There are some games you have to win. Count among those games against the piddling Seattle offense when Kevin Millwood is on the mound. This game had Yankee slug fest written all over it. Kevin Millwood is not a very good pitcher. He entered today’s game with a very hittable 5.09/3.61/4.38 pitching line. Furthermore, the Yankees have been facing him for years. There’s nothing new, or good about him, but in today’s game you could have fooled me. The Yankees managed just three hits over seven innings against Millwood. The Bombers were not without their opportunities. Millwood walked four and the Yankees loaded the bases in fifth with no one out, but
Greg Maddux Kevin Millwood found a way to battle through. The Yankees scored only two runs on the game, and each of those came via the bases loaded walk.
Not only was this an opportunity to pound Millwood and sweep Seattle, but it was also the first time Andy Pettitte has pitched in a game in more than a year. Much will be made of Pettitte’s 6.1 innings of work. He was very efficient, but the swing-happy M’s made his job easier. While Andy demonstrated that he has enough left in the tank to help the big league club, his performance was nothing to celebrate. He allowed seven hits, including two homers, and walked three. Pettitte did show some signs of promise, but he also labored to find the zone and his pitches looked a little too flat. A four earned run performance against the lowly Mariner’s easily would have been seven runs against a higher octane offense like, say, the Rangers.
There wasn’t much to be happy about in this one. The Yankees let a very winnable game walk away looking more tired than anything else. With the score still just 4-1 the Yankees did load the bases once more in the 8th, but the team came away with just another bases loaded walk to show for it, and nothing else.
That was annoying enough, but the Yankees added insult to injury in this one. In the top of the ninth with the score still 4-2 Joe Girardi inexplicably let Clay Rapada issue two walks to load the bases, facing righties no less. The move completely backfired as Rapada tried to make an ill-advised play on a Casper Wells bouncer up the mound. Clay slowed the ball down instead of fielding it, thereby eliminating the play at home. He then threw the ball away for good measure, letting another run score.
With the 6-2 ball game pretty much out of hand at that point, Nick Swisher started the ninth inning by scorching a ball off the wall in the corner in left. Swisher got greedy and tried to turn what would have a been a stand up, lead off double into a triple. While replays showed he was safe, he was called out on the throw, making the team’s first out at third base. Nick brings a lot to the Yankees, so we’ll forgive him for the few times when he takes something away.
All in all this was a cruddy way to end what was an otherwise strong home stand. The Yankees will take to the road next, heading down to Maryland to face the Baltimore Orioles, the first place Baltimore Orioles. Hopefully the reversion to the mean for Buck Showalter’s boys begins tomorrow.
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