After a brief an unexpected absence yesterday, I've made my return to Fack Youk. Sorry for the lack of content yesterday. Knowing Jay wasn't going to be around, I had a few things I had intended to post over the course of the day, but life had other plans for me. I hope you Fackers found other ways to kill time over the course of your work day.
Andy Pettitte returns to the mound tonight after a disappointing start in Boston last Friday. While he did record the win, Pettitte pitched poorly despite being handed a 12-1 lead. I'm all for challenging hitters a bit more when playing with lead that large, but there's a fine line between challenging hitters and getting sloppy with a big lead. I'm not suggesting Pettitte intentionally brought the Sox back into the game, but any start that necessitates two innings of "relief" from Sergio Mitre cannot be considered a success. That said, it was the first remotely poor start Pettitte has had since the All-Star Break. Perhaps he was due for a clunker, and there's no better night to have one of those than when your offense puts up twenty runs.
Even with the poor start last Friday, Pettitte is 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and .233/.282/.310 batting line since the All-Star Break. Last Friday might have been a cheap win for him, but he's had four tough luck no decisions in that span. Pettitte has faced the Rangers once previously this season, taking the loss against Bizarro Kramer on June 3rd, giving up four runs and thirteen baserunners in five innings of work.
Texas counters with rookie southpaw Derek Holland. Holland got touched up by the Yanks on May 27th, to the tune of ten hits and five earned runs in five innings of work. He made a relief appearance at the Stadium on June 2nd, and they got him for two more runs in an inning and a third. He's surrendered three Yankee home runs in 6.1 IP. He's been excellent in four of his last five starts, going 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and .189/.238/.303 batting line. I'm hoping that the recent Holland disappears tonight and the one who faced the Yankees earlier this year returns.
Johnny Damon gets the night off, with Jerry Hairston Jr. getting the start in left field. Nick Swisher slides up the two spot in the order. Maybe he'll have the opportunity to show his bunting prowess again tonight.
Gov't Mule bassist and founding member Allen Woody died nine years ago today. We've featured the band twice already this month, including just last Saturday when Jay chose "On the Banks of the Deep End" for the preview. That song was Warren Haynes' tribute to his fallen bandmate. In the years since Woody's death, Gov't Mule reached great heights, now ranking amongst the upper echelon of the "jamband" scene. In a sick way, Woody's passing is partially responsible for that. The void left by his death led to the high profile Deep End projects, which saw the band play with a host of music's top bassists. In the aftermath of Woody's death, Warren Haynes made a return to the Allman Brothers Band - where he and Woody had first played together more than a decade earlier - and also played a three year stint with Phil Lesh. These things greatly raised the exposure level of Haynes, and by extension, Gov't Mule. Mule was an outstanding band in Woody's days, but we'll never how the band's future would have played out had he not met an untimely end.
Here's a classic Gov't Mule performance from the Allen Woody era. Dose was certainly the best Mule album from Woody's time with the band, and is arguably still the best that Mule has put out. The album's closer is the beautiful "I Shall Return". I hope Pettite returns to form and the Yankees return to the win column tonight.
But I shall return, though I'm losing myself.
I shall return.