Tonight was test number three for Andy Pettitte, who was last seen devastating the Red’s lineup with 8.0 shutout innings of 4 hit ball. Of course the Royals lineup is a little more challenging, showcasing bats like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Alcides Escobar. The first two innings were no problem for the veteran southpaw, who induced groundouts from the first four hitters, and struck out the next two. In the third inning, Eric Hosmer singled on a curveball from Pettitte, and then had the guts to steal second on a guy with such a great pickoff move. Thanks to an Alex Gordon groundball, he was able to maneuver out of a men on first and third and one out situation with a double play.
With a lead in the 4th, (Yup, an early lead) Pettitte gave up his first run of the game on a Yankee Stadium homerun to right field off of Billy Butler. Escobar and Hosmer would go on to single in that inning as well, but Pettitte worked out of another jam with a strikeout to the catch Humbero Quintero. Leading off the top of the fifth, Mitch Maier hit another solo homerun for the Royals to nearly the same exact location as Butler. Yankees starting pitchers have given up an incredible number of longballs this year, and I’m starting to think throwing four-seam fastballs down the middle of the zone is a bad idea. Pettitte retired the next nine Royals hitters, ending his night after 7.0 innings, 98 pitches (71 of which were strike), 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. Although it’s only been 3 starts, the 40 year old now has a 2.53 ERA, an 8.02 K/9, a 7.59 H/9, and a 2.10 BB/9. I thought Pettitte might be able to come back and compete, but there’s no way I would’ve predicted this.
David Phelps went on to relieve Pettitte in the 8th inning, walking Gordon, but then drawing two groundouts and a strike out from Francoeur. Being the long man, Phelps came out in the 9th inning as well, where Moustakas immediately grounded out to the mound. Despite a long line drive double from Escobar, which was followed by a bloop double from Eric Hosmer, things never became interesting for the Royals in the 9th.
Offensively, FINALLY. I kinda sorta predicted the Yankees would pick it up after yesterday’s game, and they kinda sorta did. Yesterday’s offense was less than I expected, but they’ve certainly started the trend I was hoping for, a good offense to lead them into two forthcoming west coast series of pitcher oriented baseball. As I mentioned above, the team broke out with a lead today starting with Curtis Granderson‘s 14th homerun of the season, a solo shot, to deep right field. Mark Teixeira would then earn his first walk of the day, which was followed by Alex Rodriguez‘ first homerun of the day to deep left field. With that, the Yankees had their first early lead in longer than I can remember, 3-0 in the first inning.
It wasn’t until the third inning that the team would see another base runner. Derek Jeter began the third with a linedrive double to Alex Gordon, which was followed by a single from Granderson to send Jeter to third. A Texeira groundball double play brought Jeter home, which was followed by Yankee fan favorite Alex Rodriguez hitting his second homerun of the day to deep center field. That was Arod’s seventh homerun of the year, and it looks as if we should prepare ourselves for another Arod hot streak. with a 5-0 lead in the third, the Yankees looked like a team we haven’t seen in weeks.
The two solo shots caught up with the Yankees in the 5th inning, where the lead was now only 5-2. Thanks to a Jayson Nix hit by pitch, a Jeter single, and a Granderson walk, the Yankees had the oh-so-dreadful bases loaded and no out situation for their first baseman, who took his second walk of the day for an RBI. With two homeruns on the day already, the broadcasters all expected Arod to hit a grandslam in his next at bat, but he instead decided to ground into a force play (just to prove them wrong), efficiently bringing in an rbi. Robinson Cano then rocketed a groundball
into centerfield into the glove of a diving Escobar, but drove in an RBI for himself too. Although they never got the big hit with the bases loaded, I’ll take the lead they gave Pettitte, an 8-2 game in the fifth inning.
The Yankees would only threaten again in the 7th inning, where Greg Holland walked Teixeira, Nick Swisher, and Andruw Jones to load the bases, but then worked out of it. On the day, Jeter went 3 for 4 with a double, Granderson 2 for 4 with a solo shot, Teixeira 0-2 with 3 walks, Rodriguez 2 for 4 with his 2 homeruns, and Andruw Jones 1 for 2 with 2 walks. Despite the 8 runs on the day, the team still went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, so someone still needs to get that big hit. Hopefully the runs continue on Friday when Ivan Nova takes on Tyson Ross in
Oakland Coliseum McAfee Coliseum Overstock.com Coliseum O.co Coliseum. Today, the Yankees beat the Royals 8-3.
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