("It's fun to stay at the... " Courtesy of The AP)
Home runs have been the biggest thorn in the side of the Yankee rotation this season, that's no secret. And as last night showed, Andy Pettitte has not been spared from that trend in his first 4 starts back. He has allowed 6 HR in those 4 starts, 2 per start minus the scoreless masterpiece he threw against Cincy, and those 6 HR are responsible for 9 of the 11 total ER he's allowed.
Mike Trout's RBI triple last night also scored a run, meaning 10 of the 11 runs allowed by Andy have been via the XBH, the even higher-level problem that has been a constant theme when discussing the rotation this year. But the reality is that Andy has actually pitched really well since coming back. Eliminate the handful of poorly-located balls up in the zone and we could be talking about Andy as the early favorite for Comeback Player of the Year. His ERA is solid, he's giving up less than a hit per inning, he's not walking a lot of batters, and his strikeout numbers are more than acceptable for a soon-to-be 40-year-old.
It's that pesky 26.1% HR rate that's fucking him up right now, and hopefully we see that number start to come down as the IP sample size goes up.