Johnson, Yankees come up short, 6-1
By the time Randy Johnson settled into yesterday's ball game with the Oakland Athletics it was too little, too late. Johnson pitched somewhat effectively after the first inning, but put himself and the Yankees in a hole right from the start, 3-0. With no Hideki Matsui or Gary Sheffield in the lineup, the weakened Yankees lineup didn't have enough firepower to stage a rally. A's starter Danny Haren used his 100th pitch to induce a game ending double play ball hit by Robinson Cano. Haren, who had come in with a 5.03 ERA, threw the 4th complete game of his career and won for the third time in his last four starts.
Control problems have plagued Johnson (5-4) during his stretch of mediocrity, but he only walked one batter on Sunday. Unfortunately it was to the first batter of the game, Mark Ellis. Two batters later, Mark Kotsay drilled his 3rd home run of the season into the right field seats for a 2-0 lead. Singles by Bobby Crosby and Bobby Kielty led to another run as Crosby came across on Jay Payton's fielder choice. Jason Kendall blooped a double to right before Johnson finally retired Marcos Scutaro on a fly to Bernie Williams in right to end the inning.
Jorge Posada belted his 5th home run of the season in the 2nd to cut the margin to 3-1, but the Yankees managed just 5 singles off of Haren the rest of the day. The A's added another run off of Johnson in the 5th when Jay Payton his first home run of the season and his first in 54 games dating back to last season. It also brought with it another chorus of boos from the Mother's Day crowd of 52,587. With no hitting and the supposed ace pitching like anything but that, it's a sound that may be heard all too often this summer in the Bronx.
To commemorate Mother's Day and to assist the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a number of pink bats were distributed throughout Major League Baseball. Mark Kotsay was among the three A's to use them and homered with his.
Scott Erickson made his first Major League appearance in a Yankee uniform (he wore #46) and pitched to mixed reviews. In an inning and two-thirds he allowed 2 walks and 1 run.
Ramiro Mendoza continues to try to make it back to the big club. Mendoza would have had a better shot elsewhere, but wanting to be a Yankee again, he re-signed with the team this past off-season. After Sunday's 6 scoreless innings as a starter, he has now not been scored upon in 3 appearances covering 11 1-3 innings. He has also struck out 11.
Tanyon Sturtze is scheduled to undergo an MRI to see if there is any physical damage that is causing him pain. While that may not be the case, Yankee fans will be relieved from some of the pain they had watching him.