Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pitching and Power

You certainly would not think that this Yankees team would win with power, but tonight two unlikely sources in Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli powered the Yankees to their first victory of the 2013 season. It was important for the Yankees to come away with a win before going out to Detroit to play the Tigers because it will not get easier for them to win against the pitchers that Jim Leyland is trotting out there this weekend. The offense coming from unlikely sources is a reason why the Yankees should not be counted out. The Yankees are beginning to prove that they can win games without hitting bombs all over the field. For example, Lyle Overbay got the key hit to put the Yankees ahead 2-0 early in the game to give them their first lead of the year. The home runs by Gardner and Cervelli were just icing on the proverbial cake. If the offense can contribute from 1-9 all season and men just get timely hits, the Yankees will have no problems down the road.

Perhaps an even bigger factor that went into tonight's victory was Andy Pettitte pitching like it was 2001. The forty year old lefty dominated the Red Sox lineup all night, fooling them on off-speed pitches and getting three key double plays, including one in the eighth inning to get him out of a jam. A strong and healthy Andy Pettitte will be a major key in the Yankees' success in 2013. If he can give the Yankees anything resembling what they got from him tonight twenty times this year, they will be in good shape, assuming the offense is able to score runs when needed.

Oh, and the great Mariano Rivera earned his first save since tearing his ACL last May. Mariano started out by walking Dustin Pedroia and giving up a double to Gomes, but ultimately got the job done to fill the save column for 2013. There is another man the Yankees will count on in 2013, as he rides off into the sunset after this year.

Ivan Nova gets his first start of the year tomorrow afternoon as the Yankees head to Detroit to face the Tigers for a three game set. Opposite Nova will be Doug Fister, who is also making his season debut for the Tigers.

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