Monday, August 31, 2009

Pettitte takes Perfecto into the 7th (Postgame Notes 31 August 2009)

Throughout his career, Andy Pettitte has been known as a second half pitcher.

That was never more apparent than it was tonight, where Pettitte pitched eight two-hit innings of baseball--he took a perfect game into two outs in the seventh and lost it only when Jerry Hairston Jr did his best Bill Buckner impression at third, filling in for Alex Rodriguez.

The Yankees scored their own five runs--it's a road game, so of course Swisher had a home run and was a triple away from the cycle--but the story of the game is easily Pettitte.

Pettitte was so good that even when he did lose the perfect game and the no-hitter (lost on a clean single), and the game was only 2-0 at the time, Pettitte still got himself out of the inning without allowing a run. Pettitte would allow a lead-off home run to Melvin Mora, but by that time the Yankees were leading by five.

Pettitte's ERA since the all-star break is 2.56--and despite CC Sabathia having lost only one August game in the past two seasons, one could make the argument right now that Pettitte is pitching better than anyone else on the Yankees' staff.

In the end, tonight's game is exactly what should have happened when the team with the league's best record plays one of the cellar-dwellers: Good pitching, enough offense and the other team never really has a chance.

(For what it's worth, though, Brian Bruney has quite a bit of work to do to if he really really wants to be on that postseason roster...)