The Yankees got to Minnesota with a comfortable ten game lead over the Red Sox. That lead is now down to eight after the Yankees dropped two in Minnesota and the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays twice at the Fens.
In Tuesday's game, Javier Vasquez took the mound against Brad Radke. Vasquez once again disappointed. He must be the most disappointing 13 game winner in the history of baseball. Gothamist can't remember ever watching him pitch a game and thinking to ourselves that he was unhittable. He racks up cheap wins and has an E.R.A of over 4 runs. When he was in Montreal, he once one of baseball's best kept secrets. Now in the Bronx, he can't seem to get it together. Now don't get us wrong, if there are two foxholes and Jeff Weaver is manning one and Vasquez the other, Gothamist is diving in with Vasquez. Vasquez, though has done little to impress Yankee fans.
Tuesday's game was much of the same. Vasquez gave up a few runs early and then before you knew it , the Twins had a 4-0 lead going into the sixth. Gary Sheffield hit another homerun (I am almost getting tired of writing that, ALMOST) to bring the score to 4-1. Then in the seventh Vasquez got into more trouble and had to be replaced by C.J. Nitkowski. Vasquez went six and two-thirds, gave up nine hits, six earned runs, and two walks, while striking out just two. Brad Radke went seven strong innings striking out five while only give up the Sheffield home run and five other hits. The Yanks lost 8-2.
On Wednesday the Yankees welcomed back Mike Mussina to the rotation. Shannon Stewart wasted little time to welcome Mussina by depositing his second pitch into the left field seats for a quick 1-0 lead. Really it was over after that, because Johan Santana was unhittable. Santana went seven innings, struck out six and gave up, one walk and two (late) earned runs. When Santana gave up two runs in the eighth in the Twins were already in cruise control leading 7-0.
Mussina lasted four innings, giving up five hits, four earned runs, two walks and struck out two. Mussina took the loss, bringing his record to 9-7 and his E.R.A to 5.34. Joe Nathan came in tow shut down the Yankees in the ninth and showed why he might be the second best closer in the game (behind Rivera), striking out Posada and making Ruben Sierra look foolish. The Twins won 7-2.
Tonight the Yankees send Orlando Hernandez (5-0, 2.08) to the mound against Carlos Silva (10-8, 4.52). The Yankees are looking to end a three game losing streak. The Bombers head home for a series against Anaheim starting tomorrow at the Stadium.