Andy Pettitte saved a memorable performance for his 250th career victory, as the New York Yankees topped the Seattle Mariners 3-1 at Safeco Field Saturday. Making the day even more special, Pettitte learned that his son Josh was drafted by the Yankees on the same day as his milestone.
The Yankees made the celebration a happy one by jumping on Seattle’s Joe Saunders in the first inning. Mark Teixeira doubled and then scored on a Robinson Cano single. They added another run in the fifth inning when Jayson Nix drove in Ichiro Suzuki. Nix has responded well since manager Joe Girardi inserted him into the second spot in the batting order. In all, he has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.
“Nix has swung the bat really well for us,” Girardi observed. “It’s great. That’s why we put him in the two-hole against lefties, because he’s done a really good job.”
In the seventh inning, Nix responded again. He singled to centerfield to score Brett Garner for the Yankees final run.
But the day belonged to Pettitte. He was very pleased and proud that his big win came on the same day as the Yankees drafted his son.
“It’s all tied in together now for me,” Pettitte said. “It’s like I can’t separate them because they’re both together. It just all happened right here, and the game was ending, so it’s just really cool.”
With one out in the eighth inning, Girardi called on David Robertson even though Pettitte was sailing along and did not have a high pitch count. Robertson shut the Mariners down and then yielded to Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning. Rivera notched his 22nd save in 23 opportunities.
During their careers, Rivera has saved 71 games for Pettitte. This added to their Major League record for saves by one pitcher for another.
“That’s wonderful. He pitched a tremendous game today,” Rivera said. “Being able to be there for his 250th, that’s special. I gave him the baseball, too. That’s a great number. He has been there in tough games. He’s been there for us.”
The victory moved Pettitte’s record to 5-3 on the season.