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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The Admiral
2004-06-19 21:05
by Jon Weisman

So, Hideo Nomo pitched six shutout innings Saturday, allowing one hit, one walk and hitting one batter in his most encouraging outing of the season.

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, his scoreless stretch came after a first inning in which he allowed four runs, enough to put Los Angeles in a hole from which they wouldn't recover on a cloudy, increasingly humid New York-like summer day.

Nomo had two outs, the bases empty and two strikes on Alex Rodriguez and was one pitch away from a 10-pitch 1-2-3 inning (thanks to Jeter's silly caught stealing with a favorable count on the American League's best hitter) when Rodriguez drew a full-count walk.

The next batter, Jason Giambi, fouled off seven pitches in a 13-pitch at-bat that ended in Nomo's second walk and seemed to completely turn the tide. Gary Sheffield lasered a single up the middle, and then Hideki Matsui golfed a three-run home run over the short fence in right field, and Nomo was done.

The suggestions in this space more than once this week were for Nomo to work out his problems from the bullpen in a mop-up situation - and darned if I wasn't right. In the top of the second, Nomo relieved Nomo and pitched rather brilliantly through the seventh, hitting his fourth career home run, believe it or not, along the way.

Most every Yankee fan I talked to was nervous about this game because New York was starting a fella by the name of Brad Halsey in his major league debut. I felt the odds were much in the Yankee favor, because pitchers never before seen in the majors seem to have a hell of a fighting chance to outfox the opposition, especially pitchers with a 2.52 ERA in AAA ball.

Sure enough, Halsey pitched well. He allowed a run in the first that was something of a gift to the Dodgers, thanks to Rodriguez's sluggish pursuit of a slow ground ball by Jayson Werth, who came around to score the run. Hardly daunted, Halsey allowed nothing else except the homer by Nomo. Halsey was doing the right thing in challenging Nomo - got beat on a pitch - but again regained his bearings and completed 5 2/3 innings.

By the third inning, I recollected to the people I went to the game with that there was an Admiral Halsey and suggested, based on this younger Halsey's command, that we start calling him "The Admiral." Now, pacing is key in attempting to christen a nickname. I didn't use it again until Halsey came out of the game in the sixth, when I said, "The Admiral pitched a nice game." I mentioned it once more toward the end, and by the time we were walking to the car, others in the group were referring to Halsey as "The Admiral" as if they never knew him any other way (which, admittedly, they hadn't for long, since no one had heard of Halsey before Friday.)

At this point, I would no sooner call this Yankee pitcher by his name than I would call Yogi Berra "Lawrence." The Admiral did the Yankees proud Saturday. Sunday, it will be the battle of the Joses - Lima and Contreras.

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