The Yanks opened their second series against the Rangers in style tonight. Andy Pettitte went seven strong, the pen got some well-deserved rest, the offense came through with a few big two-out hits early, allowing the pitching to cruise with a cushion.
One notable thing, and something that I’d forgotten about Andy Pettitte, is his uncanny ability to get out of jams. This is an ability that no statistic really takes into account, but I’ve never seen a pitcher make more big pitches in big situations than Pettitte. He always seems to find a way to turn a leadoff walk into an inning-ending double play.
He wasn’t particularly sharp in the early going, but he managed to work his way out of trouble a couple of times and gave the offense a chance to expose Mike Wood.
On offense, Jeter continues to rip the cover off the ball. A-Rod’s power drought ended at 43 at bats. Joe made a wise move in the seventh: Bobby Abreu has been struggling at the plate, with the game firmly in hand, Joe lifted Abreu for Melky before his fourth bat. Abreu finished the game 1 for 3, a positive. Had he gone up there and made an out for the third consecutive at bat, not such a good game. Abreu was dropped to the seven spot in the lineup, which I like. He’s scuffling, but having him bat down there gives more legitimacy to the bottom three, and gets Posada, who’s swinging a hot bat, into more RBI situations.
Player of the Game: A-Rod, his bomb in the fifth broke the game wide open. (2 for 3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 HBP)