Carl Pavano did not have a game for the ages, but he was reasonably effective over 4.1 innings, even if he allowed some solid contact and left down 5-3. The Yanks committed 3 errors behind Carl, and gave up 3 stolen bases. There won’t always be that many free bases for opponents. There’s reason for guarded optimism. In any case, look for the Yanks to win a good many ballgames after the 6th inning, as their offense chews its way into the weak bullpens around the League, and the tough Yankee pen holds off opponents. Today we got a look at what will apparently be Joe’s preferred way of closing down games: 1 inning each for Vizcaino, Farnsworth, and Mo (who was absolutely dominant, striking out the 3 batters he faced), with Proctor there to bail out whomever gets into trouble.
On offense, Alex put some early boos behind him (after a botched—though difficult—foul pop and a K with runners on) with a scorched single and a monster home run to right center, that put the game away. Jeter, Giambi, and Abreu all had big hits. Phelps walked twice before being replaced for Minky. As the Yanks took the lead, Joe played small ball. Damon came out with cramps, but this hardly seems worthy of panic. Finally, we note that on the first day of Passover, Elijah showed up at Yankee Stadium. Elijah Dukes, the D-Rays stocky centerfielder, blasted a homer off Pavano to the opposite field. He’s going to be trouble for some time.
* Not including the playoffs!