"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Old Fashioned

The Yankees won their first game of the 2013 season like they have won so many others – with Andy Pettitte throwing the first pitch and Mariano Rivera throwing the last. As contemplating the starting lineup remains a daily dose of disappointment, Andy and Mo served much-needed notice to all us sad-sack fans – there is still something very special about rooting for the Yankees.

After CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda issued the Red Sox seven free bases in 6.3 innings, Andy Pettitte reminded us of the benefits of staying in and around the strike zone. He walked only one in eight strong innings and avoided  trouble almost all night long. Three ground balls with men on base turned into three double plays. On the third double play, the key play to getting Andy through the eighth, an audible “hoot” leapt from my couch. I was surprised to learn it came from my throat.

Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli hit solo homers to give the Yankees a little breathing room in the ninth and set the stage for Mariano’s return to the mound for the first time since his knee injury last May. Mariano’s cutter broke sharply throughout his outing and, as David Cone noted, looks more and more like a suped-up slider every year.

He battled Dustin Pedroia but lost him to a walk when the umpire didn’t bite on a 2-2 pitch just off the corner. It was a ball, but it’s a call Mariano gets nearly every time. Jonny Gomes yoinked a double just over the third base bag which set up Pedroia to score on the second out of the inning. Even though the tying run was up in the form of very impressive rookie Jackie Bradley, there was no need to fret. Mariano gave the lefty-hitting rook a time-capsule experience.

The first pitch was the show-me cutter, hard and low but over the plate for a called strike. The second pitch started on the inner half and rode so far in on Bradley’s hands he could do nothing but foul it off his own chest. And on the third pitch Mariano pegged a blue dart at the outside corner which might as well been a mile away to poor Bradley. It was a ball, but the umpire finally caught on to what was happening and rung him up. Yanks 4, Sox 2.

It was the 69th time Mo saved one of Andy’s wins. But as familiar as it was, it’s also the new blueprint they’re going to have to follow to win while the lineup features the understudies. Starting pitcher keeps it close. A few timely hits and good defense. Bullpen holds the line.

There ‘s no shame about not being geeked up for this season given the injuries and the looming payroll decisions. I’ve haven’t been less personally invested in the Yankees since 1982, but I’m sure glad I watched this one.



Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Apr 4, 2013 9:42 pm

All I wanna know is, if Andy Pettitte has grey hair and Mariano Rivera has none, just how fucking old does that make me? :)

It's beyond great to see them working together for one last lap. Savor this.

2 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 4, 2013 9:48 pm

[1] Don't feel bad, Jeter will be bald before this season's out, and he's much younger than both of us.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 4, 2013 9:49 pm

Nice report, Jon. Looking forward to many more. That last pitch was a ball, but the rook had to be schooled.

4 Ara Just Fair   ~  Apr 4, 2013 10:00 pm

I forgot how nice it was to read a game recap after a win. Cheers, Jon. And may Binder Jo's Traveling Gang of Old Stars and Gimpy Retreads march on.

5 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 4, 2013 10:12 pm

SHEEEEIT ... I've been bald since 1995 ... so I've got *that* going for me!

6 thelarmis   ~  Apr 4, 2013 10:29 pm

My mom was just remarking that her baby has a lot gray hair. But i still have a lot of hair, so I got that goin' for me! : )

7 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 5, 2013 12:05 am

I've got the gray beard syndrome. But, I ain't gonna shave, so I can't hide it.

I know some chick, who, while in her mid 40s told me her pubies were going gray. That must be weird. You don't find out until it's too late.

8 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 5, 2013 1:20 am

[0]-[9] All you old MFer's can go play bridge now. I'm looking as young and as fit as I did when I was a freshman in college! (except with the occasional grey patch of beard...D'oH!)

Andy P to Mo. 15 more times this year, please!

9 Ben   ~  Apr 5, 2013 7:38 am

Some quick math... if you take out the years of 95 and 96 when Mo wasn't the closer, and Andy's years in Houston... and his complete games... Mo has saved 43% of Andy's victories. Might be some blown saves in there and some games where he pitched but it wasn't technically a save. Still. That's a lot.

10 garydsimms   ~  Apr 5, 2013 9:45 am

Jon, thanks for the nice write up.

11 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 5, 2013 9:46 am

Mariano's backdoor, backwards K. The most scintillating thing in all of baseball, as far as I am concerned.

12 Greg G   ~  Apr 5, 2013 10:07 am

Cervelli and Gardy going deep was awesome. They are both on pace for 54 Home Runs this year. I knew we would get a lot of power out of those two.

I loved how Cone mentioned, "That is as far as Cervelli is going to hit a ball."

Cone also pointed out that Hafner's swing is perfectly suited for Yankee Stadium his long foul ball was just a foot or so foul, or he would have had his 2nd dinger.

So far Nunez has played short fairly well. He has more range then Jeter and a strong arm. The work this spring and tips from Jeter helped. I noticed that he is taking more time on his throws.

A win was nice and a heartwarming tale of two Yankee legends on the mound. Starting pitching and the bullpen is supposed to be this team's strength and we didn't see that in the first two games.

It is only 1 game, but it is something to build on. CC always starts slow and Kuroda will use his mitt next time instead of his hand. Let's go Yankees!!!

13 Ben   ~  Apr 5, 2013 10:43 am

I always root for Nunez. He reminds me a little of Jeter and Bernie, not sure why. I think I'm just relating them being Yankee farm guys, who came up and struggled defensively. Both were given long leashes, Jeter earning it with his O and Bernie based on something a little less tangible. I hope Nunez really gets the chance to develop this year, Jeter's return not withstanding of course.

14 hiscross   ~  Apr 5, 2013 11:15 am

The last pitch was a ball, but our catcher framed his mit as he should. Umps gave that strike to the catcher. I don't think Jorge ever understood that.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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