Andy Pettitte Outduels Roy Halladay in Crucial New York Yankee Win

August 5, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

For years, Andy Pettitte was known as a strong second half pitcher. Tonight, we saw the Pettitte of old return to that form.

It’s never easy when you are pitted up against Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay.

The Yankees struck early, and struck hard. Alex Rodriguez hits an RBI double in the first to score Johnny Damon. Hideki Matsui hit a chopper to first and Halladay botched the throw, which made Matsui safe and allowed A-Rod to slide into  Rod Barajas and knock the ball out of his glove to put the Yankees up 2-0.

Alex Rios hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1, but that’s all they were getting off Pettitte.

Pettitte used all of his pitches well and kept the hitters guessing all night. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowed four hits and one run, walked four and struck out six to pick up the win, his first since July 1.

Pettitte is now 9-6 on the season. Now, the four walks might be alarming, but Pettitte got himself out of trouble by inducing double plays that knocked off any potential Blue Jays rally.

Andy has always had success pitching in the Rogers Centre, formerly The Skydome and it’s been the same in 2009 as Pettitte has won there twice.

The offense was up against a total bull in Halladay, but when Halladay left pitches up in the zone, the Yankee hitters capitalized. A-Rod’s double in the first was up in the zone.

Then in the eighth inning, Damon hit a hanging breaking ball that carried right over Rios’ head into the bullpen for a home run. Next batter, Mark Teixeira hits a high fastball further back into the seats to put the Yankees ahead 4-1. Halladay was simply getting crushed that inning.

You can tell the Yankee offense wore him down because in the dugout, Halladay had his hands over his face and a towel over his head looking dejected as ever. John Sterling on WCBS said Halladay looked as if he lost the seventh game of the World Series the way he was acting.

The Blue Jays fought back and got two lead-off singles off Phil Hughes. Yet, Hughes had three strikeouts and turned it over to Mariano Rivera, who gave up the hit to Vernon Wells to score two runs off Hughes making it 4-3, but Rivera got the final out in the 8th.

In the ninth, Matsui crushed a pitch to dead center field that hit off the second tier and put the Yankees ahead 5-3 and gave Rivera breathing room. For the first time ever, Halladay had given up three home runs in a game.

Halladay ended up finishing the game, picking up a complete game going all nine innings, allowed ten hits and five runs, walked none and struck out five.

Halladay was dropped to 11-5 on the year and it was his second consecutive loss on the mound.

In the ninth, Rivera got into and out of trouble for his 31st save of the season to preserve Pettitte’s win and the 5-3 Yankees win.

This win was even more important as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-2 in 13 innings, which pushes Boston back to 1 1/2 games in the A.L. East standings.

Anytime one of your pitchers can out-duel one of the best pitchers in the game, like Pettitte did tonight against Halladay was nothing short of clutch.

Pettitte used to be pitted against everyone’s best in the past, and because Andy was always up to the task, he would win the crucial games for the Yankees. He was also one of the Yankees most clutch postseason pitchers and still can be, as he showed in 2007 against the Indians.

Overall, a great win for the Yankees on the road and they will take their chances in the final game of the two-game set with Sergio Mitre on the mound for the Yankees against Toronto’s Marc Rzepczynski.

readers comments

Yankee Tickets

Yankee Tickets

Shop Yankee

Shop Yankee