In yesterday's game preview, I theorized that Saturday's game couldn't possibly be sloppier than Friday's. It may not have been worse, but it was just as ugly. And to make matters worse, this time there was no deus ex machina to deliver the Yankees a last minute win.
Andy Pettitte struggled again. Following Joba Chamberlain's lead from the night before, he needed 104 pitches to get through just five innings, including 23 in the first and 31 in the second when Pettitte reportedly had trouble breathing. He exited having surrendered 12 hits and 5 ER.
Equally as frustrating, the offense was unable to get anything going against Fernando Nieve, further fueling the theory that the Yankees struggle against unknown pitchers. True or not, Nieve cruised through 6.2 innings, allowing only six base runners and surrendering just two runs.
Perhaps the only silver lining was Jose Veras' two scoreless innings of mop-up work. He struck out two and even managed not to walk anyone. You have to figure either Veras or Tomko will be DFA'd when Bruney is activated within the next few days. Based on their most recent performances as well as past history, I think Veras should have a leg up.
In the end, it was a bad Saturday. What I thought would be a nice day featured a steady and consistent rain. What I hoped would be a bounce back start for Pettitte turned into the latest in a string of bad ones. What I thought should have been an easily winnable game turned into an exercise in frustration.
We'll back later as the Yankees try for two the hard way in attempting to take the series against Johan Santana.