Good afternoon and welcome to Legends Field. It’s a balmy 79 degrees and mostly sunny here in Tampa as the Yankees prepare to play the Houston Astros.
The Yankees beat the Astros 7-6 on Monday and you can bet Houston will be itching for revenge. Or maybe not.
These teams will play a series during the regular season (June 13-15), so the pitchers will watch the game from the dugout to get a look at the Houston hitters. No going home early for those guys.
The game is on YES. Back later with some updates.
13 pitches and 9 strikes for Pettitte as he retires the side easily. The Yankees also went down 1-2-3 against Shawn Chacon.
Victor Diaz snuck one inside the right-field foul pole for a two-run homer. I covered the Mets when they first called him up. he can flat-out hit, sort of a mini-Manny. But he never sticks with anybody. I think the Astros are his fourth organization.
Meanwhile, A-Rod’s swing is fine as he opened the bottom of the second with a double into the left-field corner.
Jason Lane’s double makes it 2-1. Then Jose Molina’s single makes it 2-2. Underrated signing, keeping Molina. He’s the best backup they have had since Girardi backed up Posada.
Now we’re seeing why the Yankees cut Chacon loose. Brett Gardner (whom I really like to watch play) doubled Molina to third. Melky Cabrera then drew a walk to load the bases. All this with two outs, fans.
Jeter swung at a 3-1 pitch and grounded to short to end the inning. 2-2.
Pettitte allowed a single by Quintero. Houston sacrificed him to second. The catcher then tried to score on a single to left by Bourn that glanced off the glove of third baseman Wilson Betemit.
Brett Gardner’s throw killed a few worms along the way to the plate but Quintero was out.
This just in: Mariano Rivera is pretty good. The Sandman came in to start the fourth inning. He threw 8 pitches, 7 strikes. Strikeout, groundout, strikeout looking.
LaTroy Hawkins now pitching. An error by Shelley Duncan put a runner on base and led to an unearned run. Then an infield hit scored another. 4-2 Houston.
Pettitte and Mo are available to the writers now. Back later with some quotes.
UPDATE FROM THE CLUBHOUSE: Mariano Rivera said he threw mostly four-seam fastballs and kept his cutter under wraps today. He will pitch again on Monday. â€œI feel good,â€ he said. â€œI was able to throw all my pitches in the strike zone.â€ Rivera said he planned to throw only eight or nine more innings this spring.
Andy Pettitte was thrilled with his performance. “From the first pitch of the game everything felt good,” he said. “I really feel good about everything.”
The home run came on a backdoor curveball that was down. “I give (Victor Diaz) credit for hitting it,” he said. “Sometimes that happens.”
Pettitte said he took a few days off from his early-morning workouts and that led helped him physically. After missing the first few days of camp, he feels he has caught up.
The Yankees have emptied their bench for the most part. It’s 5-5 in the seventh.