The Yankees completed a three game sweep of the Rangers on Sunday, after winning 5-2 behind Andy Pettitte, who turned in the most recent of an impressive string of outings from the Yankee rotation.
Andy went eight innings, allowing just four hits and three walks, while striking out four and surrendering only two runs.
Combined, Andy along with Friday night’s starter CC Sabathia and Saturday’s starter A.J. Burnett, put together a line of 21 innings, 13 hits, 5 walks, 20 strikeouts, 0 home runs and 3 earned runs. That’s a .8571 WHIP, a 2.149 BB/9, an 8.5714 K/9, a 4.00 K/BB, a 1.2857 ERA, and a 2.0095 FIP. Total domination.
Watching CC pitch on Friday night, rain-shortened though it was, was just a joy. He was absolutely beastly. During his string of six straight strikeouts–and at basically every point but a part of the first inning–the Rangers’ hitters looked helpless against CC. That night, CC threw just 73 pitches, 58 of which (!!) were strikes. If you need a definition of he’s on fire, here you have it.
I was in attendance for Saturday’s game and like CC, A.J. Burnett was just cruising. The sixth inning was the only time when the Rangers really had a shot to score, and A.J. shut them down. Even from way up in Section 322B, you could tell A.J. just had it going. He was working quickly and his stuff was as good as ever.
I didn’t get to see any of Andy’s pitching today, so like I did with Phil Hughes last week, I had to catch up on Andy’s night through the lens of Pitch FX. Like Hughes, Andy had a very consistent release point. Andy’ start yesterday marked apparently marked a bit of a departure from his previous two starts. He threw only five changeups and mixed in 16 cutters, 17 two-seamers, and 16 curveballs. He threw 53 four seam fastballs as well. The number that deviates from the norm is the number of four seamers. In his previous two starts against Boston and Anaheim, Andy threw just 61 four seam fastballs combined. All three games have featured single digit changeups (5, 8, 5), but the first two contained many more cutters (20, 25) and two-seamers (22 both times) than the last one. The number of curveballs (17, 14, 16) has stayed relatively consistent.
Why the spike in four seamers? That’s tough to answer. Maybe Andy was just feeling it more today, maybe Gameday had a labeling problem. Perhaps Andy had to mix his pitchers more against the more patient Red Sox and Angels while he was able to go right at the more-free-swinging Ranges. Regardless of the reason, though, everything was working for Andy on Sunday. It will be interesting to see what we see from Pettitte going forward and I’ll definitely keep an eye on it. Hopefully, this trend continues and Andy keeps on defying age.
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