Sunday, May 5, 2013

Game 30 Wrap-Up: OAK 5 NYY 4

(Courtesy of the AP)

Andy Pettitte was not very good in his last start, which came on Austin Romine's first start of the season as the new backup catcher.  As a result, Chris Stewart got the start behind the dish for Andy's start today but it was more about Andy finding his command.  He didn't have much of it in his last start, especially on his cutter, and when you're an older pitcher like Andy who no longer has much velocity to speak of, that command is even more critical.  He didn't have it again today and really struggled to perform on the mound as the Yanks dropped a close one and the series against Oakland.

Game Notes:

- Andy flirted with disaster early, loading the bases in the 1st and giving up a leadoff double in the 2nd, and he finally gave up a run in the 3rd after a leadoff walk came around to score on a Robinson Cano error.

- Cano made up for it in the bottom of the 3rd by singling home Brett Gardner with 2 outs to tie the game, but Andy gave it right back on a leadoff HR the next inning.  He was really struggling with his fastball command and was throwing way more 4-seamers than cutters, which is never a good sign for him.

- The struggles continued in the top of the 5th, when Pettitte walked his fourth batter of the day and followed that up by giving up a 2-run HR to Yoenis Cespedes.  He made it through the inning, but he was at 100 pitches and had not pitched well at all.

- Oakland starter Dan Straily was much more efficient than Pettitte, needing just 70 pitches to limit the Yanks to 1 run through 5.  He got into trouble with 1 out in the 6th and got pulled, and the Yanks pounced on Jerry Blevins for 3 runs on an Ichiro RBI double and a Lyle Overbay 2-run single to tie the game at 4.

- Preston Claiborne made his MLB debut and pitched a solid 2 scoreless innings, and without D-Rob it was up to Boone Logan to handle the 8th.  He didn't, giving up a solo HR to Josh Donaldson.

- The Yanks had a great chance to get that run back in the bottom half, with 2 on and 1 out after singles by Travis Hafner and Ichiro, but unlike the 6th Overbay couldn't come through with another big hit.

- Got another chance with 2 on/2 out in the 9th before Grant Balfour struck out Vernon Wells to end the series.

Phil Phinally Starting To Phigure It Out?

(Courtesy of the AP)

Phil Hughes last night- 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K

Phil Hughes last 4 starts- 28 IP, 23 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 30 K

He's commanded his fastball, he's mixed his offspeed stuff well, and he's really starting to find the handle on The Slutter.  Hughes has lowered his ERA from 10.29 to 3.60 in those last 4 starts and he's been the best pitcher in the rotation in that time period.  Could this finally be Phil putting it all together and becoming the pitcher we all hoped he would be?