Andy Pettitte continued his post All-Star break hot streak tonight. The evening didn't start off too well, as Pettitte surrendered three consecutive hits in the bottom of the first, staking the M's to a 2-0 lead. For the next five innings however, Pettitte held the Mariners scoreless, allowing just three more hits, finishing his night with six innings, six hits, two runs, a walk, and just like CC the night before him, a season high ten strikeouts.
While Pettitte's pitching line continued be impressive post All-Star break, his no decision trend is still alive as well. Despite quality starts in five of his last six starts, Pettitte is just 1-1 over that stretch.
The Yankees brought Pettitte back to even with runs in the second and fifth. Jorge Posada, back in the line up after a night off, led off the second with a ball that was either a double or a home run, depending upon who you ask. The umpires initially ruled it a double and their video review confirmed that. From second, Posada moved to third on a Robinson Cano groundout, and after a Nick Swisher walk, score on a fielder's choice from Jerry Hairston Jr, who was in the line up for the second straight night after back spasms forced Alex Rodriguez from the initial scorecard.
In the fifth, the Yanks tied it, as Melky Cabrera reached on an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Derek Jeter single to make it 2-2.
To start the bottom of the seventh, Pettitte was replaced by Brian Bruney, who continued his recent rennaisance by running his scoreless innings streak to five, a single the only blemish against his record. Phil Hughes took over in the eighth and after yielding consecutive two out walks, recorded his second strikeout to the end the frame.
Meanwhile, the Yankee offense had gone fallow, going down 1-2-3 in the third, fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. But the bats woke up in the ninth. Mark Teixeira led off the frame by launching his 30th home run - good for second in the league - to deep right field, snapping the tie. With two outs Robinson Cano hit a ground rule double, then scored on Nick Swisher's subsequent basehit.
Mariano Rivera, he of the cranky shoulder, came on for the ninth and retired the M's 1-2-3 on groundouts, using just nine pitches, and ensuring the Yankees a split at worst in this four game set.
"Can any other modern-day athlete have his cake and eat it, too, as gracefully as Jeter? He has repeatedly indicated he doesn’t want to make a spectacle of his last lap. Then he has repeatedly participated in or not blocked spectacle-like actions. And forget about not getting hurt by such choices. He seems to benefit from them."
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