Pettitte sparkles as Teixeira seals the deal

Game 116 Spillover Thread
2009 Draft: NoMaas' signing deadline interview with Damon Oppenheimer

By the time Mark Teixeira came to bat leading off the ninth inning, the Yankees already knew that Boston had plated six in the 9th to beat the Texas Rangers. (They probably didn’t know that five of the runs came with two outs after Clay Buchholz got himself thrown out at the plate as a pinch runner, but I digress.)

So as the 2-2 game headed into its final regulation frame, Mark Teixeira did what he does best: He ended it. He took the offering from Mark Lowe and slammed it into the right field seats. While the Yankees would tack on an insurance run later in the inning on a Nick Swisher single, that third run would be all the Yanks would need as they defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-2.

Tonight, the spotlight belonged to Andy Pettitte. After Yankee ace CC Sabathia went eight strong and struck out ten on Thursday night, Pettitte nearly out-dueled him. At 44 pitches through two innings and after surrendering two first-inning runs, Andy was, well, dandy. He nailed down ten of his 18 outs via the K and allowed just six hits and a walk. It was the first time since July 19 and 20, 2000, that Yankee pitchers struck out ten on consecutive days. Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens were the last two Yankee hurlers to accomplish that feat.

For Pettitte, the key tonight was the free-swinging Seattle Mariners who took too many strikes. Of his 67 strikes, 21 of them were called and another 19 were on swings-and-misses. By taking a lot of strikes and swinging through many others, the Mariners’ offense basically dug its own grave.

Pettitte would leave the game with 111 pitches through six innings and did not stick around to factor into the decision. He has been spectacular since the All Star break. In six starts, he has thrown 39.2 innings to the tune of a 2.04 ERA with 43 strike outs. Yet, he has just one win to show for it and tonight saw him nail another no decision.

After Pettitte left, Brian Bruney threw a scoreless 7th; Phil Hughes survived two walks with two strike outs of his own in the 8th; and Mariano Rivera, unavailable with a sore shoulder a few days ago, needed just nine pitches to record his AL-leading 34th save of the year.

Offensively, the Yanks were stymied by Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Australian lefty limited the Yanks to a few scratched runs. They scored on a Jerry Hairston ground-out in the second and a Derek Jeter single in the fifth. He was nearly as good as Pettitte but could not and did not go the distance. As the Red Sox did to Texas’ bullpen in the 9th, so too did the Yankees to Seattle’s.

And win 73 is in the books.

Game 116 Spillover Thread
2009 Draft: NoMaas' signing deadline interview with Damon Oppenheimer
  • Drew

    Pettitte has proven me wrong thus far in the second half. He’s been flat out great. As for getting the ND, I’m sure he’s not too worried, those incentives are kicking in like crazy. Good to see his son in the dugout, that’s pretty cool.

    If Bruney can continue his resurgence and Marte can comeback and pitch well, our strength of a pen will get even better. Then, the only problem will be getting everyone innings to keep them sharp.

    Mitre seems to have the stuff, hopefully tomorrow he converts it into results.

    • jim p

      Tyler Kepner’s story on the game ends with Marte coming up with shoulder inflammation and not able to reach 93 mph consistently. Hoping the inflammation is just a story to keep him in the minors til he’s really ready.

      Also Gardner not expected back before Sept 1.

      • PinstripesForeverDougie

        Let’s be honest, at this point Marte contributing to the team
        in significant situations seems unlikely. Not like this bullpen has ever needed Marte, and it seems Girardi has moved on without him.
        More importantly, the fact we won’t be getting Garner back till Sept 1 is dire news for a team that needs to rest its outfielders.
        In particular, Melky’s bat is starting to slow down and I’m worrying he’ll be tuckered out by the time September arrives. Hurry back Brett “Gritty” Gardner, we need someone to steal some bases.
        Great pitching of late for the Yanks and I can only hope Mitre learned a thing or too from CC & Andy. It should not be impossible for him to give us a quality outing of 6 innings and 3-4 runs. It’s now or never Surge.

      • crawdaddie

        I think the Yankees are playing roster games because if Marte was still having shoulder inflammation then why did he pitch tonight. Also, I think they want to keep pitching to build up arm strength which is why he’s not reaching 93 consistently. Gardner is another victim of the roster game as apparently the Yankees don’t want to send down Pena and in Marte’s case, Robertson. However, Mitre needs to show us something on Saturday.

  • Salty Buggah

    I love it when the Yanks kill other teams with the MT25 and A13 bombs we have. It’s awesome

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      Just wait until the Yankees create some havoc when the JM83 bomb is unleashed.

      • DP

        Or AJ81….I would love if he took on the NFL WR persona to go with that 81. I’d love a cocky WR/BJ Upton persona from A-Jax. Makes being the Yankee centerfielder the glamorous position it should be.

      • Salty Buggah

        Oh boy, I can’t wait. That’s still being built in Trenton though. But it’s close to being ready. It’s going to absolutely obliterate MLB.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Let’s hope that Ca$hman remembers to defend that thermal exhaust port a little bit better.

  • JackISBACK

    I need to memorize the standings,and keep repeating it while going to sleep, so its etched in my brain that we have a good lead, so having to buy a new remote after every Mitre start isn’t financially prudent.

    Great recovery by Andy, albeit vs. a less than stellar M’s team. That was just a filthy bomb by Tex, those jet streams in RF to Safeco must have been blowing out.

  • Salty Buggah

    From Mark Feinsand:

    Spooky coincidence? Teixeira’s 30th home run and Rivera’s 30th consecutive save lift Yankees 30 games over .500 for first time this season.

    nice

    • Drew

      first time I voted on Lohud’s “how will the season end? Poll” (of course I voted “good times are back, Yanks win the WS,” I was the 1996th respondent. The next day, I voted again, I was the 2009th respondent. pretty cool

      • Salty Buggah

        Yesterday, the magic number was 42, you know, Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, and Mo’s number.

        I like what the signs are telling.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          Douglas Adams FTW

  • DP

    This team is so, so awesome. When you think about how awesome compared to other Yankee teams you have to at least start in 2004. 46 games to the playoffs and it’s already the best team in at least 5 years, and unlike 2004 this feels like it’s gonna last awhile. The combination of those feelings hasn’t been since the late 90s. Top to bottom, for my money, the best organization in baseball.

  • Jeffrey

    Gotta respect Ryan Rowland-Smith, he shut down the Yankees, but they still got it done. That Aussie hurler has been pretty good since entering the Mariners rotation.

    Bruny looks good, but I’d like to see him getting strikeouts again. His past two outing have been K-less. Then he can be considered dominant again.

    Yankees have a .786 winning % since the break. That’s stellar.

  • Dela G

    The yanks are on fucking fire and i love it.

    I hope the sox and rangers bury themselves as the WC is concerned so the yanks don’t have to worry about falling back at all.

  • Peter Lacock

    I need to be told again how old and washed up Andy is,
    and how Cash was an idiot to resign him.
    Where are those people?

    • http://www.twitter.com/shaked RichYF

      Andy was resigned to an incentive-laden deal that was designed to reward him for staying healthy. A healthy Pettitte gives the Yanks a chance to win almost every time out.

      Nobody expected him to pitch as well as he has since the ASB. He’s just really locked in right now and the fans are benefiting. If he can keep this up into October, there will be no hesitation to throw him out there in a big game.

      He’s filling Wang’s role on this team brilliantly. He’s fulfilled his contract and more. It’s just been a pleasure having him on the team.

      • Bugsy

        Andy’s pitching like Blanton!

  • V

    Rowland-Smith only throws high-80s, touching 90-91, but damn, did you see how QUICKLY he works? That has to keep hitters off balance a bit. Even when they stepped out on him to get a breather, the SECOND they stepped back in and got ready, there was the pitch.

    Pretty quick delivery too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

    Did anyone else notice Robbie and Tex’s secret handshake after he hit the home run? Fistbump followed by a salute. Awesome.

  • pete

    I love the smell of napalm in the mornin

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    I’m glad they signed Tex.

    • Kiersten

      Understatement of the year.

    • Jeffrey

      This team would be in big trouble had they not signed Tex.

  • John Duci

    This team is DIRTY.

  • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Question – Regarding Pettitte and possible offseason arbitration machinations… Does anyone remember examples of other players with similarly structured contracts (low base with incentives) who have gone to arbitration? Just wondering how arbitrators might deal with a contract like that, whether they generally raise the base and incentives by a percentage or maybe lump the total payment made to the player in the prior year (base and incentives aggregated) and then use that as the starting point to determine a base salary for the following season, etc. Thanks in advance if anyone has any input.

    • Dela G

      abreu and pettite might be doing that this offseason, but i can’t remember any