|The Yanks entered today’s game down 3 starters (Damon and Sheffield missed their second straight games and Jeter sat this one out due to his sore wrist) and with a bullpen exhausted by last night’s 11-inning win. They needed a solid outing from Moose and he delivered, pitching a complete game and nearly shutting out the formerly on-fire Tigers.
After waiting out a 90+ minute rain delay and watching his team take an early 1-run lead in the 1st, Moose finally took the mound—and promptly walked the first batter he faced. That turned out to be the last walk he would issue all night, though, and after a few batters it became clear that the Tigers were not going to have nary a chance against the dominating Moose. The Yanks continued to score, giving Moose a nice 6-run cushion to take the pressure off, and Farnsworth, Proctor and Mariano didn’t need to even pick up a ball to warm up the entire game. It was looking like Moose just might pull off a shut-out right up through the bottom of the ninth inning, but A-Rod’s throwing error on Magglio Ordonez’s hit allowed the Tigers’ only run of the game to score, effectively ending the shut-out bid. Moose bounced right back and struck out Guillen for the final out of the game, happy to scoop up the complete game, shut-out or not. When all was said and done, it took Moose just 101 pitches to knock down 32 Tigers batters, bumping his ERA down to 2.42—2nd only to Jose Contreras in the American League.