The Yankees have won 9 of their last 12 games and the last four games they’ve lost have been started by Scott Kazmir, John Lackey, Johan Santana, and Dan Haren. You really can’t complain about that, though it is cause for concern heading into tonight’s game against another big name pitcher, Toronto’s Roy Halladay. Here’s the good news: after a fantastic April (4-0, 2.28 ERA), Halladay’s been something of a mess, posting a 6.35 ERA over his last eleven starts and a 6.85 ERA over his last four. The bad news is that it seems a significant part of that has been bad luck. Halladay has allowed 92 hits in his last 66 2/3 innings, which can be traced to his inflated .323 opponents average on balls in play. That cannot, however, be traced to the Toronto defense, which is fifth in the majors at turning balls in play into outs and puts a solid in field quartet behind the groundballing Halladay.
More bad news is that Andy Pettitte’s recent history is actually worse than Halladay’s. He’s posted a 6.99 ERA over his last eight starts, a 9.00 mark in his last five, and a whopping 13.14 in his last three. More encouraging signs are that Pettitte fell just one out short of a quality start in Tampa last week, and handled the Blue Jays expertly in a hard-luck loss back in late May when he was undone by poor defense and run support and Aaron Hill’s steal of home. Halladay last faced the Yankees in September of last year, leaving the game after 3 1/3 innings with a forearm strain.