Pettitte not sharp as Yanks drop third straight

Game 161: Just two more meaningless games to go
New league forming in the Dominican

For the second straight night the Yankees starting pitcher has struggled and left the game before completing five innings. Not that either would have remotely qualified for the win. On Friday CC allowed nine runs, five earned, through 2.2 innings, and last night Pettitte allowed five, three earned, in a slightly longer span, 4.1 innings. The offense could plate only three runs, and the game amounted to another loss.

Pettitte’s command was not there last night. He had trouble spotting pitches, and that led to general wildness. He threw just 54 of his 95 pitches (57%) for strikes, which is below his season average of 61 percent and even further below his second-half average of 63 percent. It led to four walks, and three of those runners scored — though the last two were because of Al Aceves‘s errant throw.

It wasn’t what the Yanks were looking for from Pettitte, but then again this was just a start to stay in rhythm. No one likes it that Pettitte didn’t pitch well, but as far as next week is concerned, it means nothing. Everything starts anew then, and Pettitte will come into his first playoff start well rested. The Yanks will need him to play a big role in every series.

After the throwing error, Aceves worked a perfect 2.1 innings of relief, striking out three Rays. Gaudin followed that with 1.1 innings of one-hit ball, striking out two Rays of his own. Aceves’s spot on the postseason roster is a lock, and Gaudin’s performance, combined with his efforts in the rotation this month, should earn him a long look. He, Brian Bruney, and Joba Chamberlain are vying for what could be just one roster spot.

On the offensive side, the Yanks put on 12 baserunners, which is not a bad total, but could bring only three around to score. This was the product of a 3 for 11 mark with runners in scoring position. With a version of the B or even C lineup in, it’s tough to expect more. Matsui and Swisher were the only regulars without a hit, though Swisher drew a walk.

Just one more game to go. A.J. Burnett gets his last tune-up under acting manager Jorge Posada tomorrow afternoon. It’d be nice to see the regulars get in some hits and finish the season with a win, but if they don’t? Meh.

Game 161: Just two more meaningless games to go
New league forming in the Dominican
  • Dela G

    bruney should be in siberia, not on the precious 25 man roster

    bring in gaudin over joba if joba sucks it up tomorrow

    gaudin has been geico money

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Granted, this is a small sample size, but Brian Bruney’s last 3 outings: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K. I don’t understand why everyone treats Bruney as though he killed our dog. He’s not that bad (or that good, but still).

      • Dela G

        well i never said he killed the dog, but he’s shat the bed all too many times in the big spots or even when we need him to keep a game close (that series we got swept in anaheim and really scarred my memory when i think of bruney). However he then goes and has great outings (like the 15 inning game where he had 2 solid innings and the game last weekend against boston).

        He’s too hot and cold for me, and his leash is so short, why not favor gaudin over him.

        • Jersey

          Heh, you could be talking about Joba.

    • Lucky

      Molina’s postseaon OPS: 875
      Posada: 731
      Jeter: 845
      Arod: 856


      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Molina’s postseaon OPS: 875 – ABs, 8
        Posada: 731 – ABs, 322
        Jeter: 845 – ABs, 495
        Arod: 856 – ABs, 147

        There are lie, damn lies, statistics, and small sample sizes!

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    One thing is for sure: If NY loses in the ALDS to either MIN or DET, I’ll be absolutely disgusted.

    NY should not have to play more than 4 games vs. either of those teams to beat them.

    ALCS? Then all bets are off.

  • Doug

    with jorge holding the clipboard, maybe he should put himself behind the plate with AJ on the mound. it’s obvious girardi has no intention to.

  • Tom Zig

    Finally the last meaningless game of the year…time for the playoffs!

    It’s on like donkey kong!

  • aj

    Aint no thing but a chicken wing on a string, at burger king.

    Atleast beckett didn’t pitch well.

  • BigBlueAL

    Since the Yankees will use the “A” lineup tomorrow, Jose Molina will be the starting Catcher.

  • crapulent aka I said good day sir

    I know that none of these performances are bothering anyone else but they’re bothering me. Have the Yankees cooled or is it just post-winning-the-division lethargy? This is not a good time to be cooling off.

    • Thomas A. Anderson

      There have been teams that have played on fire going into the playoffs and been knocked out in the ALDS. See the 2007 Phillies and 2006 Yankees and 2008 Angels.

      How well you play down the stretch means largely nothing when trying to predict playoff success.

      • Lucky

        I agree with this, although two guys have me concerned:

        * CC with his pattern of collapse after Oct. 1 and his continued heavy use in 2007 (2nd most pitches thrown in his career)

        * Pettitte, with his age, the mystery health issues of a few weeks back, and his general decline in IP over the past 5 years. I’m not saying it’s a sure issue, but there is reason to worry about him being out of gas.

        • Lucky

          I meant 2009, not 2007

    • cr1

      Hard for me not to be at least a little bothered, but then you raise up your head and look around and it’s happening to some of the other best teams in the sport at the same time.

      • The Three Amigos

        The pitching performances have obviously not been great… but when the team is treating these games like ST you can’t be overly concerned.

        Ill bet we see the A offense today playing like it, as a final tuneup. In terms of pitchers though Aj is not going more then 5, and I wouldnt be surprised to see Robertson, Coke, Marte, Joba, Hughes and Mo

  • Pete C.

    Looks like a stumble into the playoffs.

  • crapulent aka I said good day sir

    Maybe they need to remember what it’s like to lose and how they don’t like it rather than be stunned in the playoffs.

  • Me

    Lucky is Molina himself.