A-Rod, right, sure can hit the ball. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
May 22 fell on a Sunday in 2005. I was a week away from my college graduation, and Carl Pavano stiffled the Mets for 7 innings en route to his fourth win of the year. At 4-2 and with a nifty 3.69 ERA, things were looking up for Pavano who had throw a complete game five-hit shut-out against the Mariners five days earlier.
Little did we know that Carl Pavano would not win his fifth game as a Yankee until April 9, 2007. But that’s the way the cookie â€” or elbow â€” crumbles sometimes.
Tonight, Carl Pavano became the first Yankee starter of 2007 to pitch into the sixth, and then he became the first Yankee starter to pitch into the 7th. When he came out after the 7th, the Yanks, powered by home runs off the bats of Bob Kelly Abreu and Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, had an insurmountable 8-2 lead. Two innings later, the Yanks would make a winner out of Carl Pavano
It took Pavano 687 days or 1 year, 10 months and 18 days to record that win, but it was well worth it for those of us watching at home. Pavano was stingy with his pitchers. He faced 25 batters and threw just 79 pitches. That’s just 3.16 pitchers per plate appearance. Hew threw 48 strikes and generally kept the ball down as is his wont.
With some nifty fielding and timely two-out hitting by Abreu and Rodriguez, Pavano’s effort was more than enough to start the Yanks off on the right foot on the road. And hopefully, his next win is just five days away instead of 687.
While you await Joe’s WPA recap of the game, Tyler Kepner at The Times notes how Sydne Ponson and Carl Pavano are forever linked in Yankee history. It certainly made me wonder what a healthy Pavano would have meant for the Yanks over the last two seasons.