Thursday, September 12, 2013
Notes: Andy dandy, Robbie's ribbies
By Wallace Matthews
Andy Pettitte is proving he can still be a money pitcher down the stretch.
BALTIMORE -- When Andy Pettitte allowed three straight two-out hits, the last a two-run double by Chris Davis to give the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 lead in the third inning Wednesday, you wouldn't have bet a handful of Monopoly money that Pettitte would still be around in the fourth, let alone the seventh.
Joe Girardi didn't seem too confident, either. When Pettitte got into trouble again in the fourth -- allowing a run on three hits, including a pair of doubles -- the manager got Preston Claiborne up in the bullpen.
And yet, more than an hour later, in hot, sticky, 89-degree weather, the 41-year-old Pettitte was still out there, having settled down to last one out into the seventh, when Girardi came to get him after a walk to Nate McLouth. Although Pettitte came away with his third consecutive no-decision, it was his sixth consecutive solid outing.
"It was a battle," Pettitte said. "I'm just glad Joe trusted me. I felt pretty good with everything. Trust me, I want to stay out there. I want to be out there as long as I can. I feel good. I feel like I can help us. I want to be out there on the mound. It's a big situation."
With both Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia struggling, Pettitte and Ivan Nova have emerged as the most reliable Yankees starters of the moment. And with Pettitte's proven postseason record, the Yankees are going to rely heavily on him the rest of the way.
"We're going to continue to push through this and no matter how you lose a game here or there," Pettitte said, "It's not over until we're eliminated as far as I'm concerned."
• Robinson Cano's ninth-inning home run was his 27th of the season and notched his 100th RBI of the season, the third 100-plus RBI season of his career. It also marks his third season of having at least 25 homers and 100 RBIs, a mark bettered by only two second baseman in baseball history -- Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby (four seasons) and Jeff Kent (six).
• Alex Rodriguez's sixth-inning home run was the 61st of his career against Baltimore, the second most he has hit against any opposing team (70 versus the Los Angeles Angels). It was also the 653rd of A-Rod's career, leaving him seven behind Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list.
• Curtis Granderson put one out onto Eutaw Street, the alley between Camden Yards and the warehouse beyond the right-field bleachers, in the fifth. It was the second time in his career Grandy has gone alley here in Baltimore.
• The win gave Girardi 556 wins as Yankees manager, moving him ahead of Billy Martin for sixth on the team's all-time list.