(Courtesy of the AP)
Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez steroids steroids steroids Biogenesis suspensions appeals suspensions appeals suspensions appeals Alex Rodriguez Alex Rodriguez Bioigenesis. That was basically the story in the baseball world yesterday, but for a few hours around 7 PM Central time that took a backseat to the actual game on the field, a game that A-Rod was playing in and batting cleanup. A name that did not appear on the lineup card was Derek Jeter's, as he was put on the DL for the umpteenth time this season for his calf strain. With the spotlight solely on him, A-Rod had a quiet first game back as the Yankees went down in even quieter fashion.
- Andy Pettitte did his best to take some of the focus off A-Rod with a BABIP luck-aided 3-run bottom of the 1st. Aided or not, it was another poor 1st inning for Andy, who set a new Yankee record by giving up a 1st inning run for the 7th straight start.
- A-Rod stepped in to mostly boos to lead off the 2nd, and after taking 2 balls he swung at a ball in and blooped it into left field for a single. It wasn't much, but it was a hit and A-Rod's 2013 was off and running. Naturally, the team still failed to score on a 2nd and 3rd and nobody out situation.
- There was nothing fake about the beating the White Sox put on Andy in the next 2 innings. A lot of runs, a lot of hard contact, and no 2-strike location from Pettitte, who had 7 runs tallied against him on 11 hits in just 2.2 innings before hitting the showers.
- Really nice job by Jose Quintana, who held the Yankees scoreless through 6+ innings before finally surrendering a single one on a Brett Garder sac fly in the 7th. One more former pitching prospect finding success elsewhere.
- Nice job by the bullpen, giving up just 1 more run in 5+ innings of relief of Pettitte, even if Preston Claiborne and Shawn Kelley really had to work to avoid major damage. At least Joe didn't have to burn D-Rob or Mo.
- A-Rod hit a few deep flyballs in his next 2 ABs before striking out looking in his final at-bat in the 8th. Final line 1-4 with a single and a few plays at third base.
- Vernon Wells: 3-4, 2 2B, 1 LOB. Not a bad day for first baseman Vernon Wells. Joe probably just found his platoon partner for Lyle Overbay.
- Pettitte: 2.2 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Andy was awful. The "hit 'em where they ain't" 1st inning was really just a mirage because the White Sox were knocking him around hard in the 2nd and 3rd innings. He couldn't keep the ball down in the zone when he needed to, and you can see how much Andy's stuff has deteriorated when the worst lineup in the AL is putting a beating like that on him.
- Alfonso Soriano: 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB. Hasn't exactly sparked anything in the lineup regardless of where Joe has hit him.
Next game of the series is tonight and it's another dynamite pitching matchup of Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Sale. Kuroda's been taking down top flight pitchers left and right. Hopefully Sale is next on the list.