Pettitte carries Yanks to win over Reds

Source: FanGraphs

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. 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.

O’Brien stellar in Double-A debut

RHP Cory Arbiso was placed on the DL with a mid-back strain.

Triple-A Scranton (9-8 win over Toledo)
2B Kevin Russo: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
RF-CF Colin Curtis: 3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB, 1 CS — seven hits in his last 13 at-bats (.538)
1B Steve Pearce: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K — fourth homer in his last ten games
DH Jack Cust: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
LF Ronnie Mustelier: 2-4, 1 HBP
3B Brandon Laird: 1-3, 2 BB — six hits in his last 18 at-bats (.333)
C Frankie Cervelli: 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB — helluva game, but he also bounced into a 5-4-3 triple play
SS Ramiro Pena: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB
CF Ray Kruml: 1-1, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — not sure why he was lifted in the fifth
PH-RF Cole Garner: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
LHP Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 Balk, 1 HB, 3/4 GB/FB — 56 of 94 pitches were strikes (59.6%) … first dud since coming off the DL
RHP Nelson Figueroa: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 31 of 51 pitches were strikes (60.8%)
LHP Justin Thomas: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 of 19 pitches were strikes (63.2%)
RHP Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — seven of 17 pitches were strikes … loaded the bases with no one out, but then got a strikeout and a double play to escape

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Game 39: Interleague

Not gonna see Aroldis Chapman tonight, he's pitched in the last two games. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Do you watch much NL baseball? It’s weird, it’s like a parallel baseball universe where games are less competitive and players like Adam Kennedy bat fifth for a first place team. Less competitive probably isn’t the right way to put it, but the games are definitely different. Spend a week watching Senior Circuit baseball and you’ll have a new appreciation for just how devastating AL East baseball is. The lineups are relentless, the pitchers are so powerful, the rosters are so fine-tuned so everyone on the 25-man roster has a specific role. The NL is just … different.

Welcome to the first series of 2012 Interleague Play. Here’s the lineup…

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
RF Raul Ibanez
1B Nick Swisher
DH Eric Chavez
LF Dewayne Wise
C  Chris Stewart

LHP Andy Pettitte

Tonight’s game will start a little after 7pm ET and can be seen on My9 locally and MLB Network nationally. enjoy.

Report: Two teams interested in Francisco Cervelli

Via Wilmer Reina and MLBTR, forgotten backup catcher Frankie Cervelli has heard that two clubs are interested in trading for him, but the Yankees do not want to move him. Just a shot in the dark: I’m guessing the two teams are the Angels and Nationals. Both are short behind the plate due to long-term injuries at the moment.

“Now I only worry about working at my job and developing as a player,” said Frankie of the rumors. He’s hitting just .217/.272/.255 in 28 games for Triple-A Empire State following his surprise demotion at the end of Spring Training. Cervelli is the team’s third catcher and having that depth is important with Austin Romine (back) out for the foreseeable future. Frankie shouldn’t be off limits in trade talks, but the Yankees also shouldn’t be looking to just give him away.

Rosenthal: Yankees not in the mix for Oswalt

Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are not among the teams currently in the mix for free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt. The 34-year-old threw for the Red Sox and Phillies recently and plans to throw for two other clubs in the near future. Oswalt intends to sign soon, possibly within a week, and return to the mound in mid-to-late-June.

The Yankees were connected to Oswalt to varying degrees this offseason, but like everyone else they decided to pass due in part to concerns about the degenerative discs in his back. The rotation hasn’t been great in the early going but I don’t think the Yankees will see Oswalt, who for all intents and purposes is another Andy Pettitte situation, as much of a solution. A trade for an active pitcher seems more likely and frankly smarter than another old guy flier.

The RAB Radio Show: May 18th, 2012

Apologies in advance for the technical issues. If it sounds like we’re talking over each other, it’s because someone’s internet connection was horrible. In any case, we’re talking slumping offense, Teixeira, and pitching on the podcast today.

Podcast run time 36:35

Here’s how you can listen to podcast:


Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.