Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pettitte Gets Back on Track; Yankees Alone in 1st

Andy Pettitte was just plain horrible in back to back starts against the Houston Astros and Oakland A's that preceded Saturday night's contest with Kansas City. 10 earned runs, 14 hits, and five walks allowed in just 9.1 innings pitched. Needless to say the Yankees lost both games, though Pettitte only figured in the decision against the Astros.

It was a worrisome pair of outings, particularly after Pettitte had a start pushed back to balky back. But have no fear, good ol' Andy is here. Pettitte was back on track in Kansas City last night with seven efficient innings and his 4th win in a 3-2 victory over the Royals.

Pettitte needed a good start, especially after his son Josh recently pitched his second high school no-hitter of the year. 68 of Pettitte's 100 pitches were for strikes, which helped him to seven strikeouts and just one walk. He was staked to a 1-0 lead, but when Billy Butler blasted a solo home run in the 4th inning, Pettitte was in a 2-1 hole. Glove in front of his face, eyes glaring at catcher Chris Stewart's mitt, Pettitte wasn't about to allow any more runs. With his cutter in tact, Pettitte allowed just two more Royals to reach base.

Meanwhile the Yankees were up against James Shields, one of the better right-handers in baseball...except when it comes to the Yankees. With a man aboard in the 5th inning, Shields served up a pitch on a silver platter to Vernon Wells, who smacked it out for his 8th home run of the year.  That's all Pettitte and the pen needed.

David Robertson struck out the side in the 8th inning on 12 pitches and Mariano Rivera picked up his 14th save in as many tries after he allowed a two-out double to Salvador Perez in the 9th.

You can bet Joe Girardi breathed a sigh of relief after he saw his old battery mate Pettitte pitch like his old self.


Jayson Nix has always had home run pop in his bat, but never had much to show when it came to batting average and OPS. The Royals must think he's Ty Cobb though - in the two games, Nix has four hits, a pair of walks, and was hit by a pitch in nine plate appearances.

Pettitte has won his last 10 starts vs. the Royals.

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