Monday, May 14, 2012

Andy Still Good In Return

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Andy Pettitte made his return to baseball yesterday and although the results don't say so, he had a damn good outing. In their finale against the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees would lose 6-2; four of the six runs Andy was responsible for, as he gave up two 2-run home runs.  But the two shots were really the only black marks on his outing. Overall, I think it's safe to say that Andy is back!

On a day where there was much speculation that perhaps Andy might begin the game so hyped over his return he might over-pitch, he was actually his same old self--throwing his cutter and curveballs in the mid to upper 80's and inducing ground balls. He managed to get through the first three innings without giving up a hit  and wasn't hurt by the walks to Ichiro in the first and Alex Liddi in the second. But in the fourth the walk to Jesus Montero set up a the first two-run shot by Justin Smoak, and Andy faltered a bit from there. In the next 2 1/3 innings, he would give up six more hits, one being the second two-run homer by Casper Wells.

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So again, the two homers were really the only mistakes Andy made in his return. he worked economical innings and threw 94 pitches into the seventh. Not bad for the 39-year old who returned after an entire year away from the game. Andy is most likely replacing David Phelps in the lineup, as Phil Hughes pitched to his best outing on Saturday in the Yankees 6-2 win. In my opinion, Phelps was a long-shot to beat Hughes for a roster spot, but it was nice to see this kid get his shot in the majors after staying atop the Yankees prospect list for the past few years. Any kinks in the rotation's armor during the season, and we could see him return.

Quite disappointing yesterday was the offense. The Yankees only two runs were both made on bases loaded walks, which was all they could muster because they could not hit Seattle's Kevin Millwood, who pretty much threw fastballs and sliders around 90 mph his entire outing. In the 5th with bases loaded, Derek Jeter hit into a double-play; in the eighth with bases loaded, Mark Teixeira swung and missed for the final out. Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano failed to hit again, but Eric Chavez went 2-4 as the DH, and has had a hot bat since returning from "concussion-like symptoms" on May 11.

Next up, the Yankees take on the Orioles at Camden Yards. Hopefully the offense will get itself back in order. Ivan Nova gets the start against Jason Hammel.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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