting the bats shell Lilly, but how Moose fares is a coin flip. Heads he pitched decent, tails he picks an inning and decides to do his impression of Jaret Wright. I hear the guys get a kick out of it.