Monday, September 24, 2012

Pettitte and Power Put Yankees on Top

This was a big start for Andy Pettitte. In just his second start after coming back from his broken foot, Pettitte delivered six scoreless innings of baseball for the Yankees. In the first inning, Pettitte's command was not there and he loaded the bases before he was able to get out of trouble with no runs allowed. Pettitte was able to get the big out(s). Whene he needed a strikeout, Pettitte got one. If he needed a double play, he was able to get it. In fact, the Twins grounded into two double plays against Pettitte which allowed him to go his six innings. Before the game, Girardi said that Pettitte would be able to throw 85-90 pitches and he hoped for six innings out of Andy. He got just that from the veteran lefty as he tossed six scoreless frames on eighty-eight pitches. If this is the Andy Pettitte the Yankees will have come playoff time, they are in good shape.

Another reason the Yankees were able to win fairly easily tonight was because of the power. The Yankees hit four monster shots for home runs. The tone was set by Nick Swisher in the first inning as his home run hit the facing of the upper deck in right-center field. Curtis Granderson followed a few innings later with a solo shot into the upper deck in right-center. With Granderson's home run, he becomes the fifth Yankee with multiple forty homer seasons for the Yankees. Ibanez continued his hot hitting with two more hits, one of which was a monster solo home run down the right field line. Chavez would follow Ibanez with a solo home run to the opposite field into the flower bed. The Yankee offense was able to get the runs when they needed them against a mediocre rookie starter.

The Baltimore Orioles played a double header against Toronto which they split. The Orioles loss puts the Yankees 1.5 games ahead of Baltimore with nine games to play. Tomorrow night, Phil Hughes looks for his seventeenth win against another rookie starter. Tonight's game against the Twins was just the start the Yankees needed to start their final roadtrip of the year.

Magic number to clinch a postseason berth: 6
Magic number to clinch the division: 8

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