Tagged: Andy Pettitte

27?

With a solid performance from Andy Pettitte in game 4 the Yankees are in superb position for a 27th World Champoionship. Both offenses were good last night, each having their ups and downs but the Yankees had more ups than the Phils and took a 3-1 lead in the series.

It was obviously set to go in favor of the Yankees with Pettitte going against Joe Blanton who statistically had no chance against the Yankee lineup.  He held his own and didn’t totally blow it but it definitely wasn’t enough for the Phillies as Pettitte was phenominal.

Game 2 of the series seemed to be dominated by AJ Burnett and his curveball… not to mention his fastball and his other dominating pitches.  Burnett was able to keep the Yankees in the series with a key victory in game 2 and sent the series to Philly even.  If Burnett can come up with another huge performance like in game 2, the Yankees will walk away with this series.  And who though the Yankees had no chance when they lost a game at home.  They are also a very good road team and it proved the last to games as they took their second and third straight wins in the series on the road in Citizens Bank Park.

How about A-Rod?  He’s come up huge these past couple games.  Despite the being hit by pitch twenty gazillion times (I hope you realize I am exaggerating) he has played a very big role in the offense the past two games.  He hit a key homer in the game 3 off the camera in right field that had to be reviewed before being called a homer.  He also came up with some other key at bats.  He has seemed to be getting back into the form he was in earlier in the playoffs.

Derek Jeter… can he get any better?  He hasn’t done anything spectacular this World Series but honestly, you can’t get away with him.  He’s just that good.  His presence alone has helped the Yankees win games.  He has consistently gotten on base and has scored runs.  Speaking of getting on base and scoring runs, Johnny Damon had a great game last night including two steals on the same play.  He stole second and took advantage of his speed by gettign to third which was uncovered.  Great heads up baserunning which really cost the Phillies a run later in the game.  The Yankees have seemed to be getting back into the swing of things all around as the whole team has been rolling smoothly.

Now, since the end of the series is  coming up soon, you have to be thinking MVP.  Well, if the Yankees win it, I’m going to have to give it to AJ Burnett.  Now, the series is not over yet and tonight’s start could change my whole mindset about this choice, but if he is as good as he was in game 2 and the Yankees win, Burnett would be my choice.  Two phenominal starts with dominating stuff.  Two wins.  How can you go by that when choosing an MVP?

Now, I don’t like to have to think this but if the Phillies win, I would probably choose between Chase Utley, who has been killing the ball lately, or Jayson Werth who has equally destroyed the ball this series.  Both have had a major power surge and Jayson Werth has made some plays in the outfield to keep runners from moving forward with his strong arm.

This series is finally getting to the point where both offenses have broken out with a fair share of good pitching.  It is what I expected it to be and hopefully the Yankees can come out on top quickly tonight.  It wouldn’t be the worst thing if we lost tonight but to win it soon would be fantastic.  It would be nice to win in New York but the sooner the better is the way I see it.  No chances.

The one key to tonight’s game is Cliff Lee.  Can he shut down the Yankees streaking offense or will he get run over as Blanton and Hamels have the past two games?

I spy a 27th championship for the Yankees right around the corner.

-Dillon

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Burnett Burns Phils

AJ Burnett was sensational as he kept the Phillies to one run in game 2 of the World Series last night in the Bronx.  Pedro Martinez pitched well but was unable to hold the Yankees offense silent to a second night in a row.  The Bombers took a while to score some runs but they got there eventually and came out with an important game 2 victory.

The “Who’s your daddy” chants throughout the stadium did not seem to take any effect on Pedro as he had the Yankees guessing early on.  He and AJ Burnett seemed to match each other inning after inning.  It was in the fourth inning when Mark Teixeira finally got to Pedro and took one for a ride to left field.  In the sixth inning, Hideki Matsui took another Martinez pitch out to right field with a gold-like swing.  Jorge Posada also pitched in with an RBI in the seventh after pinch hitting for Jose Molina.  Last night did not show much offense, but the way Burnett pitched last night, it was enough.

The commentators for Fox’s World Series coverage continue to say that AJ Burnett’s curveball is the best in the game… if it is right.  That’s the whole key.  We have seen Burnett struggle a lot this season when he had a tough time getting his curveball and other key pitches to work.  But last night his curveball truly was the best in the game as he made Phillies batters look in awe of the movement.  And when they decided to try and hit it… they missed.  Simple as that.  Burnett also provided a solid 95 mph fastball that kept hitters honest.  His two seemer seemed to be getting the best of the Phillies batters as well.  It proved this early in the game when he got Shane Victorino to strike out looking at a two seemer that came right back over the inside part of the plate.  Burnett’s sensational performance last night has kept the Yankees in this series. 

These next three games on the road will be crucial for both teams.  The Phillies have a great home record but the Yankees can’t be counted out for anything.  The Yankees NEED to win a game on the road and hope to bring the series back to New York.  If they can get the series back to New York and keep the Phillies at bay, then the Yankees will take this World Series and add the trophy to the other 26.

Game 3’s starters are Andy Pettitte, who was huge in the ALDS and ALCS for the Yankees, and Cole Hamels, last years NLCS MVP.  This matchup, to me, is the most intriguing of the three big pitching matchups for this series.  Pettitte has been pitching in the postseason since he put on his pinstripes it seems and has had a lot of success.  Cole Hamels has only seen on playoff and has succeeded in it as well.  Both are excellent pitchers with good stuff that can be tricky for opposing hitters to get to.  They both have great minds for the game and can really help their respective teams.  This game will hopefully have some more offense in an even friendlier offensive park than Yankee STadium (Citizen’s Bank Park) but the pitchers will both still have solid performances.

-Dillon

Bombers Live Up To Nickname, Lead 3-1 in 5th

After a come from behind win at home against the Angels, the Yankees are headed to California to play two in the California sun.  The way the Yankees have played the first two games in NY, it will be tough to stop them, even when the Angels are at home.

In this first game in Aneheim, the Yanks are living up to their nickname, “the Bronk Bombers.”  The Bomers continue to dominate this postseason as solo shots from Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon have put the Yankees up 3-1 over the Los Angelses Angels of Aneheim going into the sixth inning.  A lead off home run by the captain Derek Jeter ultimately wrote the script for this one as Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon have both put souvenirs of their own into the stands.  With Andy Pettitte rolling on the mound, the Yankees look to be on pace for another win.

The first shot from Derek Jeter was certainly a shot that was a no doubter off the bat.  The same for Rodriguez’s shot which was an even bigger bomb.  Rodriguez almost hit another one that just missed as it stopped at the warning track.  Johnny Damon’s was more of a line drive that went a couple of rows into the right field stands just past the pole.  The Yankees just started teeing off on Jered Weaver who had a really tough fifth inning.  Jorge Posada got a hold of one and roped it into the outfield for a single.  Weaver has been pulled and the Angels are looking to the bullpen to stop the Yankee offense.  Good luck.  The Yankees look really confident and will be tough to stop at this point in the game.

CC Sabathia is set to go tomorrow on three days rest and it will be really interesting to see if the Yankees can close out the series with a sweep, assuming they win today to go up 3-0 in the series.  The Yankees have done everything right this postseason: they have pitched, they have hit, and they have been opportunistic taking advantage of some key mistakes by the Angels team.  Today, Torri Hunter made a big baserunning mistake as he was picked off by Andy Pettitte and his great move trying to steal second.  This Yankees team sure looks like a World Series caliber team.  Maybe even better.

-Dillon

Yankees To Go With Three Man Rotation

Youve got CC who has pitched on three day’s rest before in the playoffs, AJ Burnett who is a dominant pitcher when everything is working for him and then you’ve got Andy Pettitte who is a postseason veteran being with many of the past Yankees’ playoff teams.  This is about as good as a three man rotation there is.  And this is how the Yanks will be running for the ALCS.  CC will start game one, Burnett Game two and Pettitte Game three.  It’s awesome baby!  Yeah, I just quoted Dick Vitale, sue me.

CC’s past postseason experience will be key for his pitching on three days rest.  It is going to be tough but he has done it before and he should be able to get through it and still give us a great outing.  Now, the Angels are no easy team to beat but CC’s short rest will be a very important part to this series.

All I can say is I hope he is doning plenty of these fist pumps because he hasn’t had the most consistent of seasons.  If he has all his pitches working he will be great but he needs to really work.

Andy Pettitte just needs to be the Andy Pettitte that Yankee fans all around have come to expect him to be.  Or maybe a little better.  He puts in a good effort and usually comes out with a good outcome.  This quality pitcher is the third guy in the rotation and will probably have the least pressure on him.  But that doesn’t mean he needs to lighten up.  I’m sure Pettitte will give out a quality peformance as he alwasy does.

I hope I don’t have to into the offense being phenominal and them having no problem getting on and scoring.  It is all going to come down to pitching and that’s that.

-Dillon

Sweep?

C’mon.  You can’t not be thinking sweep right now.  The Yankees have totally dominated this series, giving the Red Sox nothing.  Nothing at all.  The pitching has been STELLAR, the offense has been great, the bullpen (probably the biggest reason we lost so many games to the Sox earlier in the season) has been good as well, and the momentum of the Yankees has left the Red Sox in the dirt.  As I said a few days ago, I don’t think the Yankees know how to lose.

CC started the game going the first half of the game without giving up a hit.  Obviously everyone was thinking about the possibility of a no-no and, well… who couldn’t?  CC ended up only giving up two hits, and two walks in his 7.2 innings of work.  He racked up nine K’s, excellent work.  He had a nasty slider that got a few guys out and made them look really foolish.  The bullpen kept up the consistency that was far from anywhere near New York at the beginning of the season and Phil Hughes and Nate Robertson combined to go the rest of the game only giving up two hits and no walks (both hits credited to Robertson).

Such a sight to see.  The Yankees beating up on the Red Sox.  Just like it ought to be.  Well, to all you Red Sox fans out there.  Here’s something positive that you can take out of all this.  You’re only 5.5 games out of first.  At least you can say that you are in better position than the Orioles to make a run.  The O’s are 22.5 games back.  That’s a pretty good thing, right?

The offense last night was clearly good enough to get past the Red Sox, considering CC pitched his heart out.  Well, in pretty much any other game, five runs is a good afternoon for a team that has their pitchers pitch relatively well.  Derek Jeter helped out that cause late in the game with a two run homer to right.  Of course it would be to right.  Where else does anyone hit a home run to in Yankee Stadium.  Mark Teixeira went 1-3 with an RBI and two walks.  Robby Cano went 3-4 and scored a run.  Jose Molina, filling in for Jorge Posada, went 1-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk.  The offense was definitely there yesterday and it was great to see another butt-kicking of the Red Sox handed out by the Yankees.

  vs. 

Tonight, the final game in the series has everyone thinking sweep.  Right now, the way the series has gone so far, it looks like a no brainer.  The Yankees have everything going right.  The pitching, the offense, the defense.  Everything is running smoothly.  Tonight, Andy Pettitte and Jon Lester go at it and it’s a pretty good matchup.  Both guys are second of the rotation guys.  Both have good stuff and could easily be the top man in any rotation.  They have their ups and downs.  They will definitely put on a show but I still have my money on the Yankees sweeping the Sox.  I said earlier before this series started that I thought the Yankees would win three out of four.  But now I am totally thinking sweep.

Go Yankees!

-Dillon

“Godzilla”

Hey, would you look at that… the Yankees and Red Sox are tied for first at the top of the AL East.  It was as simple as that.  The Yankees sweep the Tigers and continue to play well against the Orioles.  At the same time, the Red Sox are slumping and all of a sudden the Yankees are right back at the top of the East.  All we need is one more win and another Red Sox loss and we’ll be the sole leader of the division.  It’s great.  Well, last night’s victory is much thanks to Hideki Matsui (aka “Godzilla”).

Matsui stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at one.  Jim Johnson on the mound, was looking to put the game into extras.  But I think Matsui had different ideas.  Early in the at bat, Matsui breaks his bat, leaving a small section from the bottom of the bat in Matsui’s right hand.  It was a strange looking swing too, I might add.  But he got a new bat and stepped back up to the plate.  With his new bat, Matsui swung at a fastball middle in and demolished it to the right center bleachers.  Right off the bat the crowd at Yankee Stadium erupted as they knew that “Godzilla” had returned.  Matsui was regarded as “Godzilla” while in Japan as he hit many long home runs with a ton of power.  The only thing about his nickname when he came to the Yankees is that the home run power wasn’t as dominant as it was in Japan.  The name “Godzilla” wasn’t used very often but in times like this when he hits a walk off or even just a bomb here and there, “Godzilla” is the name of choice for Yankee fans.

Other than Matsui’s late game jack, defense played a huge part in this game.  Mark Teixeira grounded a ball off the bat of Nick Markakis and fielded it a little bit awkwardly.  He threw a sort of off balanced throw to Jose Molina at home and Molina, who had the wrong foot blocking home plate, swung his glove around in time to tag out the speedy Maicer Izturis.  (Izturiz, who was on first when a hit and run was put on, ran with the pitch and slid into second, not knowing Brian Roberts had hit the ball.  He then got up and started a slow walk back to first thinking the ball may be caught.  When it wasn’t, he ran over to third but that is as far as he got.  He should have scored but his baserunning error cost him and the O’s).  Another great play at the plate came from Molina as well as Phil Coke who was on the mound.  Now, usually a past ball is not a good thing but this one turned into a good thing.  Coke threw one in the dirt and Molina went back to get it as the very speedy Brian Roberts was heading home.  He threw to Coke who was covering the plate and Coke tagged out Roberts who never even touched the plate.  Two amazing plays at the plate saved the tie for the Yankees and the game went into the ninth.  You have to see the video because you can’t really understand how great these plays were.  Here’s the link to the video.

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5652275&c_id=nyy

So, the Yankees played a great overall game.  Offensively, they were a little slow.  The only run before Matsui’s homer was on an Eric Hinske homer.  Same on the other side of the field.  Only a Nick Markakis homer put the O’s on the board.  So, other than the home runs, there was pretty much no offense on either side. 

Pettitte pitched pretty well.  He didn’t get the win though and that’s unfortunate since he deserved the win.  The rest of the pitching was good as well.  Aceves got the win as he pitched the ninth before Matsui’s homer.  Here’s therest of the box score.

Baltimore AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Roberts, B, 2B 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .279
Markakis, RF 4 1 1 1 0 1 3 .291
Jones, A, CF 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 .304
Huff, A, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .257
Mora, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .267
Scott, DH 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .294
Reimold, N, LF 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 .265
Wieters, C 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 .244
Izturis, C, SS 3 0 1 0 0 2 3 .257
Totals 30 1 6 1 3 8 16  
BATTING
2B: Roberts, B (31, Pettitte).
HR: Markakis (10, 1st inning off Pettitte, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Roberts, B 2; Markakis 4; Jones, A; Mora; Wieters; Izturis, C.
RBI: Markakis (60).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Markakis; Roberts, B; Reimold, N.
GIDP: Huff, A; Reimold, N.
Team RISP: 0-for-8.
Team LOB: 6.

BASERUNNING
SB: Jones, A (8, 2nd base off Aceves, A/Molina, J).

 
NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 .318
Damon, LF 3 0 1 0 1 2 1 .279
Teixeira, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .280
Rodriguez, A, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .250
Matsui, H, DH 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 .264
Cano, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 .305
Hinske, RF 3 1 1 1 0 1 0 .264
  Swisher, RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .235
Cabrera, Me, CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .278
Molina, J, C 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .255
Totals 29 2 4 2 3 5 7  
BATTING
HR: Hinske (5, 2nd inning off Hernandez, D, 0 on, 0 out), Matsui, H (15, 9th inning off Johnson, Ji, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Damon; Teixeira; Matsui, H 4; Hinske 4.
RBI: Hinske (16), Matsui, H (42).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cano 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING
DP: 2 (Teixeira-Jeter-Teixeira, Jeter-Cano-Teixeira).

 
Baltimore IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Hernandez, D 6.0 3 1 1 3 4 1 3.55
Hendrickson 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.40
Johnson, Ji (L, 3-4) 1.1 1 1 1 0 1 1 3.05
 
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Pettitte 7.1 6 1 1 2 8 1 4.62
Coke 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.86
Aceves, A (W, 6-1) 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 0 2.60

P.S. How ’bout that Kevin Millwood.  Not only did he pitch great enough to stop the Red Sox, but he made two crazy snags against Dustin Pedroia who hit them right back to the mound.  One he caught with his glove, but the second he snagged it with his bare hand.  Very impressive.

-Dillon