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(2006) Randy Johnson and Jason Giambi Lead Yankees Over Baltimore

The pitching of Randy Johnson (+.40) and the slugging of Jason Giambi (+.35) led the Yankees to a 7-1 victory and a series win (2 games to 1) over Baltimore at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. Johnson, rebounding from a poor performance in his last start, pitched 8 strong innings and allowed only 1 (earned) run. He was in total command and allowed only 3 hits, all to Miguel Tejada, whose second-inning home run gave the Orioles a brief 1-0 lead. Giami Had a Great Game

Giambi had four great at-bats. His solo homer in the second inning tied the score, 1-1, and his two-run homer in the third inning put the Yankees ahead, 4-1. His two-run double in the seventh inning iced the game, putting the Yankees in front, 7-1. The only out he made was on a wicked line drive to the first baseman.

It was difficult not to give Giambi all the offensive points for this game, but several other players also made contributions to the 13-hit attack, including Johnny Damon (.+05), Derek Jeter (+.05), Jorge Posada (+.05), Robinson Cano (+.05), and Andy Phillips (+.05). Damon and Jeter went a combined 4 for 8 and scored 2 runs. Posada got on base twice and scored a run. Cano got two hits, one coming in the midst of a productive rally. Phillips knocked in the second run with a RBI-single.

The only thing keeping the Yankees from scoring many more runs today were four outs made on the bases, outs that were attributed variously to poor base-running, good defense by Baltimore, and bad luck.

Phillips Makes Dreadful Mistake

Phillips may have been so excited about his RBI-single in the second inning that he made a dreadful base-running mistake with one out and Cano on third base. When Damon hit a line drive to shortstop Tejada, Phillips, with the play right in front of him, disregarded the baserunning rule about not running until the batted ball hits the ground. Instead he strayed far from the bag and was easily doubled up by Tejada. That was a real bad play.

(2006) Randy Johnson and Jason Giambi Lead Yankees Over Baltimore

Then, leading off the third inning, prior to Giambi’s second homer, Jeter singled and was promptly picked off (though he was nailed at second on the throw from the first baseman; i.e., a caught stealing). Next Gary Sheffield reached on a single and was gunned down attempting to steal second on a strong and accurate throw from catcher Ramon Hernandez. Finally, Sheffield was doubled off first base on a line drive to first baseman Kevin Millar and was easily doubled up.

Unlike the play involving Phillips, however, this unfortunate double play was the result of bad luck rather than a bad base-running play by Sheffield, because he was hung out to dry simply by taking his lead off first, as Giambi’s liner was hit right to Millar, who was still in his position of holding Sheffield at first base.

Nevertheless, the Yankees scored 18 runs in the series and currently are on pace to score 1,010 runs for the season. They are averaging 6.24 runs per game and allowing 4.18 runs per game through the first 17 games of the season.

Game points today were distributed as follows:
Randy Johnson +.40
Jason Giambi +.35
Johnny Damon +.05
Derek Jeter +.05
Jorge Posada +.05
Robinson Cano +.05
Andy Phillips +.05

The Yankees are now 9-8 for the season. Points earned for the season so far are as follows:
Mike Mussina +.50
Jason Giambi +.50
Jorge Posada +.40
Derek Jeter +.30
Alex Rodriguez +.20
Mike Myers +.20
Randy Johnson +.15
Hideki Matsui +.15
Johnny Damon +.10
Ron Villone +.05
Miguel Cairo +.05
Kelly Stinnett 0.00
Mariano Rivera -.05
Shawn Chacon -.05
Andy Phillips -.05
Bernie Williams -.10
Robinson Cano -.10
Scott Proctor -.20
Gary Sheffield -.20
Kyle Farnsworth -.20
Chien-Ming Wang -.25
Jaret Wright -.40

Points for the season add up to +1.00, reflecting the Yankees current record (9-8) being one game above the .500 mark.