Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Andy is Dandy; outduels Halladay in Toronto (postgame notes 04 August 2009)

Among his many phrases, one of the most obvious--and yet ignored, except in a mocking tone--quotes of John Sterling is simply that "you can't predict baseball."

On paper, this should have been a rough game for the Yankees. They have, historically, struggled against Roy Halladay, and, of late had not been getting Andy Pettitte much in the way of run support.

Thankfully, the games aren't played on paper.

The Yankees never trailed, as they scored two runs in the first before Toronto had an at bat. Although the game did get close at times, the Yankees maintained their lead throughout, making the most important pitches at the most important spots.

Andy Pettitte, the starter, was brilliant.

In his career, Pettitte has solid enough numbers against Toronto, but tonight he needed to match Roy Halladay--and that he did.

He had some of his best stuff all season, and used it in a game where the Yankees sorely needed it.

The Yankee offense was excellent given the opposing starter; like the game on July 4th, the Yankees hit three long balls off of Halladay, this time Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui being the culprits.

The home runs, all solo shots, came late in the game and gave the Yankees insurance runs that they ended up needing, on a night when Mariano Rivera was not at his best.

I wouldn't get too concerned about Rivera; before pitching on Sunday he had not pitched in a while and thus, rust is rust. What matters is that he held onto the lead--if he's still getting hit like this come September, then there's an issue, but he's still 39 years old...

At any rate, the Yankees have won a game that didn't favor them on paper, and all of a sudden there's just a little less pressure on Sergio Mitre tomorrow.