Offense, bullpen blow game for Yanks


Andy Pettitte had about as great a start as one can have, but the bats were non-existent and the Yanks phell to the Phils 7-1 in the rubber match on Thursday night.

Pettitte went seven innings and gave up just three runs — two earned — on six hits while fanning seven and walking three. He got out of a HUGE bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning and made some history in the process. On the 32nd anniversary of Ron Guidry striking out 18 batters in one game, Pettitte passed Louisiana Lightning for second place on the franchise K list with his 1,784th punchout (not including the 428 he amassed with Houston). He needs just 173 more to pass Whitey Ford for the most all-time in pinstripes.

The ageless lefty also allowed just his eighth homer of the year (in 87 1/3 innings) — a two-run jack by Victorino in the fifth.

"They’re a good team, they were in the World Series last year so you know they’re going to be a tough opponent. Their guy just threw a great game against us tonight, he kept us off-balance…I felt good, I wasn’t wholeheartedly behind the pitch I threw to Victorino. I tried to run a cutter, I usually don’t want to go down and in with that ball but I tried to slide step and throw one in the inner half and run it up on his hands and he somehow kept it fair and that was pretty much the ballgame right there. It was a poor decision."

The offense didn’t do him any favors, collecting just four hits — all singles — with two of them coming from Cano. The O made Kyle Kendrick look like Nolan Ryan, as Kendrick fanned three batters the first time through the order — his season high is four — including the first two he faced. Granted, he finished with just those three but coming in he had seen 274 non-pitchers and struck out just 28 of them (stat courtesy of Mike Axisa at RAB).

It seems like the only one hitting is Cano, who has a 10-game hitting streak and is 18-for-39 (.462) with two homers and six RBI over that span. Prior to those two hit-less games in Toronto, he had a 17-game hitting streak going and has now hit in 27 of his last 29 games. His line is a dead sexy.372/.416/.617 and he has 97 hits on the year.

Cervelli, on the other hand, has been exposed since he started playing everyday. Coming into Thursday’s action, in 101 plate appearances since May 15 he was hitting .198/.306/.222 with 15 RBI and 11 walks. Though despite his recent struggles he still owns a .333 OBP, which is solid considering the “slump” he is in.

Speaking of not hitting: A-Rod is the active HR leader with 591 taters, but currently 79 big leaguers have more than the eight homers he’s hit this season (stat courtesy of @YankeesWFAN on twitter). I’ve got a feeling that his hip thing is worse than he’s letting on.

The Phils even got the best of Jeter, who went 0-for-11 with two walks and three strikeouts in the three-game set.

"We didn’t really get anything going offensively. That’s why you play the games…(Kendrick) threw well, his ball moved all over the place, he has a good changeup and he was tough on us. You have to make adjustments, we weren’t able to make adjustments."

After a stellar outing from D-Rob (who hasn’t allowed a run in his last five appearances) Joba came in and pitched like a dickhead. He gave up three runs on two hits without recording an out, but before you judge him look at what he’s done recently. In his seven appearances before Thursday he’s yielded one run on six hits with five strikeouts and zero walks in 6 2/3 innings for a 1.35 ERA and .250 BAA (stat courtesy of LoHud). That’s not too shabby. I guess we should look at it like this: it’s better to have him pitch like trash when they’re losing and not scoring runs rather than in a close game.

Girardi on Joba:

"I think he gets too much of the middle of the plate. He gives up a leadoff double and they execute a play well, and then he walks Victorino. I think any time a pitcher doesn’t throw the ball where he wants to you could say it’s a mechanical issue…They want to stay down and away and in on the hands, but it’s always a fine line."

Ramiro Pena is another guy that played like a chump Thursday. He had an error on an easy grounder in the fourth, plus he went 0-for-3 and is now hitting .186/.234/.203 in 29 games this year. If A-Rod isn’t available how about you use Kevin Russo, OK Girardi?

Some interesting news (courtesy of LoHud): with the bases loaded the Yanks lead the majors in average (.429), at-bats (84), hits (36), grand slams (6), RBI (99), BB (11) and OBP (.490). That is good news, but when you’re only managing four hits a night it doesn’t mean much.

Oh well, the Phils are 4-2  against the Yanks over the past two seasons but the Yanks are 4-2 against the Phils when it really matters.

Good News: The Rays lost so the Yanks are still tied for first place in the division.

Bad News: The Red Cox won and are now two games back in the division.

To make matters worse, the Yanks got the red-hot Metropolitans coming into town for a three-game set over the weekend. The Mess have won seven in a row and will send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound against Javy Friday night in the opener of the Subway Series. LET’S GO YANKS!!!!!!!