The picture pretty much says it all. That’s Andy Pettitte in the Yankees dugout after today’s eighth inning. He had just retired nine Angels in a row, and he was about to pick up his third win in four starts.
“First couple of starts, I told you guys my stamina wasn’t there,” he said. “I feel like I was fortunate that I’ve been able to get off to the start that I’ve been able to get off to. Now the stamina is there, and when I left spring training I felt like all my pitchers were right where I wanted them to be.”
Erick Aybar was going to be Pettitte’s last hitter no matter what, and he got Aybar to fly out to right, giving him a second straight start of eight full innings.
Pettitte had gotten into some, light trouble in the early innings, but Ramiro Pena made a diving catch and Brett Gardner threw out a runner at third to give him a boost.
“Then he really got on a roll,” Joe Girardi said.
The key for Pettitte might have been the zero walks. His first three games he averaged three walks, but today he allowed none.
“Even though I feel good with my command, I feel like I’ve been walking a few too many,” Pettitte said. “For me, because I usually give up hits, three walks in a game is too many. Hopefully I can keep that down.”
Here’s Pettitte’s postgame interview.
• Mark down Robinson Cano for his eighth multi-hit game this season, and the fourth four-hit game of his career.
• Brett Gardner has been noticeably better the past few games. Today he had three hits, including a triple. “Any time you hit some line drives,” Gardner said. “I feel like I’ve been swinging the bat better and letting the ball get deep and making better contact.” Gardner is now batting .340, which is better than every Yankees regular but Cano. “He had a hard time getting going, but he worked and worked and worked at it and took the hits however he got them,” Girardi said. “And now he’s hitting the ball hard.”
• Gardner on throwing out Mike Napoli in the third inning: “I thought I had him. I was pretty surprised that he ran, but they’re an aggressive ball club and that’s what they do.”
• Girardi mentioned Gardner, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson as potential No. 2 hitters while Nick Johnson is out of the lineup.
• Five of the Yankees runs came with two outs today, including two of them on Francisco Cervelli’s bases-loaded single in the third. That one came after the Angels intentionally walked Granderson to load the bases for Pena and Cervelli.
• The Yankees were night-and-day better against Joel Pineiro this time. “I thought we did a better job of making him get the ball up a little bit today,” Girardi said. “We chased some pitches down in the zone (last time), and if you do that he’s going to be awfully tough. I thought our guys saw him once and made the adjustment.”
Associated Press photos