Friday night’s game against the Reds was kinda sorta like those last three games against the Blue Jays and Orioles … except the Yankees won! It’s a mid-May miracle. Let’s recap…
- Just Dandy: So, remember when we were all nervous about Andy Pettitte not being effective after his year-long hiatus? Yeah, forget that. Pettitte was masterful on Friday, carving up the Cincinnati hitters with every pitch in the book. He threw 115 pitches (78 strikes, 67.8%), struck out nine, walked one, and allowed just four singles. Andy was locating everything on the corners and burying his offspeed stuff in the dirt. With a Game Score of 82, this was Pettitte’s best start since May 2006 with the Astros. Holy crap.
- A-Run: The Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position but they did get a man home from third base with less than two outs on Alex Rodriguez’s ground ball to short. It’s a start, I guess. They didn’t cash in on a similar chance in the second inning and amazingly turned a bases loaded, no outs situation into zero runs in the sixth. In fairness, replays showed that Derek Jeter was incorrectly called out at home on a force play even though the catcher’s foot didn’t touch the plate. Still, they were terrible in these spots yet again.
- Homers Cure All: With a 1-0 lead through going into the eighth, this one was set up perfectly for disappointment. Some reliever, probably Rafael Soriano, would blow the lead and waste Pettitte’s effort because the offense didn’t do a damn thing. Instead, the Yankees tacked on a trio of insurance runs in the only way they know: with the long ball. Robinson Cano crushed a solo shot off Balki Arroyo about halfway up the right field bleachers before Raul Ibanez chipped in a two-run shot to right. Seriously, it was a huge sigh of relief once Ibanez put it out of reach.
- Leftovers: Boone Logan has been insanely good of late and he continued the trend with a scoreless ninth … Yankees pitchers managed to strike out Joey Votto three times (Pettitte twice and Logan once), only the 22nd three-strikeout game of his career (655 games) … the 8-9-1 hitters (Dewayne Wise, Chris Stewart, Jeter) saw a total of 18 pitches in ten plate appearances, which is gross … Stewart threw out Drew Stubbs trying to steal second in the sixth and I swear it was one of the quickest releases I’ve ever seen; it was gorgeous.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. These same two teams will play again on Saturday afternoon, when Ivan Nova will make his first start since suffering injuries to his right foot and ankle in Baltimore five days ago. If something happens and he can’t go, it’ll be either Freddy Garcia or David Phelps. Homer Bailey will be on the bump for the Reds.