It is only fitting that Andy Pettitte was on the mound tonight.
He was there in 1996, he should be there again this season, when comparisons to the late nineties Yankees have been so apparent.
It was fitting, and Pettitte was vintage.
He only pitched into the seventh inning, but he kept the Angels to just one run, and you get the feeling that once the Yankees scored, the Angels never really had much of a chance.
There was Pettitte, and then there was Joba, where we held our breath, and then there was Rivera.
I’ve gone back and forth on Rivera in the eighth, but ultimately it was the right decision. As a proponent of the leverage argument, tonight’s use of Rivera is exactly what should have been done, with him facing Figgins, Abreu, Hunter, Guerrerro and Morales in the the eighth inning, in a two run game.
You knew Rivera would be on the mound for the final out, regardless of the score.
It just wouldn’t be right without it.
The Yankees didn’t have an awesome game offensively, but they knocked Saunders out early and took advantage of Kazmir’s poor fielding late.
As the saying is, they don’t have to be pretty, they have to be wins.
So, that was the case tonight. The Yankees out-pitched and out-fundamentaled the Angels.
The work isn’t done.
Philadelphia’s not just a good team, they’re the defending World Champions and with good reason.
Yet, you get the feeling, if anyone can beat the Phillies, these Yankees can.
The Cliff Lee/CC Sabathia matchup slated for game one should be a doozy.
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