Following last Sunday’s big return of Andy Pettitte, the 40 year old left hander came into tonight’s game against the Reds in the stopper position. With a three game losing streak and an anemic offense showing no signs of life, Pettitte needed to turn back the clock. Despite striking out the leadoff hitter Zack Cozart, the shortstop would advance to second on a passed ball and throwing error by Chris Stewart. After a sac bunt to Drew Stubbs, the southpaw turned on the burners and threw some 89/90 mph fastballs and cutters to Joey Votto for a huge strike out. He then pitched Brandon Phillips backwards for the last out and third strikeout of the game.
After pitching to contact in the second, Pettitte struckout the side in third, and kept the strikeouts coming for the rest of the game. After 106 pitches, 72 of which were strikes, Pettite went 8.0 shutout innings, gave up only 4 hits, 1 walk, a 7-1 GB/FB and earned 9 strikeouts. The Red’s offense isn’t particularly amazing, but they do rank 4th in the NL in ISO, so I wouldn’t take away much from the matchup. Pettitte gave the team a much needed brilliant start, something I honestly didn’t expect so soon from him. I might go as far as saying this was the best start of the season from any pitcher.
The Yankee offense continued to struggle from the first inning. Through the first three innings, Alex Rodriguez had the only hit off Bronson Arroyo and the Reds. In the 4th inning, the Yankees finally scored a run after 2 successive singles by Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano (who was thrown out at 2nd), and a ground out by Arod to bring Granderson home. In the sixth- inning, the Yankees loaded the bases up with no outs, and just as their luck has played out over the last week, Arod’s hard hit groundball was thrown home where the ump called Derek Jeter out at home on a force play, only the catcher missed the bag. Raul Ibanez went on to ground out hard for the second out, and Nick Swisher flew out to end the Yankees’ threat. Bronson Arroyo was pitching extraordinarily well through 7.0 innings, but then the Yankees’ offense woke up.
It wasn’t until the 8th inning that the offense would get another hit, but this time it was a bomb by Robinson Cano to the deep part of section 204, the right field bleachers. Then Rodriguez would single, followed by a homerun for Raul Ibanez. I was hoping to see more rallies tonight, but I’ll take the longball. This DH platoon of Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez now has 12 homeruns on the season, Jesus Montero currently has 5. Kudos to Brian Cashman on some little recognized success here.
Boone Logan went out in the 9th to finish off the game against lefty Joey Votto, who he struck out, righty Brandon Phillips who popped out, and lefty Jay Bruce who popped out. Logan is definitely showing some gaudy numbers this season, and it’s nice to have a lefty in the bullpen that can also pitch well against right handed hitters. Maybe the bullpen will be ok.
The Yankees won 4-0 tonight. There were 9 hits in total, with Granderson and Rodriguez going 2 for 4, and Cano going 2 for 3. Still the team didn’t get a single hit with RISP, going 0-7. For all the good pitching, I’m still disappointed to see trouble with runners on second and third. There are 123 games left to prove they can do it, and it all starts tomorrow with Ivan Nova facing Homer Bailey in a 1:05 PM EST start.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees