Andy Pettitte Needs More Run Support From New York Yankees

July 31, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The month of July was not very friendly to Andy Pettitte.

At times, so is his offense when he pitches.

Thursday night’s game was a clear case of the Yankees offense not scoring enough to help Pettitte win the game against the White Sox when he pitched well enough to win.

Now granted, Gavin Floyd was great against the Yankees; Floyd went 7 2/3 innings, allowed four hits, one run, walked run and struck out 10 and got a no decision.

Floyd was simply great, but the Yankees had their chances against Floyd and did not capitalize.

Pettitte, on the other hand, pitched 6 1/3, allowed five hits, two runs (one earned), walked none and struck out eight. He too got a no decision.

I was glad to see Pettitte get the no decision tonight rather than take the loss because Pettitte did not deserve to lose. Thanks to Nick Swisher’s home run in the top of the ninth, Pettitte didn’t lose.

In the seventh inning, a ground ball hit by Carlos Quentin was hit to Alex Rodriguez to start a potential 5-4-3 inning-ending double play. A-Rod threw the ball to Robinson Cano to get A.J. Pierzynski out. When Cano went to throw out Quentin, but Pierzynski made a very questionable slide/roll into Cano that forced him to throw the ball away from Mark Teixeira at first, which allowed Jim Thome to score.

In all honesty, Pierzynski’s non-sliding roll should have been called and it would have gotten Pettitte out of the inning, but it happens in the game. If Swisher doesn’t hit the home run, that play would have probably upset me more than it did in the end.

In case you fell asleep or just missed the ending, Dewayne Wise hit a rocket single up the middle off Phil Coke and the White Sox won 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth. Coke came really close to catching the line-drive hit, but it bounced off his glove and up the middle, just to give you an idea of how hard Wise’s hit was.

If you want to look back even further, his last couple starts have been a lot like Thursdays.

In his previous start against Oakland, Pettitte was cruising against the A’s. He had them shut out for six innings. But so did Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez. Pettitte left the bases loaded after pitching another 6 1/3 innings and at the time he left the game, he allowed only one run on five hits and struck out seven. But thanks to Alfredo Aceves hanging a pitch in the strike zone, Pettitte got charged with four runs and the loss.

If the Yankees had scored runs during the game, chances are with the way Andy was pitching, he beats Oakland again.

And if you want to go even further than that, his first start from the break against the Baltimore Orioles was another masterpiece.

Pettitte went 7 1/3, allowed six hits and one run, walked two and struck out eight. The result: a no decision. The Yankees won the game in the bottom of the ninth with a Hideki Matsui walk-off home run.

That’s three consecutive starts in a row where Pettitte gets into the seventh and eighth inning, pitches quality baseball and strikes out a lot of batters, yet is not getting the wins.

Why? No run support.

Pettitte is currently 8-6 with a 4.51 ERA and 93 strikeouts as to 47 walks. His ERA is a little higher because he gives up a few home runs at the new Yankee Stadium, (13 of his 16 allowed home runs have come at home as opposed to the road). He’s 4-4 at home and 4-2 on the road, so he’s had better results on the road, yet he has found ways to win at home despite the new hitter-friendly stadium.

If the Yankees win these game for Pettitte instead of either losing or winning late, Pettitte is 11-5, at least. If you want to count some of his other starts where he should have won and didn’t get run support, he’d really be somewhere around 14-5, but that’s the game of baseball.

If the Yankees are looking to make a deep run into the post-season, they must take care of their most experienced starting pitcher and help him win games.

Pettitte is 37 and who knows how much longer he will pitch in the majors. He’s put off possible retirement twice because he wants one more ring.

Pettitte’s competitive spirit has always made him a fan favorite and classified him as a warrior and bulldog on the mound.

At 37, he’s pitched 127 2/3 innings in 21 starts, which averages out to about six innings per game. He was seen as the fifth starter, but due to Chien-Ming Wang’s injury, he’s been more than a “fifth starter”.

At times, his stuff is as sharp as any young pitcher in the game. It might not be the fastest, but the movement on his breaking pitches are making hitters guessing, and the last three games have shown, striking out 23 hitters in that short span.

The Yankees have won for CC Sabathia (10 wins) and A.J. Burnett (10 wins). Joba Chamberlain’s win total is slowly climbing (7 wins).

The Yankees need to help out Andy’s win total as well and start giving him the run support he needs in games.

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