Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Playing Like It's 1998 (Postgame Notes 08 July 2008)

If there was any way to follow up Sunday's thrilling extra-inning win against the Boston Red Sox, tonight's win was certainly it.

Shut down starting pitching. Clutch hitting. Solid defense. A one-two-three inning of relief.

The Yankees tonight played shades of the type of baseball that helped them three-peat in the late nineties--not flawless, but they hid their weaknesses and took advantage of the opportunities they had.

Andy Pettitte pitched as though he was pitching game seven of the World Series, going eight innings and surrendering just four hits. He had five strike outs, no walks, and only had one inning in which he allowed more than one Ray to reach base. It was easily one of his best starts this season, and had his pitch count been just a little lower, he had a shot at a complete game shut out, as well.

Pettitte is 7-1 in his last ten starts.

The Yankee offense wasn't brilliant, but Derek Jeter had a clutch two out, two run double in the bottom of the third to put the Yankees up 2-0, and the Yankees never looked back.

The Yankees didn't score again until the eighth, but they picked up three insurance runs against a much improved Tampa Bay bullpen. Melky Cabrera had his first home run in nearly a month; he now has more home runs than he did all of last year.

Derek Jeter also helped the Yankees on defense--in the seventh inning with two outs he made a brilliant jump-throw to second base for the force on Dioner Navarro to keep the Yankees' lead at 2-0.

The Yankees now have a chance to get within 6.5 games of Tampa with a win tomorrow--no easy task with Sidney Ponson on the mound--but then again, stranger things have happened.

The best thing the Yankees can possibly do now is to head into the All Star break on a high; the win tonight certainly helps their cause.


  1. The offense was a bit more timely tonight. Sure they stranded a few, but they were able to bunt and hit when they needed to put runs on the board.

    The story of the night was Andy Pettitte, who threw 8 terrific innings. Way to go Andy!

  2. Nice all-around game by the Yanks -great pitching, great defense and timely hitting.