Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tell Me Something Good

Good morning, Fackers. Let me give you two scenarios and tell me which one you would prefer:
#1: Andy Pettitte pitches poorly, lasting just 4 innings and gets tagged for six runs. The Yankees bats pick him up though, scoring eight of their own and walking away with the victory.

#2: Pettitte stumbles out of the gate, but at one point retires 11 consecutive batters, giving up three runs over six innings. The offense finally has a bad night against Joe Saunders and the Yanks come up short.
Okay, by now you probably already know what happened in the game and this exercise is pretty transparent. But the point is that Andy Pettitte finding his form without any soreness was more important than winning last night, although both would have been nice.

Pettitte actually had two outs and the bases empty after Chone Figgins got caught stealing in the first inning but he gave up a single to Bobby Abreu and then back to back doubles to Vlad Guererro and Torii Hunter to approximately the same spot in the gap in right-center. That string of hits drive in two runs and put the Yanks in the hole 2-0.

During the string of 11 straight batters the retired, Pettitte also made a nice reflex-type play on a liner back up the middle by Eric Aybar. Andy poked his glove out, stopping the ball and then dove to his knees and fired to first to get the speedy Aybar (who leads the league in bunt singles), just in time.

Pettitte's only other run came in the 5th inning when he walked Rob Quinlan on a 3-2 breaking ball that was just a little bit high. Quinlan ended up on third after a single by Jeff Mathis and a sac fly by Figgins and scored on a single by Aybar.

Pettitte was pulled after throwing 91 pitches and had this to say about his performance after the game, "Everything was good after the first inning. My cutters were hard, I felt like. I was getting balls back down in the zone, my two-seamer. Everything was running like I wanted it to."

In relief of Andy, Brain Bruney continued his quest to not make the postseason roster by serving up a solo homer to Kendry Morales in the 7th along with a single to Chone Figgins. Jon Albaladejo gave up another run in the 8th as well.

Joe Saunders had given up 18 runs in 20 1/3 innings against the Yankees coming into last night's game. He's a far better pitcher than that, and you might say that he was due for a better performance against the Bombers. The Yanks grounded into two double plays and only had three at bats with runners in scoring position, and came up empty on all of them.

The Yankees two runs came in the form of solo homers, one by A-Rod in the 7th inning as he continued to mash at the Big A. The next was the first pinch hit home run of Hideki Matsui's career in the 8th inning. It was yet another blast off a left hander by Matsui this year but it wasn't enough to bring the Yanks back in the game, even if the bullpen had done their job. Nick Swisher narrowly missed a HR in the bottom of the 9th, and Robby Cano came to the plate representing the tying tun, but the Yanks fell short, 5-2.

Aside from Pettitte looking steady in his return, there weren't too many positives to take away from this game for the Yanks. However, the Red Sox also lost, dropping the magic number to 8, and making the possibility of a late season charge by the Sox a little less probable. The Rangers won, though, so the playoff clinching non-celebration will have to wait.

The didn't do anything to deter the Angels from challenging for homefield advantage, so that will have to wait until tonight.


  1. Bruney did not give up a single to Morales

  2. Thanks for the catch. Homer to Morales, plus another single to Figgins.