Andy Pettitte is in the midst of his best stretch of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The veteran lefty is 3-0 with a 0.46 ERA in his last three starts. And in a playoff push where every game is precious, coupled with the struggles of Sabathia, Kuroda and Hughes, Pettitte is back to his old stopper ways.
Pettitte was helped by a big 4-run first inning from his offense, an inning which wasn’t short on scares either. In an injury plagued 2013, Yankee players, coaches and fans held their breathe when Toronto starter JA Happ plunked Robinson Cano in the left hand. Happ is no stranger to hitting Yankees. In spring training game number 1, he broke Curtis Granderson’s forearm, causing Grandy to miss the first 6 weeks of the season.
Cano would stay in to run the bases, and revenge came in the form of Alfonso Soriano. The 2nd baseman turned outfielder has been nothing short of clutch since his return to the Bronx, and already up 1-nothing, Soriano jacked a mammoth 3-run homer to give Pettitte all the run support he needed. But Cano would leave the game. Fans and the team were able to exhale when x-rays came back negative, leaving Cano listed as day-to-day with a left hand contusion. It remains to be seen just how swollen his hand is today, and don’t be surprised if Joe Girardi gives his 2nd baseman Wednesday off with an off-day Thursday.
Robbie wasn’t the only possible causality of the nigh. The Yankees may also be without Eduardo Nunez for a day or two, as the infielder left Tuesday’s game in the ninth with a right knee injury. Nunez replaced Cano at second, but tweaked his knee late in the game.
Already up 4-0, Soriano would blast his 2nd homer of the game, and 400th of his career. He became just the 7th player to reach that mark as a Yankee, joining Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, A-Rod, Gary Sheffield, and Reggie Jackson. Rodriguez and Mary Reynolds would each also homer in last nights game.
Pettitte went 7 shutout innings, and Adam Warren finished up the game, giving an over used pen a much needed break.
It was a big win after a 5-2 loss on Monday. The 7-1 victory, coupled with losses 3 of the 5 teams (Cleveland, Tampa and Baltimore) they’re chasing in the Wildcard standings. kept them 4.5 games back. However, they are closer to leapfrogging Baltimore, who they play at the Stadium this weekend.
Hiroki Kuroda looks to bounce back from his two worst outings of the year tonight, and get the Yankees a series win in Toronto. Todd Redmond toes the rubber for the Jays.