Besides Andy Pettitte's successful return to the mound yesterday in Baltimore, there wasn't much else to feel good about so let's focus on that for now. The left-hander was very good over six innings, holding the O's to just a run on three hits, walking one, and striking out three in his first game back since July 18th. He threw 79 pitches, 52 of them for strikes. Most importantly, he felt good physically.
But like I said because, Pettitte was about the only thing to feel good about yesterday.
“As the game went on I felt like I was coming even harder and harder off the mound as far as getting through my pitchers a little better,” Pettitte said. “All and all, in that end, it was a good day.”
“There’s always a little bit of question of, are you going to be able to make those little adjustments that you need to make when you’re out there?” Pettitte said. “When you’re rushing and you know you’re rushing, sometimes it’s not that easy to fix it. I was dragging the first few innings with my arm a little bit, and I was able to get my arm warm a little bit and get it all together. I feel like I’m going to be fine.” (source: Chad Jennings)
I know I sound like a broken record, but once again the Yankees spent most of their afternoon wasting scoring chances and leaving men on base. Sunday's totals were 2-for-10 with RISP and 12 men left on. However, leading 3-1 after 7 and a half the Yanks were still in a position to win the game, but the pen would let the Yanks and Pettitte down.
Kerry Wood allowed a run in the 8th, and then Mariano Rivera gave up a solo homer to Luke Scott in the 9th to tie things up.
After the two teams traded zeroes in the 10th, the Yanks looked like they were about to take the lead in the 11th. Alex Rodriguez ledoff with a walk. Eduardo Nunez pinch ran for A-Rod and moved to third when Mike Gonzalez threw a pickoff attempt away. So, with nobody out the lead run was 90 feet away, but that's where he'd stay.
Marcus Thames struck out, then Buck Showalter walked pinch-hitter Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter to set up the doubleplay for Lance Berkman. Berkman got the pitch he wanted, a 1-0 hanging slider right down the middle, but he couldn't do anything with it and grounded into a 5-4-3 inning-ending doubleplay.
“I can always tip my hat to the pitcher if he makes a good pitch,” Lance Berkman said. “But that was a terrible pitch. That ball was hanging right in the middle of the plate. There’s no reason not to hit that ball hard, and I just didn’t do it.” (source: Chad Jennings)I guess this is what happens when you bat Lance Berkman 3rd. The 2-3 combination of Jeter and Berkman went 2-for-10 on the day (0-for-4 w/RISP) and left 11 men on base. Here's a little secret, Joe, neither of these two should ever bat above 6th, maybe 7th.
Well, after that embarrassment, the O's didn't waste much time wrapping up the game in their half of the inning. David Robinson, who was in his second inning of work, gave up a lead off double to Scott, Ty Wigginton followed with a single to right, and the game was over.
Tampa, who now heads to the Bronx for a four-game series, also lost yesterday, so the Yanks remain in first for at least one more day. Ivan Nova will start the opener for the Yanks, with Matt Garza going for Tampa. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Luke Scott
HONORABLE MENTION: Andy Pettitte
GOAT OF THE GAME: Mariano Rivera and Lance Berkman