(Ho-hum, another save. Courtesy of the AP)
One bad start in a row is nothing. Two in a row is enough to get people to start paying attention. Three would have been cause for concern. Luckily Andy Pettitte didn't make it to three last night, rebounding from his recent poor stretch of command-less outings last night with a very good performance and outdueling "Big Game" James Shields for another 1-run Yankee victory. That's 4 in a row, guaranteeing them nothing worse than a .500 record on this road trip with 3 games to play. I'll take that any day.
- Runs were hard to come by early for both teams. The Yanks got theirs in the 3rd on a Chris Nelson leadoff double and a throwing error by Mike Moustakas. KC got theirs a half-inning later on a leadoff single, stolen base, and a pair of groundouts.
- Pettitte's command was much better than in his last 2 bad starts, especially his cutter. He was locating down in the zone, getting a lot of GB outs, and getting swings and misses on his slider.
- The one mistake he made came in the bottom of the 4th, when he grooved a 2-1 fastball to Billy Butler. Butler hit it for a solo HR and the Royals had a 2-1 lead.
- That lead didn't last very long. Shields hit Chris Stewart to start the top of the 5th, and after getting 2 outs he fell behind Vernon Wells 3-1. Like Pettitte, he had to throw a fastball in that count and like Pettitte he threw a bad one that Wells hit for a 2-run homer and a 3-2 Yankee lead.
- Andy retired the final 7 batters he faced, all on the infield, and D-Rob and Mo nailed down the final 2 innings. D-Rob was positively filthy in the 8th, striking out the side on 12 pitches.
- Pettitte: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. 68 strikes out of 100 pitches, 11 GB outs, and just 1 walk. Those are all sure signs that Andy is feeling it. The walk wasn't even legit, only came because the umps forget the count, so technically this was a BB-less outing for Andy.
- Wells: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 LOB. Good things happen when you get into hitter's counts. Wells didn't waste the good one he got.
- Robinson Cano: 0-4, 1 K, 1 LOB. Make up for it with a couple hits today, Robbie.
Series finale is this afternoon and the Yankees send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to close out the sweep. Ervin Santana gets the ball for KC.