Randy, Randy, Randy! That's getting ahead of myself, considering I'm still working on two Saturdays ago. But for a perfect game, I'll get ahead of myself. I saw the ninth inning, cheered on that last 98 mph fastball that struck out Eddie Perez, jumped and ran around the house like a nut, scared poor Joey out of his mind ... Randy, Randy, Randy! That was so cool!
A tale of two offense: the Yankees had eleven hits off of Gil Meche and Ron Villone, eight of them for extra bases, including a homer by Jason Giambi and two doubles apiece from Gary Sheffield and Jorge Posada; meanwhile, the Mariners managed just four singles and two walks against Mike Mussina, who also struck out seven in his eight innings.
JJ Putz pitched very well in his two innings, giving up nothing and striking out five of the six batters he faced. Putz was called up for three days in April, was sent back down for 12, and has now been with the team since the 29th of last month. He's thrown in nine games, eleven innings, and has given up just four hits, though he's walked five. Those runners haven't turned into runs, though. Putz was starting as recently as 2002 in Tacoma, but was a full time reliever there last year, and did well for himself, posting a 2.51 ERA in 86 innings. His home run rate has always been pretty ok, but it was excellent last year, as he gave up one every 21 innings or so.
Somehow, even though he's been up since April 21st, and has played in 24 games, I didn't realize that well-regarded Arizona minor-leaguer had become a well regarded Arizona major-leaguer. I'm talking about Andy Tracy, who's had a hot start to his major league career, hitting .348/.402/.500, even if that is inflated by his home park. What's not inflated is the seventh error he made on this Saturday.
Speaking of defense, the two catchers in this Arizona-Philadelphia tilt had days they'd probably rather forget. Robby Hammock gave up four stolen bases, including two to Doug Glanville. He also made a throwing error. He did catch one man stealing, and it just happened to be Philly catcher Mike Lieberthal, who was also called for catcher's interference in the game, for his third error of the year.
What a way to hit your first homer of the year: Shane Halter, pinch-hitting in the seventh for Jeff DaVanon (former A's minor leaguer Jeff DaVanon, that is), hit a grand-slam to highlight a five-run inning that provided the difference-making runs in a 7-2 victory over not-surprisingly-still-woeful Tampa Bay.