Friday, April 30, 2010

Game 22 Recap

1. The first two batters Andy Pettitte faced were Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham and both reached on soft bloops to shallow right field. Andy got Alex Rios to fly out but Paul Konerko took advantage of the Sox's good fortune and lifted a slider on the outside half of the plate just over the right field wall. The ball was nearly caught by Nick Swisher, but for some reason, a fan attempted to catch it with his jacket and blocked Swish's glove. It wasn't technically fan interference because the guy wasn't leaning over the wall but it very might have been a catch if he wasn't there.

2. The Yankees didn't waste any time in rebounding. After a Jeter single and a walk by Mark Teixeira, A-Rod broke out of a 0-19 slump with an RBI double to left. Up next, Robinson Cano poked a single through the left side and drove in Teixeira. The Yanks had runners on the corners with one out but Nick Swisher grounded into a double play to end the threat, and left the Yanks down 3-2.

3. Pettitte gave up a double to Donny Lucy to start the second inning and followed that up with a walk to the anemic-hitting Juan Pierre. Lucy advanced to 3rd on a fielder's choice and scored on a sac fly to make it 4-2 White Sox.

4. Brett Gardner singled to lead off the bottom of the 5th, stole second but had it rendered moot by a long blast by Derek Jeter to left field. Freddy Garcia tried to sneak a curveball past Jeter but Derek turned on it for a rare pulled home run and tied the game at 4.

5. In the 7th, after Francisco got hit with an 0-2 pitch by the left handed Matt Thornton, Joe Girardi elected to stick with Brett Garnder instead of calling on Marcus Thames to pinch hit. The decision paid off as Gardner battled through an 8 pitch at bat, finally poking a single up the middle. Jeter came to the plate next and after slicing a ball just foul down the right field line, took a 2-2 pitch just inside the line just past the diving try of Jason Nix, a back up infielder filling in the the scratched Andruw Jones. Cervelli and Gardner both scored and Jeter slid safely into third with a go-ahead triple, making the score 6-4 Yankees.

6. Damaso Marte, Joba Chamberlain (more on these two below) and some fellow who goes by the name of Mariano Rivera nailed down the final 6 outs withouts giving up a baserunner and that was that. Yanks win 6-4 and close out the month of April 15-7.

IFs, ANDs & BUTs
  • Andy Pettitte gave up as many runs in the first two innings of this game as he did in his other four starts this season.

  • Pettitte only had 98 pitches when Alfredo Aceves took over during the top of the 7th. Andy had gone 114 pitches in Anaheim and the first couple of innings were pretty stressful for him so I thought it was probably a good decision.

  • Considering that all of the damage came so early in the game and much of it was fairly cheap, this was a pretty successful start for Pettitte. It's going to bump his ERA up significantly but he did a good job playing hand he was dealt after the rocky start.

  • Jeter didn't hit a home run to left field until his 13th of last season but since then, five of his last nine have gone left of center.

  • In addition to ending up a double short of the cycle, the Captain also drove in four runs for the first time since September 10, 2006 against the Orioles.

  • Damaso Marte came in to get Mark Teahen in the 8th, retired him and with the devastating Jayson Nix (career OPS+ 68) on deck, was pulled in favor of Joba Chamberlain. The White Sox had two legitimate pinch hitting options, Mark Kotsay and A.J. Pierzynski, both left handed and both significantly better hitters than Nix. Girardi essentially forced Oxzie Gullein to have Kostay pinch hit for Nix, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Pierzynski was probably going to hit for Donnie Lucy anyway and Marte could have still been in to face him. Joba got both of those Sox to ground out softly, so it ended well, but I don't see how pulling Marte after one batter makes any sense. Either let Joba start the inning or let Marte go until he gives up a baserunner.
We're back at it tomorrow at 1:00PM as Javy Vazquez has to face his detractors both in the stands and in a hooded sweatshirt in the opposing dugout.

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