Aug
27

Pettitte, bats bring home a W

By

The Yankees really needed this kind of game. After Tuesday night’s disappointing and frustrating loss, they had to come out strong and in charge against the Rangers.

Up 3-0 after the second inning, the Yankees behind a strong Andy Pettitte did not disappoint. They grabbed the lead early and held it behind some timely defense and aggressive pitching by Pettitte. Then, the bats came alive in the 7th to lead the Bombers to a 9-2 win. It was their 42nd home win of the year and Major League-leading 79th victory.

The game started out on a rough note for the Yankees. Following an Ian Kinsler strike out, A-Rod bobbled a ground ball for an error. Josh Hamilton singled to right, Nelson Cruz walked, and the Rangers were one hit away from breaking this one wide open early on. Pudge, though, would not disappoint Yankee fans, and he hit a sharp grounder to A-Rod. 5-4-3. Two outs. Inning over.

After that, Pettitte cruised. Jorge Posada blasted a three-run home run into deep center field in the second, and behind another double play in the third, Andy faced three batters each in the second, third and fourth. In the fifth, he ran into a spot of trouble when Chris Davis scored on a David Murphy double. Pettitte held the Rangers there though.

In the sixth, Pettitte again faced just three hitters thanks to a double play. It was the third of four the Yanks would turn last night. David Murphy struck again in the 7th, this time with a solo home run. That would be all for the Rangers’ scoring chances. They loaded the bases with one out in the 8th against an ineffective Brian Bruney, but Pudge hit into his second double play of the night. The Rangers would not threaten again.

For the Yankee bats, it was business as usual. They plated 9 runs on 10 hits and seemed business-like in scoring five runs in the 7th. These guys like to score runs.

While the injuries to Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguezupdates here — put a little bit of a damper on the game, I can’t recap this one without a tip of the cap to Andy Pettitte. He went 7 strong, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 7 and improved to 11-6 on the season. Since the All Star Break, Pettitte has thrown 51.2 innings and has struck out 54. The David Murphy home run was just the second he has allowed since the break.

We’ll have a lot more on Pettitte in the morning, but a quick thought on his future right now: As I watched Pettitte’s post-game interview, this did not sound like a man on the verge of retiring. He may be 37, he said, but 37 isn’t old. He feels great; he’s throwing great; and he doesn’t want to stop.

He also dropped in an interesting tidbit about Posada. “Jorgie called a great game,” he said of the recently embattled Yankee catcher. A crisp win is always a great game.

Categories : Game Stories
  • JGS

    he feels great, he’s throwing great, and he doesn’t want to stop.

    Why should he have to? It was a given in spring training that this was Andy’s last year, but with Wang out for a good chunk of the year (and who knows how effective he’ll be when he returns), it doesn’t seem to make sense to not bring him back if he doesn’t want to retire

    • Tom Zig

      I’d welcome him back. Give him a little more of a higher base salary, but with the same incentives. We need a pitcher for next year and the free agent market isn’t too appealing. Might as well go with the devil we know as opposed to the devil we don’t know and spend more money in the process.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I’m down.

        Andy, Matsui, and Damon, you’re all welcome back. (One year deals only, though.)

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          +28

  • Dela G

    great win

    now lets ship those rangers out with a nice L tomorrow

    • Dela G

      he past 2 games i’ve guaranteed that we would win (the beckett 5HR game and this one), the yanks have come through. No guarantee right now, but i have confidence

  • Peter Lacock

    Thankfully Girardi stuck to his guns and did what he thought was right, again. Melkys bunt proved that a strategy isn’t ‘stupid’ just because someone doesn’t agree with it. That play opened the floodgates and the chances for any better result, with a different strategy, were very small. If Swisher would have executed his managers similar strategy the day before, a similar result would have been possible.
    As one gains knowledge, one learns that there is often more than one way to do things and still have success. As one gains experience, one becomes aware that anothers decision can be perfectly acceptable even though it’s different. Seeing a different point of view is something that there is a dearth of amongst those that choose to criticize.

    • Dela G

      +100000 i wholeheartedly agree

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You know why it wasn’t stupid? Because the Yanks already had a three-run lead and because Melky Cabrera is a FAR inferior hitter than Nick Swisher. It’s all about context.

      In general, it’s still a pretty stupid play unless the Yanks were playing for just one run. Up by 3 and with no outs in the 7th, they weren’t. That it worked was due more to the Rangers’ defense than the play being good strategy.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Exactly.

        Take a poll of the people who didn’t like Swisher’s bunt, and I bet 95% of them have no problem with the Melky bunt.

        I actually called for Girardi to let Swish swing away and have Melky suicide squeeze bunt behind him on more than one occasion yesterday.

        I don’t like watching good hitters bunt. Melky’s not a good hitter. That makes bunting a much more desirable option.

        • CountryClub

          I hated the Swish bunt and had no problem with the Melky bunt.

      • Tank Foster

        I don’t think it’s a “stupid” play unless you’re playing for 1 run. As was pointed out yesterday, the overall run expectancy for 1+2/no out is virtually the same as for 2+3/one out.

        There are also different ways to interpret the context part, too.

        While I totally agree with Ben on that – I have no trouble with bunting last night, because it’s Melky, and they have the lead, and padding it with one run is very helpful – I can certainly conceive of reasons why Girardi thought it was better to bunt Swisher on Tuesday.

        Again, I wouldn’t have, but I can understand why he thought it was the thing to do. Eliminate the DP possibility…give Melky a chance to tie the game with an out, especially since Texas would have had to play the IF in. If Texas walks Melky, intentionally to set up a force at home, then they have to deal with white-hot Jeter. And maybe Girardi had a feeling about Swisher v. Francisco not being as good a matchup as Melky v. Francisco. Swisher has power, but hasn’t hit many homers at YS, and he’s a very low average hitter. Melky hits for a higher average and strikes out less, so maybe Girardi wanted to take his chances with Melky driving home the tying run with either a hit or walk.

        In my mind, I saw Francisco sucking wind and sweating bullets, and I wanted him to have to actually deal with the dangerous and pesky Swisher. But I sit in an office all day, Girardi has spent his life in baseball and is the manager of the Yankees.

        After thinking about it more, I’m less critical of his decision.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “Melkys bunt proved that a strategy isn’t ’stupid’ just because someone doesn’t agree with it.”

      Nobody claimed that the decision to have Swisher attempt to bunt last night was wrong just because ‘someone didn’t agree with it,’ people had a problem with it because the situation/circumstances made that a controversial call at that point in the game.

      “As one gains knowledge, one learns that there is often more than one way to do things and still have success. As one gains experience, one becomes aware that anothers decision can be perfectly acceptable even though it’s different. Seeing a different point of view is something that there is a dearth of amongst those that choose to criticize.”

      Insinuating that the people who were unhappy with Girardi’s decision to have Swisher bunt last night don’t know all of those things is patronizing and wrong.

      • Chris

        Insinuating that the people who were unhappy with Girardi’s decision to have Swisher bunt last night don’t know all of those things is patronizing and wrong.

        Just like suggesting that people who can see that it wasn’t a horrible call don’t know anything is patronizing and wrong.

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Well, yes. But nobody in this thread did anything of the sort.

          And saying it the way you did, “suggesting that people who can see that it wasn’t a horrible call don’t know anything is patronizing and wrong,” is in itself pretty closed-minded, since you’re saying you are definitely right and others are definitely wrong. You may think</i it was the right call, but saying you ‘can see’ that it’s the right call insinuates that people who disagree simply ‘can’t see’ the undeniable truth the way you can. You may think it was the right call, but there’s certainly room for disagreement on this topic.

          I know it’s nit-picky, but you volunteered your statement. I get your point, but your wording could probably be brushed up a bit.

          • Chris

            Well, yes. But nobody in this thread did anything of the sort.

            Not this thread, but in yesterday’s thread there was plenty of that.

            Also, I never said it was the right call. I’m just saying that it wasn’t a “FIRE GIRARDI” bad call, which seemed to be the prevailing opinion yesterday.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I’m just saying that it wasn’t a “FIRE GIRARDI” bad call, which seemed to be the prevailing opinion yesterday.

              No, it wasn’t, not remotely.

              Again, poll the people who hated the call. Most of those people are the staunchest of Girardi defenders on this board, and many people said they hated the call but then immediately spoke out AGAINST people who bashed Girardi in the larger sense and said that that bad bunt call meant that Girardi was a lousy manager in general.

              That’s a strawman.

              • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Right, this too, thanks. I wasn’t really involved in that bunt/Girardi thread yesterday.

              • Chris

                Apparently I need to be a little more detailed in my posts since everything is being taken literally. I wasn’t suggesting that reasonable people would actually call for Girardi to be fired over the call (hence the caps and quotes). I was just pointing out that the vitriol spewed over the bunt yesterday was far greater than would be justified by that call. In particular, people who suggested that it would actually increase the chances of scoring (and thus tying the game) were shot down time and again, despite the fact that the data supports that.

                Was it the right call in that situation? I don’t know, but it was close enough to a 50/50 decision that people shouldn’t call Girardi stupid for calling for a bunt in that situation.

                • Tank Foster

                  I agree, Chris. On this board, people flame others – not always directly, but often imply derogatory things – and then when called on it they shout “oh I never wrote anything like that” blah blah blah.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I was just pointing out that the vitriol spewed over the bunt yesterday was far greater than would be justified by that call.

                  And I was just pointing out that you conflated two different sets of people being vitriolic about two different things.

                  There is a group of posters who hated the bunt. There is also a group of posters who think that Girardi is a moron who should be fired. Those two groups are not the same.

                • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                  plus, since there’s was so little else going wrong in The Empire (The Evil Empire is neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. Suck on that Theo.), we jump on smaller things.

                  Was it a big deal? Yes. Oh, but by the way, if it works, like somebody said yesterday, Melky’s liner probably goes through a drawn in infield and we win.

                  Hindsight is a bitch–anybody with the future knowledge of a pop out doesnt call it, Joe G who knows a shitton more than most of us do (I think Kabak knows more, maybe Ax, probably not JoeP…sorry…:) )thought he may be able to slip one by because nobody else was thinking it.

                  Like an onside kick in the second quarter…who ever sees that shit coming? Works=genius Fails=wtf amateur hour???

                  plus i’ve seen people go batshit insane about JoeG before, and that wasnt it :D

            • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “Not this thread, but in yesterday’s thread there was plenty of that.”

              Ok… But again, nobody said it here. So, it’s kind of irrelevant until someone does. I don’t mean to be antagonistic about this, it’s just that there seems to be a lot of preemptive complaining around here lately. If someone said something like that in another thread, make your point in that thread. Don’t make it in a different thread, in response to a comment that didn’t make the point your complaining about.

              “Also, I never said it was the right call. I’m just saying that it wasn’t a “FIRE GIRARDI” bad call, which seemed to be the prevailing opinion yesterday.”

              Like I said, I got your point, but your wording was off. No worries.

      • Makavelli

        I didn’t care for the Swisher bunt. But what I liked about yesterday is that he didn’t care about the bad bunt call the day before…he stuck to his guns and called for another bunt the very next day. Some people, after hearing a lot of flack, might stay away just to avoid further commenting. He didn’t let it sway his decision.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Good point. That’s a silver lining of sorts…

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            somehow, i dont see tank head being swayed by public opinion much…seems like it would have to be a pretty big deal, or be signed “Mr. Brian Cashman, your fucking boss for now jackass” to have an impact. Joe seems stubborn like Jorge.

            Jorge for manager? He called a great Andy Pettitte game!

            /lame attempt to be on topic

    • Bo

      Giving up outs is always stupid. You only get 27 of them. Why give away freebies?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Because it’s Melky Cabrera, who has been the virtual equivalent of an automatic out anyway over the past month and change.

        • CountryClub

          At this point I would bunt Melky every time he came to the plate…even if there’s nobody on base.

      • Tank Foster

        Because a three run lead is alot better than a 2 run lead, late in a game?

        Bunting there increased the Yankees chance of scoring 1 run, and didn’t really change the chance of scoring more than 1 run all that much. Melky makes an out in probably 65% of his plate appearances, so making sure the out is productive is what you’re doing. Technically, you’re not giving away an out, and it’s certainly not a freebie, since you’re gaining bases in the process.

        • jsbrendog

          right, the melky bunt makes sense because he has reverted to black hole status and the chances of him not only getting out but making mor than one out is uite large.

          the swisher bunt however was not because he has a much better chance of walking, getting a hit, or only making one out then making multiple outs therefore taking the bat out of someone’s hands who sees a lot of pitches, works deep counts, and walks a ton.

          what if swisher sees 10 pitches? with every pitch the chance of something crazy is there. a wild pitch. a balk. who knows. by bunting you have him do this on the first pitch, you take away the advantage a htiter like swish gives you.

          melky yes.

          swisher no.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            plus the yankees didnt get 27 outs either…

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

    I am glad the rough outings Andy had turned out to be just the rough outings he’s always had, rather than a trend. The improved defense has really helped him a lot this year.

    I’d like to see him get his walks down to where they normally are (less than 3 BB/9) but eh…small whine. His out of nowhere post-ASB k/9 is making up for that, I think.

  • http://thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    Isn’t it funny how things worked out with Posada’s injury (I don’t mean this in a sarcastic way)? It totally opens the door for Girardi to say, “Hey, Posada’s hurt,” which means that A.J. and Molina will work together tomorrow. Funny how things work out, sometimes.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      What will be 100 percent overlooked is the fact that they were going to be working together anyway. It’s a day game after a night game, and Posada had caught the last two games. In fact, Girardi had announced prior to the game on Wednesday that Molina would be catching the afternoon affair.

      • Tom Zig

        What I think he is getting at is that there won’t be any second guessing. There won’t be any “zomg Molina is catching” or “AJ hates Posada”. Just the “oh JoPo is hurt, of course Molina will catch”

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          No, he said that Posada’s injury “opens the door” for Girardi to say that Posada’s not catching Burnett because he got hurt Wednesday night, but the fact that Girardi announced that Molina would be catching Burnett on Thursday before Posada got hurt on Wednesday night makes that a moot point.

          • Tom Zig

            meh fair enough. i tried

    • JGS

      Posada wouldn’t have caught tomorrow regardless–day game after a night game

  • Salty Buggah

    No mention of Jerry Hairston and his HR? Oh well, but I wanna say that this guy has been pretty good for us so far.

    • Salty Buggah

      oh and lets not forget his 2 walks and 34 (!!!) pitches seen

      • Dela G

        he personally KO’d Holland

        • Chris

          I guess Damon wad right that Hairston would be better than him last night.

  • acb

    if burnett throws a great game tomorrow i bet molina will be catching him more often.

    • Salty Buggah

      Meh, maybe but I doubt it. Jorge’s been fine with him for the most part.

      • Bo

        You think Andy minded Posada catching him? That 3 run blast to give a cushion kinda mattered a little right?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Bo: 1
          Red Herring: 0

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            his comment does go to the core of the argument that many have made here–that even if jopo’s defense is suspect, or you dont like his stubborn calling, home runs are nice–especially with men on.

            molina=/=home run

            of course, picking andy to make that argument really weakens your point, cause andy went out of his way to say jorgie called a good game…

  • ShuutoHeat

    Good win and nice way to put the brakes on the lost last night.

    On a side note, Penny asked for his own release and got it? Wow.
    I don’t know about anyone else, but methinks Tazawa is due for a series of bad performances.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Theo is such a supergenius.

      Penny and Smoltz are gonna put them over the top.

      /ESPNinMarch’d

      • PhukTheHeck

        1. Boston Red Sox—Oddly, I like their moves more than the Yankees. Penny and Smoltz could easily win more games than Sabathia and Burnett.

        /Jeff Pearlman

        The gift that keeps on giving

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Perlman may be right though.

          Smoltz is now in the sissy-boy league, and I’m sure Penny will be right behind him, and they could both win like 15 games during September in THAT league. So they may just catch CC and AJ yet.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Red Sox deep in rotation
        Thursday, January 15, 2009
        Marc Hulet from FanGraphs (sourced via ESPN’s Rob Neyer)

        “The Boston Red Sox organization may have the best pitching depth in all of Major League Baseball. The veteran starting rotation currently boasts Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, and John Smoltz. For those of you counting at home, that adds up to six quality starting pitchers. Six pitchers that could probably be No. 3 starters or better on almost any club in the Majors.

        Now to be fair, both Penny and Smoltz come with major questions marks because of their health. Smoltz, 41, will only be available for half a season at best, but he could be a major difference maker in a short playoff series — as either a starter or a reliever. Penny won 16 games in both 2006 and 2007. At the age of 30, he still has the chance to regain his old form if his arm does not fall off. All he really needs to do is stay healthy until Smoltz is ready. Together, Penny and Smoltz make a pretty intimidating two-headed monster.

        …The club has six veteran pitchers penciled in for five spots in the 2009 rotation. But there are four more talented pitchers standings on the outside edge of the mound looking in: Justin Masterson, Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, and Junichi Tazawa.”

        http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....=Neyer_Rob

        Ten dominant starters, the Sox have? Man, we’re screwed.

  • LivefromNewYork

    Nothing to do with the game but David Cone seemed surprised that Jack Nicholson was rocking a Yankees cap.

    On the set of The Departed (set in Boston), Jack famously refused to wear a Red Sox hat because he’d been a Yankee fan his whole life.

    • bumboklaat

      Hell yea, Jack is from Neptune, NJ…he was actually in my town, Manasquan a few weeks back chillen on the boardwalk.

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    Andy has been very good since the break. His K rate is climbing which is nice.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I keep expecting it to fall and it just…doesn’t. I hope it doesn’t come Sept/Oct, though.

  • Makavelli

    Who would have thought that an old veteran lefty with a history of elbow problems would get better through out the length of the season while a young pitcher with a body similar to Roger Clemens would get worse…

    Yes, I know. Pettitte doesn’t throw nearly as hard…but still. Throwing high 80’s/low 90’s at 37 could be comparable to throwing low-mid 90’s in your early 20’s…maybe?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Who would have thought that an old veteran lefty with a history of elbow problems would get better through out the length of the season while a young pitcher with a body similar to Roger Clemens would get worse…

      Plenty of people.

      Young pitchers struggle, it’s what they do. And every day Andy gets older, he also puts his 2008 injury one more day in the past.

      • Makavelli

        His 2008 injury was his shoulder though, wasn’t it?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Rejoinder: The young pitcher with the body similar to Roger Clemens didn’t start struggling until we started futzing with his spot in the rotation and giving him extra days off.

        Correlation does not equal causation, but it is worth noting that the corralation lines up perfectly. He was scuffling, he straightened himself out and was lights-out, and then we screwed with his rhythm and now he’s out of sorts again.

        • Makavelli

          I absolutely agree. I’ve been saying that all along.

          What can you do instead of that right now though? Is there really any other option at this point?

          • Tank Foster

            Yeah, you can just let him start regularly and forget the innings limit. Not without risk, but neither is the present course of action without any risk.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              But the present course of action has increased risk of suckitude. Less risk of injury. That’s why we chose the present course. We’re willing to sacrifice short-term quality for long-term health.

              • Tank Foster

                That’s the prevailing opinion. As you know, I don’t agree with the pseudo-science underlying the idea that letting him pitch regularly would increase his risk of injury.

                But I agree that, if I’m wrong, it’s baaaad, because an arm or shoulder injury is worse than Joba sucking the rest of the season.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            What can you do instead of that right now though? Is there really any other option at this point?

            Nothing. Grin and bear it.

  • Tank Foster

    Interesting last night was David Cone pointing out that Pettitte was “calling his own game,” and that this was a marked departure from prior years. Andy shook off Jorge alot, and Cone thought this was something recent…last 6 starts or something.

    Does anything ever get through to Jorge? I love the guy, what a fantastic hitter, and what a player. But you know, Jeter saw the writing on the wall with his aging and his mediocre range at SS, and he worked out in the off season and started working with a coach to improve his range. It seems to have paid off.

    With all the continuing complaints about Jorge, would it be so much to ask for him to be a little more humble and maybe work on this aspect of his game? All I see from him is repeated trips to the mound with various starters, taking the mask off behind the plate and gesturing/calling to the pitcher, etc…..arguing with the pitchers, basically.

    Maybe Jorge HAS worked on his pitch calling, I don’t know. But I think when you have multiple lines of evidence all pointing to the same thing (Mussina’s trouble with Jorge…Chamberlain…AJ….RJ…Clemens at first…now Pettitte), I think it’s fair to assume there’s a problem there.