At Least Pettitte Looked Great

September 19, 2010 – 9:11 pm

Andy PettitteBaltimore 4, NYY 3. As ugly a loss as this one was, as far as I’m concerned it nets out as a big plus simply because of the way Andy Pettitte looked. Incredibly he pitched just like he hadn’t even missed a start, picking things up right where he left off two months ago. He managed to go a full six innings on just 79 pitches, had good control, only walking one and throwing 66% strikes, and gave up just one run on three hits — and only one of those hits made it out of the infield. Plus he retired the last 10 batters he faced. With Pettitte back as the solid No. 2 in the rotation, the Yankees post-season chances just increased significantly.

Of course, that was about the only good news to come out of this game. Once again the offense couldn’t hit in key situations, leaving 12 runners stranded and going 2-for-10 with RISP. The top of the eleventh was typical of the offense of late — with the winning run on third base and no outs, Ramiro Pena struck out and then Lance Berkman hit in to a double play to end the inning. How often have we seen that movie of late? For the series, the Yankees ended up leaving 30 runners on base and going 6-for-30 with RISP. Over the last three series, they are 17-for-88 with RISP, a cool .193 BA.

And then you have this growing problem with the bullpen, which has been the main strength of the team for most of the season. Mariano Rivera blew the save for the second time in his last four appearances , and the bullpen took the loss for the fourth time in the last nine games.

What a miserable road trip this ended up being. But it’s back to NYS for seven games, and hopefully the offense and the bullpen can get back on track. We’re starting to run out of time here.

Photo: ESPN Box Score | FanGraphs Game Graph | PitchFX Game Tool

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