Pettitte Delivers, As Usual

August 4, 2009 – 10:51 pm

NYY 5, Toronto 3. Andy Pettitte continues to be the rock of the starting rotation, the one guy who seems to always give the Yankees a chance to win regardless of how well or how poor he is pitching. So all things considered, when you go up against the likes of Roy Halladay, who better to start for the Yankees than Pettitte? And sure enough, Andy beat Halladay in a great pitchers’ duel — over 6.2 innings Pettitte gave up just 1 run on 4 hits while Halladay was giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Fortunately for Andy he had the Hughes-Rivera combination to come in and get the last 7 outs, whereas Halladay had to finish the game himself, and eventually ran out of gas — giving up solo home runs to Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, and Hideki Matsui.

Melky Hits For The CycleAnd as it turned out, those homers would very much be needed — thanks in no small part to a somewhat puzzling pitching decision by Joe Girardi. Phil Hughes gave up back-to-back singles to start the 8th, but then struck out Adam Lind and Kevin Millar with ease. So why in the world don’t you let him finish the inning? There’s no reason to ask Mariano Rivera to get a 4-out save here — particularly considering the one weakness in Mariano’s arsenal is coming in to the middle of an inning with runners on base. But that’s exactly what Girardi chose to do, and predictably Mo gave up a bases-clearing double to Vernon Wells and all of a sudden a comfortable 4-1 lead is now a one-run lead with the tying run in scoring position. Sheez. Fortunately, Rivera got out of the jam, and then survived putting runners on first and third in the 9th to get the win. But it sure seemed like Girardi made things a lot more complicated than they needed to be. And how disastrous would it have been to start off this Toronto series by blowing a sure win, given how the just completed series in Chicago went?

Photo: Newsday

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