Dustin Moseley was told Saturday night to begin preparing himself to start. It wasn’t a sure thing, but he was almost certainly going to be starting in place of A.J. Burnett.
Moseley read through scouting reports Saturday night, did the same on Sunday morning and showed up at Yankee Stadium earlier than usual to watch video.
“He doesn’t seem to be fazed by too much,” Derek Jeter said. “He has the same personality every day that he comes in. He starts a game or comes out of the bullpen. Gives up the run or strikes a guy out. He’s got the same demeanor, and I think that’s why he’s been able to be successful.”
Let there be no doubt, Moseley was prepared. He retired the first seven batters he faced, including a nifty play of his own for the first out of the game. He seemed legitimately humbled by his standing ovation.
“You felt the energy as soon as you walked out there,” Moseley said. “Even in the bullpen you could feel the energy that was going throughout the crowd with everything. You definitely felt it. I tried my best to keep my composure with everything and just make my pitches.”
I’m from the rural midwest, so I know what Moseley’s talking about when he says there aren’t a lot of people back at his home in Arkansas who get to watch him on television. There’s a reason the Braves, Cubs and Cardinals are so popular in the middle of the country. They’re the only teams on TV.
“It was good knowing it was going to be on ESPN,” Moseley said. “I think my wife sent a mass text to everybody that we knew. I came back to my locker and had like 40 texts, and that’s not normal for me.”
Most of my Moseley audio is broken into different audio files, so here’s Joe Girardi’s postgame.
• Jeter on passing Babe Ruth on the total hits list: “It means a lot to this organization. It means a lot in baseball, but especially to this organization. Any time you get a chance to pass Babe Ruth, it’s pretty special.”
• Girardi on Moseley’s play for the first out: “I’m not sure we have another pitcher that makes that play. Mo might. A.J. might. But he just kind of set the tone early.” It certainly did start a night full of some very nice plays by the Yankees, including big catches by Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.
• Alex Rodriguez was pulled in the ninth inning. “He had some stiffness and that was to be expected,” Girardi said. “He was day-to-day. He played today. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
• Mariano Rivera threw one pitch to get the final out. Why bring Mo into this game at that time? “It’s a 7-2 game,” Girardi said. “You have two home run hitters coming up (after Marco Scutaro). I wanted to give him two chances to get one out before the tying run came up.”
• Lance Berkman went 3-for-4 with two RBI doubles. The crowd that booed him yesterday was finally cheering. “One of the toughest parts of coming over in the middle of the season is you really haven’t contributed anything to the fact that the team is in first place,” Berkman said. “Until you come up with some big hits and help the team win some games, you can’t really feel like you belong.”
• Berkman said the double down the third-base line is a pretty good indication of what he does when he’s hitting well. “That’s really my strength, not to come off the ball and just stay through a tough pitch,” he said. “That ball was probably off the plate a little bit, down and away, and when I hit a ball like that, that’s closer to where I want to be than a little topper or something like that.”
• Mark Teixeira is the fourth player in baseball history with 25 home runs in his first eight seasons. “I look at a guy like Alex who just hit 600,” Teixeira said. “I still have a long way to go.”
• The Yankees had eight hits through three innings, but scored just two runs. They had three hits in the fifth inning and scored five. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s baseball,” Girardi said.
• Dave Robertson hasn’t allowed a run since July 2, a span of 13 outings. Boone Logan’s been nearly as impressive. He’s allowed one run since joining the team after the all-star break.
• The Yankees are the first American League team to have five players with at least 50 runs and 50 RBI (Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Swisher and Teixeira).
• Jeter’s next hit will tie Mel Ott for 38th all time.
Associated Press photos of Moseley, Rivera and Teixeira