The Yankees had every right for being upset that the Devil Rays did not show up on Monday in time for the double-header, but asking for a forfeit is not the Yankee way. It shows signs of frustration and worst of all desperation.
In case you have noticed, the Red Sox have been on fire of late and have narrowed a 10.5 game lead to 2.5 games as of this moment. The Red Sox have won 19 of the last 21 games they have played and all of a sudden the unbeatable, evil empire is looking like it might be ready to fall. So the controversy began when the Devil Rays did not make it to Yankee Stadium in time for a scheduled doubleheader. Randy Levine, the Yankees president, called for a forfeit. All is not well in Yankee land.
On to the game(s). Monday the managed to get one in and the Yankees came out tight. El Duque gave up a second inning homerun to Jorge Cantu and the D-Rays had the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third. The Yankees got the run back and then scored four more in the bottom of the fourth. El Duque was un-hittable after that homerun and gave up only on more run in the sixth. The Yankees held on for the 7-4 win and El Duque improved to 7-0 and his ERA dropped to 2.62. Boston also won. The lead remained at 2.5 games.
Yesterday, the Yankees sent Jon Lieber to the hill. He pitched his third consecutive solid outing, raising his record to 11-8, striking out nine and allowing only two first inning runs. The Yankees poured on the runs, scoring two in the first, two in the second, one in the fourth and six in the seventh. Gary Sheffield was 4-5 and scored two runs. Alex Rodriguez, now batting in the two-hole between Jeter and Sheffield, went 2-4 with 3 RBI. A-Rod has been on fire since the change. The Yankees held on to win 11-2.
Today the Yanks are scheduled for another double-header, but the rain might cancel one or both of the games. If the weather holds off, the Yankees will send Esteban Loaiza (9-7, 5.45) to the hill against Dewon Brazleton (6-6, 3.90). In game two, Scott Kazmir will go against Brad Halsey (1-2, 7.23).