Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Long Time Partnership Rights the Yankees Ship

Appreciating the time left as teammates

Some things go perfectly together. Hamburgers and hot dogs, Laurel and Hardy, spaghetti and meatballs. When it comes to the Yankees though it's Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.

Needing innings from his starter, Joe Girardi let Pettitte go a full eight innings before Rivera came on in the 9th for the first time in his final season. The result was a 4-2 Yankees win over the Red Sox to salvage the finale of the three games series. (It was the 69th all-time win that Rivera preserved for Pettitte.)

Pettitte was extremely efficient and finished with a 94 pitch count. He scattered eight hits, allowd a run, walked one, and struck out three. I thought for sure Girardi would take him out after a bit of a shaky 7th inning and again when Pettitte gave up a lead off single to Jose Iglesias in the 8th. Pettitte made the non move pay off with one of his patented double play grounders, Jacoby Ellsbury the victim of a 3-6-3 DP between Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez.

Rivera got squeezed by home plate ump Mike DiMuro and issued a walk to Dustin Pedroia to start the top of the 9th. One out later Jonny Gomes doubled to bring the tying run to the plate. Youngsters Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. got schooled though by the all time saves leader.

Middlebrooks grounded out to Overbay to allow a run to score, but it was the second out of the inning. Then it was welcome to the Majors Mr. Bradley, as he watched a called third strike end the game.

The Yankees had their first lead of the season when Overbay singled in a pair of runs off Ryan Dempster in the 2nd inning. It was Dempster's debut with his new team. The right-hander was normally a quick worker in the National League, but Thursday night he channeled slow poke Josh Beckett on the mound. He walked four batters and threw 101 pitches in just five innings of work.

Brett Gardner hit a solo shot off of Dempster in the 3rd inning and Francisco Cervelli added a big insurance run in the 7th when he hit a 400-footer off Clayton Mortensen. (How did the Red Sox find two pitchers named Clayton, Buchholz being the other.)


The supposedly popless Yankees now have four home runs in three games.

Brett Gardner got a gift single off the first base bag, but was gunned down by right fielder Shane Victorino when he tried to stretch it into a double.

Nunez had a nice night in the field and at the plate, with two hits and a run scored. Both he and Gardner were thrown out attempting to steal second base by backup catcher David Ross.

Ichiro Suzuki is off to a slow start - 1-9 (.111)

The Yankees released relievers Clay Rapada and David Aardsma after both had been DFA'ed earlier. I can only think that Rapada's bursitis is much worse than originally diagnosed or there's something more than bursitis. I figured that Vidal Nuno might have a shot at the other lefty spot in the pen, but I spoke to Scranton beat writer Donnie Collins who said Nuno would be a starter in Triple-A and has not looked as effective as a reliever in the past.

The Yankees travel to Detroit now for a weekend series, with day games Friday and Sunday. The highlight of the series will be Sunday when CC Sabathia faces Justin Verlander.

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