Mr. Pettitte as drawn by our pal Larry Roibal.
Once again, it was Mariano Rivera closing out a Yankee win. He allowed a bloop base hit to start the 9th inning, walked Raul Ibanez with two men out, but he struck out three batters and earned his 22nd save of the year. It never gets old. We’ve only got a few more months left of him. More than ever, it’s about the now, appreciating the moment.
Which brings us to another oldie but goodie because Andy Pettitte was great today. The Yanks won, 3-1, thanks to a couple of RBI base hits by Jayson Nix and a fine outing by Pettitte. It’s a memorable day for Andy as this was his 250th career victory. Not only that but the Yanks drafted his kid, Josh.
[Featured Image: AP; Silver Surfer by Moebius]
It was uncommonly beautiful in New York today, one of those days that the weatherman likes to call one of the ten best days of the year. Watching the Yankees on an HD TV, the colors and sharpness created an almost surreal hyper-realism.
Another pretty good game in a good series, too. The A’s won 5-4.
Tough day for Andy Pettitte as Brian Heyman reports:
“It’s a struggle,” Pettitte said. “The issue is everything. Everything I’ve got to do as a starting pitcher, I’m not able to do right now. … My release point is floating around a little bit. … It’s been a long, long time since I haven’t had a feeling for my pitches.”
Pettitte is good at being brutally frank when it comes to self-assessments.
“My cutter is nonexistent right now,” Pettitte said.
Joe Girardi said he wasn’t going to make a big deal out of two bad starts. Pettitte is just hoping to find a steady release point in a hurry.
“I wish I could tell you something hurt,” Pettitte said. “But I feel good.”
I wish I could be more expansive but I kept nodding off which added to the dreamlike quality of the afternoon. I was up in time to watch the end of a thrilling OKC-Memphis game and plenty awake to watch the Knicks take one in the nuts against the Pacers at the Garden.
Then I stretched, took a shower, changed clothes and took a good, long walk.
[Photo Credit: J. L. Russell]
I’m a Scrooge when it comes to the World Baseball Classic. I don’t want any Yankees to play. Correction: I don’t want any Yankee players to get hurt. I care about how the Yankees play in 2013 not about the WBC.
Will Andy Pettitte pitch for the US team? Klap has the skinny.
[Photo Credit: The Star-Ledger]
Tonight gives that ol’ Yankee Game 2 stand-by, Andy Pettitte.
Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez DH
Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Jim Thome DH
Manny Machado 3B
Robert Andino 2B
Never mind the one-game lead: Let’s Go Yank-ees!
What’s the worst that could happen if I let it be?
I didn’t even bring my phone with me to the store. Yet when I got home our boys held a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the 14th. Mark Teixeira got the big hit, a two-run double against Brad Lidge. Jayson Nix hit an infield single to deep short to start the frame and then Derek Jeter failed to lay down a bunt on the first two pitches he saw. But he fouled pitches off and took some more; soon the count was full then Jeter hit a ground ball single himself. It was a stubborn, resilient at bat, and Jeter’s first hit in seven trips to the plate.
Lidge recovered to strike out Curtis Granderson and he got ahead of Teixeira but then hung one and the Yankee first baseman lined a ball to the right field corner.
Rafael Soriano wasn’t smooth and two men were on base when he got Bryce Harper to ground out to end the game. I thought Harper, 0-6 with five strikeouts at that point, would fulfill an ESPN highlight clip that I had running in my mind, but he did not. After the game, Washington’s manager Davey Johnson said that for the first time this year, Harper chased pitches out of the strike zone, anxious to make something happen.
By the time the game was over and Freddy Garcia, sixth of seven Yankee pitchers, was the improbable winner, the startrtd, Jordan Zimmerman and Andy Pettitte were a vague memory. Both pitched well. Zimmerman reminds me of Matt Cain. He’s got great stuff but the Yankees made him work and he was out of the game after six innings.
One thing about Zimmerman, he made two excellent plays in the field. The first, after catching a line drive, had him making a pinpoint throw to the shortstop as they tried to double Eric Chavez off second. The next play was another throw, this one home, that nailed Nick Swisher (Swisher’s leg collided with the catcher’s knee and the cheerful outfielder’s day was done).
Pettitte was outstanding, again, and held a 3-2 lead after seven. He’d thrown 95 pitches but with three right handed hitters coming up in the eighth inning was pulled in favor of Corey Wade who retired the first two batters on two pitches. He got ahead of Ian Desmond 0-2 and then threw a bad pitch, a meatball that missed its target by plenty. Desmond smacked a 400 foot home run and the game was tied. After a walk to Tyler Moore, Boone Logan relieved Wade. Dwayne Wise, who’d replaced Raul Ibanez in left to start the inning, shifted to right and Nix went to left. Adam LaRoche was the pinch hitter and he singled to right. Wise fielded the ball and made a strong throw home. Russell Martin tagged Moore for the third out.
It was a stirring play for the Yankees as well as a lucky one as the replays showed that Moore was safe. But this is how it goes when you are on a wining streak–luck is on your side. Right now, the Yanks have more than a little bit of luck. Everything is going their way. We’ll take it.
Oh, yeah, this was their first win all season without hitting a home run. Tomorrow they go for their ninth straight.
Unt we am Heppy Kets.
Final Score: Yanks 5, Nats 3.
[Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images]
Andy Pettitte is on his way but he’s not what the Yanks need writes Tyler Kepner in the Times:
Rays Manager Joe Maddon credited Ron Porterfield, the team’s head athletic trainer, for his pitchers’ durability, but Hellickson said he assumed all teams had the same kind of programs. Cashman said the pressure of New York makes the comparison unfair.
“I know they have a lot younger guys, but Pineda’s young and he just went down,” Cashman said. “I know the innings here are more stressful than the innings there, no doubt about that. Throwing 100 pitches in New York versus 100 pitches in Tampa are two different stresses. The stress level’s radically different on each pitch.”
Maddon said Cashman’s theory was worth considering. In a cosmic way, he could have added, the Rays deserve a benefit from playing before small crowds in an outdated home ballpark. In any case, Maddon said, the starters are essential to their model.
“Without that pitching, all the other wonderful stuff that we are, I don’t think really works nearly as effectively,” Maddon said. “It all starts with the starting pitching. That particular group and that part of our team really permits us to do all the other things well.”
While you are there, check out Hunter Atkins’s story about Joe Maddon–the King of Shifts.
[Photo Via Rays Renegade]
Andy says he’s ready to join the big league team; the Yankees want him to make another minor league start. Today, he’ll be in court.
[Photo Credit: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy via The Constant Buzz]
Michael Pineda pitches tonight. Andy Pettitte will talk with reporters.
[Photo Credit: N.Y. Daily News]
Yankee game is on TV this afternoon.
[Picture by Bags]
According to Jack Curry, Andy Pettitte has signed a 1-year, $2.5 million minor league deal with the Yanks. Was retirement that boring? Is Freddy Garcia that hurt? Maybe Andy’s wife couldn’t stand having him around the house.
In the first bit here, you’ll see the old H&H Bagels in the background as Henry Winkler and Shelley Long cross 80th street and Broadway:
In November 2008, not long after Mike Mussina announced his retirement, I wrote a column about the concept of “dying at the right time.” In short, dying at the right time involves deciding to leave the game, or, “die” on your own terms. I commended Mussina for having the courage and self-awareness to know that after a 20-win season, ending his career was a better option than returning for another shot at a title, at age 40, with diminished stuff.
That column was written in the context of a well-thought, fully formulated decision that likely took weeks, maybe even months, to plan. Andy Pettitte weighed it several times and took a similar path after last season.
Longtime Banterer The Hawk had some great comments on the Mussina piece, including this one:
I appreciate tenacity, competitiveness and a never-say-die spirit in athletes far more than a sense of decorum or the good taste to retire without “embarrassing” themselves. I can’t say I believe this across the board but in general I love the guys who can’t let go, who’s desire to compete wins out over pride or legacy-building.
Do you love Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada now? Sure, their desire to compete — save for Saturday’s Posada drama — is unwavering, but do you want to continue watching them turn into Benjamin Button? We want to see the youthfulness and greatness demonstrated in the first 10-12 years of their careers, but the reality is that this season they are aging rapidly. We know it. They know it. They’re holding on. Barely.
Jeter gave us a glimmer of hope with his two-home-run effort in Texas. But watching him since then, even though he’s gotten hits and his march to 3,000 is going strong, he’s still hitting less than .260. His at-bats used to be filled with expectations of line drives to right field. Now the expectations are anemic groundballs to second base. Every out he makes is riddled with Tweets and jeers of “THREE MORE YEARS OF THIS!” We know. But who’s a better option? Eduardo Nuñez? We won’t touch the defensive range issue with Jeter.
Posada should have had the easiest route. He moved away from being the everyday catcher to designated hitter, but his pride, hubris, whatever, is preventing him from accepting the current role and producing. It’s not like Posada has forgotten how to hit; he still has a good eye and can draw a walk. He isn’t adjusting to seeing more sliders, and isn’t adjusting to channeling his entire focus into four or five individual at-bats.
Sometimes, the game lets you know when it’s your time. It did for Ken Griffey, Jr., last year. Jeter and Posada are on the brink.
Would you rather see them continue to try to recapture the magic of 3 or 5 years ago, at the risk of their efforts being a detriment to the team and their own legacies? Or would you rather see them accept their fates, recognize the end of their respective careers and act accordingly?