Pettitte Guts It Out As Yanks Finish Off Sweep

| by Sliding Into Home

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)


It wasn't the easiest of games for Andy Pettitte, but he was able to grind out eight strong innings as the Yankees completed their sweep of the Rangers with a 5-2 win today. Early in the game Pettitte said his mechanics were messed up and he was in survival mode for most of the day, but as the game went on he seemed to get stronger and stronger. He was also saved early on by a couple defensive gems by Mark Teixeira. When it was all said and done, Pettitte allowed just two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out four in eight innings pitched. He threw 107 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Pettitte's performance capped off a great homestand for the Yankees starters, who finished with a 5-1 record and an ERA of 2.17.

After taking an early 1-0 lead on a first inning sac fly by Robinson Cano, the Yanks fell behind 2-1 after the Rangers put a two-spot on the board in the third.

Like most of the leads the Rangers had this series, this one was short-lived because the Yankees came right back with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Teixeira got things started with his first homer of the year, a solo shot to lead off the inning. Eventually the Yanks would load the bases in the inning, and with two outs Ramiro Pena came through with a big two-run single.

Thanks to the relentless Yankees lineup, Rangers starter Rich Harden couldn't make it out of the fourth. He needed 94 pitches to get through 3.2 innings, and allowed four runs on five hits and six walks. In the last two games Texas starters have lasted just 6 innings and thrown 168 pitches.

The score would remain 4-2 Yankees until the seventh when Jorge Posada belted his third homer of the season to make it 5-2. It was one of two hits on the day for Posada, who is now hitting .378.

Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth and picked up his fifth save of the season. He needed 14 pitches to get through a perfect frame and picked up two strikeouts. It was Mo's 50th save in a row at home, one shy of Eric Gagne’s record streak of 51 straight games saved at home.

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Another Yankee who shined today was Brett Gardner, who was in the leadoff spot in place of Derek Jeter who was nursing a head cold. Gardner came through with another multi-hit game to up his average to .333 on the season. He also stole two more bases, bringing his season total to 7, and is now tied for the MLB lead with Rajai Davis, Andrew McCutchen and Scott Podsednik.

The Yankees are now 9-3, their best start since 2003, and will head to Oakland to start a 9-game road trip on Tuesday. Javier Vazquez looks to get off the schnide when he takes the mound in the opener. This is a big start for Javy, who is in desperate need of a win, if only to get us fans off his back. He will be facing Oakland left-hander Gio Gonzalez. First pitch is 10:05 p.m. eastern time and the game will be on YES.


Brett Gardner, LF 3 1 2 0 1 0 2 .333
Nick Johnson, DH 4 0 0 0 1 3 5 .158
Mark Teixeira, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 2 .114
Alex Rodriguez, 3B 1 1 1 0 3 0 0 .295
Robinson Cano, 2B 2 0 0 1 1 1 3 .340
Jorge Posada, C 4 2 2 1 0 1 4 .378
Curtis Granderson, CF 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 .311
Nick Swisher, RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .200
Ramiro Pena, SS 4 0 1 2 0 1 1 .200
Totals 28 5 7 5 8 10

HR: Teixeira (1, 3rd inning off Harden, 0 on, 0 out), Posada (3, 7th inning off Nippert, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Gardner 2; Teixeira 4; Rodriguez, A; Posada 5; Pena, R.
RBI: Cano (10), Teixeira (6), Pena, R 2 (2), Posada (6).
2-out RBI: Pena, R 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Posada 3; Johnson, N; Gardner; Cano.
SF: Cano.
GIDP: Teixeira.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 10.

SB: Gardner 2 (7, 2nd base off Nippert/Treanor, 2nd base off Harden/Treanor), Cano (1, 2nd base off Nippert/Treanor), Rodriguez, A (1, 3rd base off Nippert/Treanor).
CS: Gardner (1, 2nd base by Oliver/Treanor).
PO: Gardner (1st base by Oliver).
DP - Pena-Cano-Teixeira
Andy Pettitte (W,2-0) 8 4 2 2 3 4 0 1.35
Mariano Rivera (S,5) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 107-67, Mariano Rivera 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 10-9
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 30, Mariano Rivera 3
Player of the Game: Andy Pettitte
Honorable Mention:
Jorge Posada
Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 RHE
Texas 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 240
N.Y. Yankees 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 x 570

A. Pettitte (2-0) LP: R. Harden (0-1)
SV: M. Rivera (5)