(Courtesy of the AP)
The Yankees got back to normal last night after a rough road trip and a hectic 1-day doubleheader series against their old rival. They were at home, they had Andy Pettitte on the mound, and they were facing AL East rival Tampa Bay, who's slowly been creeping up on the Yanks as they've floundered recently. Tampa had their own big time lefty on the mound in Matt Moore, who'd already dominated the Yankee lineup twice in his 2 previous starts against New York this season. How would he fair a third time? Did you really have to ask?
- Andy struggled with his fastball command early, and it cost him 3 runs on 6 hits. He was able to limit damage and keep his pitch count down, but the Rays hitters were making him pay for every mistake.
- Predictably, the Yankee offense didn't get much going against Moore. Brett Gardner led off the game with a solid single, and from there Moore faced the minimum number of hitters through 4 innings.
- The offense generated runs in the 6th the only ways they seem to know how these days: luck (Moore lost the zone and walked 2 then threw a wild pitch), station-to-station baseball, and productive outs (Robinson Cano sac fly, Travis Hafner RBI groundout). It worked and got them within a run, 4-3.
- Pettitte, after righting the ship in the 4th and 5th innings, couldn't respond to the offensive support. He gave up a solo HR to Evan Longoria in the 6th and back-to-back doubles with 2 outs in the 7th to end his night with 5 Tampa runs on the board.
- It got no better when the game got the bullpen. Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan combined to give up 4 ER in less than 2 innings to really put the game out of reach.
- Very fitting ending in the bottom of the 9th. Yanks put 2 runners on as a tease and Chris Stewart grounds into a game-ending double play. Balls.
- Gardner: 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB. Got on base 3 times and was the only player in the lineup with multiple hits, so I'm willing to overlook the rare defensive error.
- Pitching: 9 IP, . The starting pitching was bad. The relief pitching was bad. Probably wouldn't have mattered how many runs the offense scored last night because the pitchers gave the Yankees no chance to win.
Game 2 of this 4-game set is tonight. David Phelps vs. The Pitcher Formerly Known as Fausto is the starting pitching matchup.