Ho-hum -- another win. Kevin Millar's three-run double off the Wall in the first inning gave Jeremi Gonzalez some early support this afternoon. He pitched into the sixth inning and got credit for his first Red Sox victory. It was Boston's fifth straight win and seventh in eight games.
Terry Francona used five pitchers, which might seem odd considering that the outcome was never in doubt and Wade Miller is pitching the second game tonight. However, Friday's night contest was rained out none of the four relievers threw that many pitches (Foulke 14, Timlin 12 and Myers and Mantei 7 each).
There was a strong wind blowing in from left field, which likely kept Millar's double out of the Monster seats. It also knocked down two rockets from Doug Mirabelli.
Saturday in New York, Mike Mussina threw a complete game shutout against Oakland and Yankee radio guy John Sterling and Daily News writer Sam Borden agreed this afternoon that Mussina was now "back on track." It was hilarious. A few key hits, two nice starts, a diving catch or two, and suddenly weeks, months and years of decline are wiped away.
Regarding Mussina, I'm skeptical. First, Torre let Mussina throw 131 pitches. New York had a 5-0 lead after eight innings. Mussina was at 109 pitches at the time (and threw 115 in his last start). Oakland has the third worst AL team batting average, the worst slugging percentage and the worst OPS. Did Torre really have no confidence in anyone in his pen to hold a five-run lead against the noodle-bat A's for one inning?
You could say Torre wanted to give Mussina the shot to finish it out, but knowing how hard Torre works the few pitchers he trusts, that might not be the smartest thing to do on May 7 to a 36-year-old guy with diminishing velocity. ... The Yankees won again this afternoon, 6-0. Torre didn't let Kevin Brown get the CG.
Wade Miller / Ryan Franklin in Game 2 at 5:00. Manny Ramirez, who was hit in the left thigh with a pitch in the first inning of Game 1 and was replaced by Jay Payton in the fourth, was not in the initial lineup.