("I know, man. Who doesn't score against Kevin Millwood??" Courtesy of The AP)
Everybody knows the backstory of this game. No matter what the other storylines were or what was going on with the team, yesterday it was all about Andy Pettitte
and his return to the rotation. I wrote before the game that the expectations had come down a bit for Andy after his recent rehab starts and the improvements in the Yankee rotation, but it was still difficult to say whether or not he met or exceeded those expectations with his performance.
- Pettitte got out of the 1st inning on just 11 pitches after a flyout, a walk, and a slick 6-3 double play turn by Derek Jeter
, and he was off and running quickly and cleanly.
- Through 3 innings, Pettitte didn't allow a hit. The only 2 baserunners he allowed were on walks and both were stranded. Through a combination of good pitch location and some overaggressiveness on the part of the Mariner hitters, Pettitte worked through the lineup the first time on just 35 pitches and got 5 outs on the ground.
- Andy had been living a little more up in the strike zone than you'd like to see through 3, and he hung a slider to Justin Smoak
in the top of the 4th that Smoak hit for a HR and a 2-0 Seattle lead. That opportunity was created by a 2-out walk that Andy gave up, his third of the game.
- Kevin Millwood
wasn't good enough to stick in the Yankee MiL system last year, but he made Yankee the offense look silly yesterday. Millwood gave up just 1 hit through 4 (an Eric Chavez
double) and struck out Curtis Granderson
and A-Rod back-to-back on 6 pitches to open the 4th.
- Millwood started to lose his command a bit in the bottom of the 5th, and gave up a bases-loaded walk to Russell Martin
to get the Yankees on the board, but got bailed out by a horrible first pitch-swinging GIDP by Derek Jeter to end the inning. It was Jeter's second GIDP of the game and another example of the higher GB rate that's crept back up on him recently.
- Pettitte hit the wall in the 6th, giving up another 2-run homer and loading the bases on singles, but Joe left him out there and he manged to get out of the inning on another nice double play (Teix to Martin).
- Joe continued his recent trend of giving his starters a lot of leash, letting Andy get an out in the 7th before giving way to Cory Wade
. Wade and Clay Rapada
gave up 2 runs in the 9th to put the game out of reach.
- Pettitte's final line- 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 94 Pitches (60 Strikes), 12 GB Outs. All the hits and all the runs came in his last 3.1 IP.
- The only offense the Yankees could muster for the rest of the game was another bases loaded BB by Robinson Cano
in the 8th. It was an ugly day for the O- no run-scoring hits, 0-5 with RISP, and 9 strikeouts.