Okay, so maybe a little overly dramatic but Mitre's first start in almost two years was anything but a disaster.
Mitre went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and four runs -- three earned -- while striking out four and walking one, pitching the Yankees into sole possession of first for the first time since the morning of June 9. He threw 91 pitches, 57 for strikes and showed, at times, a very good sinker. He was far from perfect but for the fifth starter, not bad at all.
"I thought he did a nice job, he threw a lot of strikes," said Joe Girardi, who managed Mitre in Florida in 2006. "He worked quickly, he almost got through six, so I was happy with his performance."
“Extremely,” Mitre said, asked how satisfying it was to get a victory after having not started a major league game since Sept. 15, 2007. “It’s been a long way back. Been out for a year, a little bit over a year. A little bit too excited today, but I was able to stay under control, throw strikes early in the count."
“He pitched well,” Derek Jeter said. “He went out there and did exactly what we needed him to do. Threw strikes, worked quick, got a lot of groundballs.”
Mitre will take the ball again in five days and, presumably, a few more times after that. He said he feels bad for Wang but this, the big leagues, is also where he feels he belongs.
“It’s unfortunate that I’m here because of that, he’s a great pitcher,” Mitre said of Wang. “[But] I don’t look at myself like I’m here to fill in. I know I can pitch here so hopefully I’ll get the ball every fifth day, show that I belong here and stay healthy first and win some games.”
A couple of other things, courtesy of the postgame notes:
* Of Alex Rodriguez's 54 RBI this season, 30 have either tied the game or given the Yankees the lead.
* Mariano Rivera has converted his last 39 save chances at home since August 2007. He's converted 23 straight save opportunities, which ties him with Detroit's Fernando Rodney for the longest streak this season in the Majors, according to Elias.
* Damaso Marte threw one inning for Scranton tonight, allowing two hits and a run in a 2-1 victory at Columbus.
Back tomorrow afternoon as A.J. Burnett (8-4, 3.81) takes on Jason Berken (1-7, 6.44).