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July 23, 1996: Gooden great in Yankees win over Texas

RELIVE 1996 Header

Credit: John Dunn/AP
Credit: John Dunn/AP

Dwight Gooden answered his critics tonight, tossing a gem against the Texas Rangers to get the Yankees back in the win column. In his last outing against the Milwaukee Brewers, Gooden allowed 10 runs (five earned) and walked eight. After that game, he said he felt some pain in his arm, but that he needed to make better pitches. He did just that this evening.

“This is a big win for us and for me personally because of my last couple of starts,” Gooden said. “Hopefully, the dead arm is over. I was a little frustrated, just trying to get my mechanics back in sync. It’s weird when it happens because the ball feels heavier and it’s hard to get comfortable.” (via NY Times)

Gooden sure looked comfortable tonight, going seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five. It appeared as if the Yankees offense was dormant again, as Texas starter Roger Pavlik shut them down for the first three innings. The Yankees broke through in the fourth when Tino Martinez singled home Paul O’Neill, who doubled to lead off the inning. The run was just their second in the last 19 innings.

Ruben Sierra drove in Joe Girardi with a double in the sixth, followed by a Derek Jeter RBI groundout. Martinez racked up his second RBI of the game in the seventh with a double, and Darryl Strawberry capped off the scoring with a bases loaded walk.

Gooden now had the run support to back up his great outing.¬†“There was a nice big smile on his face when he left in the seventh inning,” Torre said. (via NY Times).

Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless eighth, and Dale Polley came on in the ninth to finish the job. The Yankees will now go for the series win tomorrow afternoon when Andy Pettitte takes the ball against Jose Alberro.

Notes: Bernie Williams was scratched from the lineup prior to the game with a sty in his eye that swelled overnight. Gerald Williams started in his place in centerfield.

Box score and current stats

         1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9  R  H E
         - - -  - - -  - - -  -  -  -
Rangers  0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0  0  2  0
Yankees  0 0 0  1 0 2  2 1 X  6 11  2

Batting      AB R  H RBI BB SO  BA  OBP  SLG
                                                           
Boggs 3B      5 1  1   0  0  0 .320 .392 .401
Girardi C     5 1  3   1  0  0 .307 .368 .379
ONeill RF     3 3  2   0  2  0 .315 .436 .466
Martinez 1B   4 0  2   2  0  1 .290 .347 .460
Sierra LF     3 0  1   1  1  0 .263 .333 .415
Strawberry DH 2 0  1   1  2  1 .220 .381 .420
Jeter SS      4 0  0   1  0  0 .284 .354 .397
Fox 2B        4 1  1   0  0  1 .206 .299 .279

 

2B:O'Neill (24, off Pavlik);Sierra (16, off Pavlik)
Martinez (20, off Cook).
RBI:Martinez 2 (70);Strawberry (9)
Girardi (28);Sierra (52);Jeter (42).

Pitching        IP H R ER BB SO  ERA
                                             
Gooden W (10-5)  7 2 0  0  1  5 4.38
Rivera           1 0 0  0  0  1 1.57
Polley           1 0 0  0  0  0 5.40