Knowledgeable sources in the Yankees Universe warned us of John Lackey, the lanky Texan with an excellent July record. Last evening he was opposed by the towering old bullfighter, who has been nicked (and sometimes gored) by his share of horns this season but has managed to return to good form.

As I read the game previews for last night at other Yankees blogs/media outlets I noticed a sense of collective apprehension about RJ, as if tonight would be a Waterloo that marked the end of his career. Thankfully, that was not the case. In the parlance of the great arenas of Spain and Mexico, Randy "knew his bull" on the mound Monday. The Unit scattered 4 harmless hits through 6 innings before allowing 2 runs (thus tying the game) in the top 7th on three hits to Molina, the relentless Figgins and Kendrick. A weak O. Cabrera grounder back to the mound ended the threat. A huge out.

RJ recorded his 4,500th strikeout last night. Considering that he has been in the majors for a relatively short time (compared to Clemens and Ryan) and his K/BB ratio, this achievement is stunning.

The Yankees began the scoring in the bottom 3rd with a Melky double into the gap, followed by Jeter displaying power by sending the ball over the dead CF wall.

In the bottom 7th, with the game tied 2-2, Damon's single was followed by Jeter's perfect bunt, less than one foot from the foul line and with exactly correct speed for a hit. If he plays golf, I'll bet Jetes has a good short game after showing that kind of touch. Abreu's sac bunt (!!??!??) and Giambi's intentional walk left the bases loaded for Alex. His opposite field fly ball backed Guerrero to the wall but the speedy Damon scored after the tag, 3-2 Yankees. Cano lined out to end the inning.

Then a terrifying, malevolent force emerged from the bullpen. That entity (who we previously knew as the above average but somewhat disappointing Farnsworth) threw the majority of his pitches above 100 mph. Liquid, blazing heat. Farnsworth really should not be allowed to fly commercial as he will set off the explosive detectors. Plus a 90mph slider to add insult to injury...and then as I was becoming really frightened, the carnage was suddenly over, 1-2-3.

Bottom 8: Jorge pulls a crisp line drive over the RF wall, 4-2 Yankees. After Craig Wilson and Melky both reached with singles (Damon also with a walk), Wilson was thrown out at home on Jeter's groundball. Fear not: Abreu's single with the bases loaded made it 5-2. Giambi's sac fly added another, 6-2. I must add here that Vladimir's throw (on a line) from medium-deep right was right on the money and almost in time. That's talent.

Alex plated another run, 7-2. He was responsible for the winning run and also made 2 stellar plays in the field. Do I even need to tell you how Mariano closed out the game? OK: The dangerous Figgins (batting LH) broke his bat on a weak grounder to Cano. We've never seen that before....

BTW, the Tigers beat Boston.