Let’s be real: Friday night’s loss was annoying as hell because of the offensive no-show against Jeremy freakin’ Bonderman. The Yankees shook off the loss and rebounded with a 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon, getting a very encouraging outing from the starting pitcher and two well-timed hits from the utility infielder. Let’s recap…
- 85 & Fly: Andy Pettitte ran out of gas once his pitch count reached 70 or so last time out, so Joe Girardi made sure to have the quick hook ready and got his 40-year-old starter out of there after 85 effective pitches on Saturday. Pettitte was outstanding, allowing just three singles and one run in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out six and had six 1-2-3 innings in his seven full frames. It was vintage Andy, better than that really, and he got his well-earned 250th career win. Congrats to him.
- New York Nix: The Yankees have scored a whole bunch of runs early in games recently, but they hadn’t scored a run after the third inning since Monday until Jayson Nix singled in Ichiro Suzuki in the fifth inning. Two innings later, Nix singled in Brett Gardner for an insurance run. There’s no real reason to ever bat Jayson second, but the beauty of baseball is that anything can happen on a given day. On this day he went 2-for-4 with a walk and drove in both the go-ahead and insurance runs.
- Shaky But Effective: David Robertson and Mariano Rivera pitched in relief of Pettitte and were a bit shaky, but ultimately they nailed down the win. Robertson walked Brendan Ryan (!) while Rivera surrendered a jam-shot single to Kyle Seager and a four-pitch walk to former teammate Raul Ibanez. Mo struck out the side for his 22nd save. Girardi would have had hell to pay if they blew the game after taking Pettitte out so early, but I don’t have a problem with it. Again, 40-year-old coming off back injuries in each of the last two months. Better safe than sorry so soon after coming off the DL.
- Leftovers: Gardner went 3-for-5 with two doubles and is hitting very well right now … Nix and Vernon Wells (!) were the only other players with multiple hits … the top five hitters went 9-for-22 while the bottom four went 1-for-14 … Kevin Youkilis jammed his back sliding into first base on a defensive play (exactly how he re-injured it last time) and was icing it after the game, but apparently it’s nothing serious and he’ll be fine for tomorrow’s game. Considering his offensive performance of late, a day off wouldn’t be the end of the world.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays beat the Orioles while the Red Sox split their doubleheader with the Angels, so the Yankees are one back of Boston, one up on Tampa, and two up on Baltimore in the loss column. David Phelps and Felix Hernandez is your pitching matchup for this final game of this four-game set on Sunday afternoon.