Yanks lose Pettitte in win over Tampa

Phelps strong as SWB gets 10th win in last 13
Fan Confidence Poll: July 19th, 2010

After the top of the first, the Yanks were on the wrong end of a 3-0 score against Tampa Bay, and two innings later with one out in the top of the third, they lost starter Andy Pettitte to a groin strain. Yet, even with David Price on the mound, this one was far from over. The bullpen held the Rays to just two runs over the final 6.2 innings, and the Yanks knocked around Price to emerge as 9-5 winners. With two wins over Tampa this weekend, the Yanks now have a three-game lead in the AL East.

Early struggles and an early exit

Credit: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

For Pettitte and the Yanks, this one started out on an inauspicious note. BJ Upton started the game with a booming double over Curtis Granderson‘s head in center field, and although Pettitte retired Carl Crawford on a diving play off the mound, Evan Longoria got hit with a pitch. Carlos Peña then blasted yet another home run against the Yankees to make it 3-0. Peña has now hit five home runs against his former employers this season.

Even though Pettitte escaped trouble in the first, he had nothing. After two singles following the home run, A-Rod saved a pair of runs by making a diving play on a Gabe Kapler line drive. In the second, Andy walked two, and in the third, he gave up a pair of hits before leaving the game with a groin strain.

Not sharp, Petitte threw 64 pitches and gave up three earned runs on six hits and three walks. But the Yankees will obviously miss him. If he’s truly out for a month, the Yanks may look to acquire a starting pitcher for the right price. In the meantime, they’ll go with Sergio Mitre and hope for the best.

Coaxing 20 outs from the pen starts with the first one

With Pettitte out of the game, the Yankees had a problem. They had clawed to within one run of Tampa, but the Rays were on the verge of feasting on the pen. Two runners were on, and Kelly Shoppach stood at the plate with a three-ball count. With Chad Gaudin and Dustin Moseley, the two typical long men out of commission, Joe Girardi had to get 20 outs from the rest of the pen, but he knew that the first two could be huge. So instead of throwing in the towel and leading with a lesser reliever, Girardi went to one of his best.

David Robertson entered, and although he issued ball four to Shoppach — with the walk charged to Pettitte — the right-hander got out of it. Sean Rodriguez popped up to short, and Upton flew out to Nick Swisher. In the fourth, Robertson retired Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña and and Ben Zobrist to strand Carl Crawford at first, and the bullpen was off to the races.

The rest of the pen was spectacular. Chan Ho Park threw 1.1 hitless innings. He was followed by Boone Logan, whose only blemish was a Kapler home run. Joba struck out three but gave up a run in 1.2 innings of work, and Mariano Rivera got the final out on one pitch. Every button Girardi pressed worked, but his biggest move was the first. Robertson now has a 2.52 ERA over his last 25 innings, and he has racked up 26 strike outs over that span. Trusting him to work out of trouble gave the Yankees the spring board they needed to stage a comeback.

Knocking around Price for Girardi’s 250th win

Credit: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Before the game started, I predicted a Pettitte-Price pitchers duel, and both southpaws failed to live up to their billing. The Yanks knocked around David Price for seven earned runs over five innings. He walked four and gave up seven hits while striking out just three en route to his fifth loss of the year. Just five days after drawing the All Star Game start, he looked anything but like an All Star.

The Yanks didn’t really have that one big hit today. Cano’s two-run triple got the Yanks off the mat in the bottom of the first. Posada’s booming two-run double helped put the game out of reach. Alex Rodriguez‘s 598th career home run served as icing on the cake. The biggest runs and hits though came from the Brett Gardner-Derek Jeter duo. In the fifth, Brett Gardner walked and stole second before Jeter singled him in. Earlier in the game, Jeter scored the tying run after an 0-2 hit. This was Derek’s first multi-hit game in seven tries and just his second since June 27.

For Price, this was his worst start of the year, and for Joe Girardi, it was his 250th win as Yankee manager. For the Yankees, it was their league-leading 58th win, and the team sent a message to Tampa. The Yanks remain the team to beat in the American League.

WPA goes down, WPA goes up

The Fangraphs box score, and the ESPN box score.

Up Next

The Yankees have a day off on Monday before the Angels come to town on Tuesday for a quick two-game set.

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Phelps strong as SWB gets 10th win in last 13
Fan Confidence Poll: July 19th, 2010
  • CNight_UP

    Was there a need for Rivera to come into the game?

    • JobaTheHeat62

      probly not but he threw one pitch with an off day tomorrow..all is good

    • ultimate913

      He last pitched on the 16th and there is an off day tomorrow(well today now). Why not?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No, but Girardi said he didn’t want Joba throwing any more pitches. Mo kinda needs the work too, just had the entire break off and they have tomorrow off. One inning in nine days isn’t enough to keep the rust off. Not that one pitch today helped…

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

      Was there a need for Rivera to come into the game?

      Peter La Fleur: [after Patches hits Justin in the face with a wrench] Yeah, uh, Patches… are you sure that this is completely necessary?
      Patches O’Houlihan: Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine?
      Peter La Fleur: Probably not.
      Patches O’Houlihan: No, but I do it anyway because it’s sterile and I like the taste.
      Peter La Fleur: …Okay.

      • CNight_UP

        this puts it completely into perspective….

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

          Happy to help.

          • Tom Zig

            So Mariano is sterile and you like his taste?

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

              Yes. Who wouldn’t like the taste of Mariano?

              Nobody, that’s who.

          • rek4gehrig

            Too darn funny

      • Rose

        Look at that hair, Cotton. Flowing and lethal. You just don’t see hair like that anymore these days…

    • rek4gehrig

      Absolument..I was at the game. It was too darn hot and clearly time for the game to end.

  • JobaTheHeat62

    I wanted to turn this game off after the first inning, really was one of those games I thought was finished, but the Yankee fought it out, and it was a very impressive win. Its not how its drawn up, but it worked.

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

    In the meantime, they’ll go with Sergio Mitre and hope for the best.

    I’m glad to hear that confirmed rather than the “Sergio’s not stretched out enough and Dustin Moseley is a possibility” option being considered.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    This really was an awesome win, minus the Pettitte stuff. Feel better soon, Andy.

  • unSATISFYing

    Arods diving catch was more of a leap to his right.. and I’m pretty sure Robertson stranded Crawford at third. Bringing in mo for the last out was just typical girardi over managing.

    • Rivera Venue Blues

      Or maybe he or Eiland noticed something in Joba that signified that he was tired.

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

      Girardi said after the game that they weren’t going to extend Joba beyond 30 pitches. On a day when the bullpen had to get 20 outs, I don’t see why that’s over-managing.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Bringing in mo for the last out was just typical girardi over managing.

      The Yanks knock around an All-Star pitcher to the tune of 7 runs in 5 innings and in the process take 2 of 3 from our closest competitor, and this is what you got?

      There’s just no satisfying some Yankees fans.

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

        I have no idea what you are talking about. I do not understand “context” or “the bigger picture” or “perspective”.

        Sincerely,
        Yankee fans

  • Salty Buggah

    I find it interesting that Girardi took Joba out right when he hit 30 pitches. I’m guessing his pitch limit for today was around 30, which is probably why Joe took him out, not that he panicked. I mean, Joba hadn’t pitched in a week, so you don’t want to hurt him by throwing so many pitches without being stretched out. Mo was the only guy left in the pen, so he predictably came in to finish the game. If this Torre, he might have Broxton’d Joba but thankfully, Girardi can manage a bullpen well.

    Looking at the box score, it seems like Girardi limited every reliever to 25-30 pitches, so let’s not make this into something controversial, because it’s really not.

    • pollo

      I call losses where we should have won a ‘Girardi loss’. It’s only fair to do the same to games we should have lost.

      Girardi win.

      • Pete

        that’s fair. But I also call seasons wherein a bullpen that looked like a scrap heap at the beginning of the season slowly meshes its way into a dominant force by the end of the year, all without overtaxing any of the relievers Girardi wins, too.

    • Frank

      Or maybe he was sending a message- if you can’t get the job done, I’m pulling you.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Or as Ben said above “Girardi said after the game that they weren’t going to extend Joba beyond 30 pitches.” http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-976399

        • Frank

          You really think that’s true with an off day today? Just look how the weekend unfolded. Friday night, he uses D-Rob in the 8th, not Joba. Yesterday, Joba gives up 2 doubles and Joe pulls him. Girardi is sending a message to Joba which he well should.

          • Tampa Yankee

            Yesterday, Joba gives up 2 doubles and Joe pulls him.
            The 1st one came in his 2nd inning of work of a 9-4 game with the 2nd double coming with 2 outs and on his 30th.

            Girardi is sending a message to Joba which he well should.
            What are we in the 5th grade? “Sending message”? Really? This is the big leagues bro, if some one is not cutting it then they need to be addressed and removed from the role they are in, you don’t “send messages”.

            • Tampa Yankee

              The 1st one came in his 2nd inning of work of a 9-4 game with the 2nd double coming with 2 outs and on his 30th so let’s get some perspective on the 2 doubles. It is not like he went out there and right off the bat allowed back-to-back doubles.

              /fixed

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

            The human impulse/desire/need/habit to seek out or create expository narrative when simple, rational, evidential explanations are readily apparent is both maddening and saddening.

            THE MOON IS EATING THE SUN!!! CLEARLY THE GODS ARE ANGRY WITH US, WE MUST SACRIFICE A VIRGIN!!!

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9370232 Mike HC

              Wait.

              You are saying that is no longer the accepted thing to do.

              (I should probably lay low for awhile)

            • rek4gehrig

              Clearly those complaining have never witnessed the great sound of “Enter Sandman” during a game.

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

        As I said, Girardi told reporters later he was keeping his relievers to 30 pitches. You can believe the manager or feel he’s “sending a message.” I think I’ll take the former.

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

          But don’t you see, Ben, that by limiting his relievers to 30 pitches, he’s “sending a message” that they’ll only throw 30 pitches!

          Because he doesn’t have confidence in them to throw 31 or more pitches. This clearly means Joe doesn’t have confidence in his relievers and is sending a message. Clearly.

  • theyankeewarrior

    It was really good to see Joe go to Robertson right off the bat. That shows that he acknowledged the leverage of the situation, not just the inning on the scoreboard.

    Hopefully this game gave the pen some confidence.

  • Nickel

    “In the meantime, they’ll go with Sergio Mitre and hope for the best.”

    C’mon Cash…Mitre? Nova? I say…Bring up the Melvin-ator!!

  • Rose

    Trade for Ted Lilly!!!

    /joking’d

  • Rose

    In the meantime, they’ll go with Sergio Mitre and hope for the best.

    Is Mitre entirely ready yet or is this kind of a rush move? I know he was on the mend…but wouldn’t you at least start a Gaudin or something else? Mitre was hurt for quite a while and he was rehabbing to be in the relief role. Isn’t this somewhat a recipe for another potential injury to Mitre?

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

      Isn’t this somewhat a recipe for another potential injury to Mitre?

      Meh, maybe. I’d rather rush and possibly break Mitre than give a start to Gaudin, though.

      Mitre’s cannon fodder, you use him until you break him. That’s what he’s here for.

      • Rose

        Very true. I wouldn’t have even thought of posting that had Aceves been around…but since he isn’t – I thought Mitre [gulp] may actually be somewhat valuable (at least at the moment when compared to other options).

        Do Yanks stick with their plan and go after a bullpen and/or bat? Or is a starter thrown in there now (as MLBTR has suggested)?

        I would think they still stick to their previous plan and just fill in Pettite’s starts until he comes back.

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

          Oh, I agree, Mitre does have some value and you’d love to see him not get injured, but he’s also a substantially better emergency starter option than Chad Gaudin is, so you balance the risk v. the reward.

          And I’d say we probably listen more on a starter now than pre-injury, and maybe even pull the trigger; Andy’s injury + Hughes’s innings limits makes adding another starter a little less of a luxury (but only a little). If we get a decent bridge man, we can bring Andy back more slowly and maybe even roll with a six-man rotation for a week or two to ease Andy back in and skip Hughes a turn or two.

          It’s still going to have to be a guy willing to flip back and forth into the bullpen, though, because we’re not going to move Hughes to the pen in mid-August, that’s way too soon.

          And I’m not sure which of the non-elite starters on the market would be willing to get demoted to the pen just in exchange for a shot at a ring.

          Perhaps this makes Brett Myers the best candidate, since he’s used to flopping back and forth between rotation and bullpen.

          • Rose

            Yeah, Brett Myers or perhaps Brian Bannister? He wouldn’t mind taking a bullpen stint here and there right?

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

              That may work. But Myers is actually pitching fairly well at the moment; Bannister hasn’t had a league average ERA since 2007. Color me disinterested.

        • Ross in Jersey

          I’m not as much of a Mitre hater. The guy has been a victim of circumstance a lot in his tenure with the Yankees. He was coming off Tommy John when he first came up. As time went on he got better. I was there last year when he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning against the White Sox. I don’t think it was entirely luck… when he’s on he has a Wang-esque sinker. In any case, I think he deserves at least 2 starts in Andy’s place. I don’t really trust Nova to be thrown into the rotation yet.

          I agree with you, I really can’t see Cashman picking anyone up. First of all, teams know Pettitte just went down and would try to hold him up (not that they don’t anyway) for premium talent.

          And who’s he going to get, Lee is gone, Oswalt isn’t worth it with his remaining contract. Anyone else is probably a 5th starter on this team, and wouldn’t be much better than Mitre.

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

            Anyone else is probably a 5th starter on this team, and wouldn’t be much better than Mitre.

            I wouldn’t go that far. Mitre’s not that great. In a pinch, he’ll do, but plenty of starters are far better than he is.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Girardi, to Torre: Pettitte is going to miss a few starts, and I’m not sure who to put in his place. I could go with Gaudin, but he sucks. But Mitre is just coming off the DL, so I don’t want to risk injuring him.

        Torre: Mitre’s cannon fodder, you use him until you break him. That’s what he’s here for.

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

          Touché.

          • Ross in Jersey

            Hey now, Joe’s too busy destroying Broxton’s arm to worry about less valuable guys like Mitre.

            Saw Joe used big Brox for another 2 innings and 40 some-odd pitches on route to a walk off loss. Thank god that man is gone, he’d actually have made our bullpen worse…

  • Pete

    I thought Joba looked terrific in his first inning, but tired in the second. His velocity and command were both down. Which, of course, makes sense, since he started warming up in the 6th inning and it was over 600 degrees celsius yesterday.

  • Ross in Jersey

    Also how can anyone get on Girardi for his moves yesterday? Everything he touched turned to gold. Bringing in a top reliver for a high leverage situation in the 3rd inning is the type of move we should love to see more of. He got 20 outs from a shaky bullpen and won comfortably on a day they lost their starter in the 3rd inning… how can you possibly take anything bad out of that?

    • theyankeewarrior

      This.

      Mo throws one pitch in 3 days and Yankee fans think Joe is over-reacting.

      How about if Joba threw 10 more pitches, feels something in his forearm and is lost for 2 months?

      It’s all overkill. We just took 2 of 3 from Tampa and have the est record in MLB.

      Lets focus our arguments on who we should be targeting before the deadline. It’s mush more interesting.

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

        Lets focus our arguments on who we should be targeting before the deadline. It’s mush more interesting.

        CLIFF LEE!!!!!!