Today's matinee matchup featured aging lefty Randy Johnson facing off against the 23-year old veteran Jeremy Bonderman.

After RJ cruised through the first, the Yanks looked like they would strike early after a single by Damon and then a hit and run single by Jeter. With first and third and no one out, Bonderman got Abreu to pop out (Bobby barely missed hitting a 3-run homerun in the at-bat). He then walked Posada but got A-Rod to pop out and then struck out Robbie Cano. A deep fly would have been all that was necessary to score one run and the heart of the order can't come through. Amazing.

That missed opportunity immediately came back to bite the Yanks as Magglio Ordonez started the top of the second with a homerun. 1-0 Detroit.

The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the third. After a Jeter groundout, Bobby Abreu hit a long double off Bonderman. Posada then flied out to left but A-Rod came through with a dink RBI single that barely cleared the shortstop. It wasn't pretty but it got the job done as Abreu scored and the score was tied. After A-Rod stole second to put himself in scoring position (one of 3 stolen bases against Pudge today), Cano ended the inning with a ground out to third. Bonderman is at 53 pitches through the third but with the Detroit bullpen being as strong as it is, getting him out of the game doesn't guarantee more scoring.

However, the Yankees would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out rally. After a Bernie ground-out and a Guiel (no sonic boom so far) strikeout, Melky got aboard with a dink single. Damon followed with another single and Derek Jeter worked out a walk bringing up Bobby Abreu, who was looking to atone for his earlier at-bat. This time, Bobby came through, singling to right and scoring Cabrera and Damon. 3-1 Yankees. Posada would ground out to end the inning but Bonderman has hit 76 pitches through 4 innings so far.

Randy on the other hand is cruising along in one of his better outings this year. So far, 5 innings, 1 H, 1 ER and 5Ks on 57 pitches (42 strikes!). He must really like facing this Tigers team.

The Yanks scored their fourth run after A-Rod legged out a double to start the bottom of the fifth. After Robbie Cano struck out for the first out, Bernie came through with a RBI single to give the Yanks a 4-1 lead. He was promptly erased and the inning came to an end when Aaron Guiel hit into an double play. The Tigers got the run back pretty much immediately as Omar Infante (yes, the Omar Infante who had 2 HRs so far this year) took Johnson deep to lead off the 6th. After that blip, Johnson got back in his groove and sat the next three Tigers down (2 of them by strikeout).

Through 7 innings, Randy has given up 2 hits (both homeruns but that's to be expected from him at this point), walked none and struck out 7. He's also only thrown 83 pitches through 7 (you see that how that works, Jaret?!)

The Yanks helped themselves to a bigger cushion in the 7th against lefty Jamie Walker. A-Rod led off with his 27th home-run of the year and the crowd was very appreciative. They even gave him a curtain call which hopefully made him feel pretty good. Robbie Cano followed with a fly-ball that Marcus Thames misplayed into a double and with Cano in scoring position, Bernie notched his second RBI of the day with a clean single that brought Robbie home. 6-2 Yankees. Bernie was erased from the bases on (another) double play off the bat of Aaron Guiel and Melky closed out the inning with a ground out.

A great 8 innings from Johnson today and with a 4 run lead and RJ up to 94 pitches, Torre should go to the pen (and I don't mean Scott Proctor!) to close out this game. With the rosters set to expand tomorrow and the Yankees cruising towards the AL East title, there's no need to risk Johnson going out for the 9th and hurting himself.

Apparently Joe Torre didn't get my memo. Perhaps I should have put that new cover sheet on top of my TPS report. Inexplicably, Johnson starts the 9th...and proceeds to walk Craig Monroe. And now Marcus Thames takes him deep. Wow. 6-4 now and here comes Mariano (who is scheduled for an MRI and reports that his elbow has been bothering him for a while now). Just wow. It's like Joe hasn't watched Randy pitch this year...he should have seen this coming a mile away and he should have had Dotel, Bruney or Farnsworth (yes, he was ready to go) warming and ready for the 9th.

It turns out not to matter much (today) as Mo gives up a double to Magglio Ordonez but gets out of the inning by getting Carlos Guillen, Sean Casey and Brandon Inge to all ground out. He's still the best at what he does...but still, I can't help but worry about that elbow.

Still, the Yankees win 6-4 and another game gets knocked off the magic number so it's a good day!