Read 'em and weep
You couldn't blame Andy Pettitte's teammates if they shackled Joe Girardi to the dugout bench the next time the 41-year old takes the mound for the Yankees. The bullpen blew up two potential Petttitte winning efforts in a six day span. In each case Girardi may have been premature when he yanked his longest tenured starting Yankees pitcher.
This past Sunday the Yankees were nine outs from beating Baltimore when the Orioles hammered the Yankees pen for seven runs in the 7th inning. Pettitte departed Friday night's contest with the Boston Red Sox after six innings and 100 pitches only to see his 8-3 lead turn in a disgusting 12-8 loss. To make matters worse it came on the heels of the blown comeback effort the night before.
Things started out well Friday night, as opposed to the first game of the series on Thursday. Alfonso Soriano smacked a 2-run home run off starter Felix Doubront in the 1st inning. Vernon Wells contributed an RBI and a pair of runs scored, Brett Gardner knocked in two, and Eduardo Nunez had a pair of hits with a ribbie and a run scored.
Then came the fateful 7th inning yet again. This time Girardi didn't allow Pettitte to start the inning as he had on Sunday. Instead he brought in Phil Hughes, who was making his first appearance since he was shifted/demoted to the bullpen. Hughes managed to retire one batter, but was charged with four runs, three hits and a walk.
Boone Logan replaced Hughes and struck out David Ortiz for the second out, but the bases remained loaded. With little option, Girardi stuck with Logan against Yankees killer Mike Napoli. Big Mistake. Napoli fouled off a couple of 3-2 pitches before he delivered a grand slam to tie the game at eight apiece. Logan then departed with a sore elbow that he said bothered him during Napoli's at-bat.
Preston Claiborne continued his disappearing act an inning later with some help from the guy who somehow passes himself off as a competent pitcher, Joba Chamberlain. Four runs later the Red Sox were ahead 12-8 and the Yankees were done.
Remarkably, the Yankees are STILL 2.5 behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost once again, but have been passed by Baltimore and Cleveland in the standings. Both teams and the Rays have a game in hand to the Yankees and the Indians have the easiest schedule the rest of the way.
Girardi talks about his ramshackle bullpen
David Robertson woke up with a cranky shoulder Friday morning and went for an MRI. Tendinitis was found and D-Rob will be out for a number of days. Logan will go for an MRI as well. Shawn Kelley hasn't pitched since September 1, but might be available on Sunday.
Andy Pettitte talks about his start