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Pregame notes: “I like what he’s doing now”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on May 29, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

There’s been a lot written and said about Andy Pettitte looking like his old self this season, but that might not be entirely accurate. He’s been successful — that hasn’t changed — but his strikeout rate is up, and he’s been allowing fewer base runners than we’re used to seeing.

It’s not a bad thing, obviously, but it’s not exactly the method of success that Pettitte made so familiar.

“I like what he’s doing now, let’s just keep him there,” Joe Girardi said. “I’m sure he’s going to have games when he does that (more base runners, fewer strikeouts). That’s vintage Andy as well. He’s just had a great slider. Hopefully he can keep that the whole year, but I’m sure you’re going to see a little bit of both.”

The slider Girardi talked about is the same pitch that Pettitte has always called a cutter, but Girardi said it’s been more slider-ish this season. And that’s leading to some of the high strikeout totals, especially the past two games.

“He still calls it his cutter,” Girardi said. “His cutter used to be smaller years and years ago, but it’s gotten bigger over the years, and I think he’s done that on purpose.”

“Right now I feel really good with all my pitches. As far as that sense, the pitching standpoint of it, as far as getting control of what you want to do, so far those are all there.”

• While Girardi was doing his usual pregame interview in the dugout, Nick Swisher walked by and Girardi yelled to ask whether Swisher felt alright following last night’s collision. “I feel awesome,” Swisher said with his usual laugh. Both Swisher and Curtis Granderson seemed fine last night, and they’re both back in the lineup tonight.

• For the second straight day down in Tampa, Brett Gardner took dry swings today. He’ll progress to tee and toss tomorrow, continuing his rehab from a strained elbow.

• Rehabbing from a strained oblique, Dave Robertson played catch for 50 throws today. Girardi said he’s still not sure when Robertson will get on a mound, but he should have a date by tomorrow.

• Claimed off waivers today, reliever Ryota Igarashi has already reported to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “I don’t know a lot about him, but we expect him to be a reliever that can possibly contribute here for us,” Girardi said. “I don’t think they would have signed him if they didn’t think he could contribute.” He might have said the same thing about Cory Wade last season, or Clay Rapada this winter, or Cody Eppley this spring.

• Girardi said he’s never really considered benching Russell Martin this season. In fact, he said he would probably stick with Martin all season even if his production stayed the exact same. “We know that Russell is able to catch at a very high level back there,” Girardi said. “We’ve seen the balls he’s able to block and all the things he’s able to do behind home plate. As a catcher, to me, the most important job is defense – and he’s able to do that. He’s also been able to walk and get on base, which has helped. I know that .177 is not going to be there the whole year, so it’s easy to put him back there.”

• If it weren’t clear already, Girardi said today that Boone Logan is more of a setup man than a left-handed specialist right now. “Logan is going to have to get some outs later in the game for us, and it’s going to be some left- and right-handers,” Girardi said. “Before, you could bring him in a lot earlier.”

• Here’s Pettitte on the way he’ll approach Albert Pujols: “He’s a great hitter. I guess probably, you’ve got one of those guys in every lineup, so you really can’t think of it much more than that. He’s a guy that’s going to hurt you if you make a mistake. Whether he’s slumping or not, I would treat him the exact same way. You just know he’s a great hitter. Make pitches. Try to make pitches to him and try not to let him hurt you too much. The situation dictates how you’ll pitch to him at some point sometimes. But other that, a good pitch is a good pitch, and hopefully it’s good enough to get him out if he’s up there in a big spot.”

• Russell Branyan has been activated from the Triple-A disabled list and assigned to High-A Tampa.

Associated Press photos

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44 Responses to “Pregame notes: “I like what he’s doing now””

  1. mick May 29th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Andy will stand Albert on his head tonight.

  2. luis May 29th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    luis May 29th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    About the FO,

    The Montero trade just forced me to evaluate their thought process and their previous moves in hindsight. Eventually, i would have come to the same conclusions. The problem i see is that i don’t think this current management is well equipped to deal with the new environment. As Blake stated, i don’t necessarily think that Cashman should go, but we need new blood and someone new at the helm. They used to cover for their blunders with money. That’s no longer the case. That’s a challenge that i don’t see Cashman being able to do.

    On Girardi, Wang’s post was very good in describing the reasons i don’t think he is the right guy to manage the team. Aside form the media, because i have no way of forming a good opinion in the subject, since i very seldom get to see him in action in front of the media. I just read, and it’s not the same thing.

  3. Nick in SF May 29th, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I’m not deeply impressed with the “New Post” feature, but I’m holding out hope.

  4. The Genius Maker May 29th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    GB7 so “at” is before 25? I have no idea what they are measuring but at 24 Hughes had an encouraging year, but the issue is at age 25 and so far in 26 he has regressed…that is the issue. We are not comparing a 24 year old Hughes to 24 year old other pitchers, we are looking at a 26 year old who struggled through the age of 25 and is continuing that at 26…the others you are comparing to all had much better years at 25 and 26.

    Now show me how many guys struggled mightily at the age of 25 and 26 and still were successful without learning some new pitch (like a splitter) and then that would be more encouraging (I am sure there are some/plenty of late bloomers out there)

  5. luis May 29th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    luis May 29th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    The Genius Maker May 29th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hard to have a must win game in May. As for the Yanks, I am more interested to see how Pettitte does against a solid lineup (when Pujols is back to normal). Andy will be in the rotation no matter what, but it would be great to see Andy give us a quality start. Toronto is beating baltimore now so Andy winning and being 1.5 out would make me feel really good. Gardner and Robertson coming soon and in the hunt! While jeter has done better than expected as has Ibanez and some relievers, overall, we are underperforming and are now 2.5 out…that is very encouraging

    ===============================

    Last night’s game was almost a freebee, you have to take that opportunity. A game in May counts as much as one in September. It could very well mean rsting the players for the PS or not.

  6. Jerkface May 29th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Interesting that GB7 is using similarity scores, invented by Bill James, to try and make a point.

    The problem with the similarity scores is that they use Hughes total stats, which include his very good relief season, giving him an overall ERA of 4.46. And his actual similar pitchers (not through a certain age) are full of not very good names.

  7. The Genius Maker May 29th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    That is why he doesn’t like stats…:-)

  8. Abomb82 May 29th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Jerkface – Yep. Whatever metrics they use to evaluate Hughes, his numbers are just not good as a starter over a large, albeit spread out, sample size.

    Also, the Lackey comparisons are not very good either considering he started his career at a time when offense was far more prevalent than it is now. When he was Hughes age, he had a 3.44 ERA in 209 innings. He had completed 3 years of 198+ innings.

    It is just like people talking about last year how AJ Burnett wasn’t that bad while his ERA was bottom 3 in the league for most of the year.

  9. TheHansons May 29th, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I hate these late games with time to kill. I always reflexively watch Boston on my MLB All Access. I’m going to try a new policy of watching whichever game is going our way. Just switched to White Sox/Rays and I’ll only switch back to the Sux when Detroit is threatening.

  10. jacksquat May 29th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Matsui went deep 2nd ab.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday.....8;c_id=mlb

  11. jacksquat May 29th, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    10 pm start has to suck on the east coast.

  12. TheHansons May 29th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Jacksquat, the late starts really suck on the East Coast. I either stay up late and drink or I fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night to check the score on my phone. The next day is ruined either way.

  13. luis May 29th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    JS,

    Where do you live?

  14. GreenBeret7 May 29th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Now show me how many guys struggled mightily at the age of 25 and 26 and still were successful without learning some new pitch (like a splitter) and then that would be more encouraging (I am sure there are some/plenty of late bloomers out there)

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    Koufax and Gibson at age 25…same age as Hughes is right now.

    Now, if you want to start playing stupid like jerkyboy. Have at it. He’s all yours

  15. Yanks78 May 29th, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    How do you think people on the WC feel about starting like 40% of their games at 4 PM on weekdays (pretty much all their road games except the ones in the Pacific time zone) and playing a handful of 10 AM games? The Angels played a 10 AM Saturday game in NY last month

  16. TheHansons May 29th, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I used to live in SF. I didn’t mind the 4 PM starts. It was a good way to kill time at work and it freed up the evenings for other stuff.

  17. Jerkface May 29th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Roy Halladay had 1 bad season. At age 24 and 25 he pitched 344 3 ERA innings. Gibson had 1 bad half a season at age 24, was very good at age 23, and in his age 25 season pitched 200 innings with a 3.24 ERA and only got better.

    Koufax at age 25 pitched 255 innings with a 3.52 ERA and at age 26 pitched 188 with a 2.54. Neither pitcher struggled at age 25 and 26.

    Baseball ‘age’ seasons go by how old you are on july 1st. Hughes is pitching his age 26 season this year. Hughes in his age 25/26 seasons is currently working on 127 IP of 5.73 ERA ball. Completely dissimilar to Koufax, Halladay, or Gibson

  18. jmills May 29th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Jamie moyer

  19. austinmac May 29th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    GB,

    No, Hughes cannot be ruled out as a capable starter, but, in fairness, he doesn’t have the raw stuff of Koufax, Gibson or the like. To succeed, he has to learn to pitch. He can’t throw fastball after fastball and not expect it to be hit hard. I did wonder last night about the absence of his change as Girardi was raving about it after the last game.

  20. jmills May 29th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Jamie Moyer vs ,………..Dave Stieb .

  21. TheHansons May 29th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    O.K. Tigers are making it interesting. Could be time to kill a few minutes watching the Sux choke.

  22. Yanks78 May 29th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Using GB logic, why can’t any struggling pitcher become the next Koufax/Gibson/Halladay?

    Hey, Randy Johnson struggled till he was 30, let’s give our pitchers till their age 30 to figure it out too!

  23. DaveD May 29th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    YankeesWFAN Yanks are 10-21 in Anaheim since 2006, 5 walkoff losses including last night.

  24. TheHansons May 29th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    DaveD, sounds like we’re due for a lot of payback!

  25. Wave Your Hat May 29th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I think what you see is what you get with Hughes. How many non-Yankee fans think he will suddenly blossom? You have to be invested in him before you start thinking that Hughes might be good because some great pitcher struggled at Hughes’ age.

    Just let it go and admit that we hope he steps it up because we root for the team he’s on.

  26. GreenBeret7 May 29th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    austinmac May 29th, 2012 at 9:32 pm
    GB,

    No, Hughes cannot be ruled out as a capable starter, but, in fairness, he doesn’t have the raw stuff of Koufax, Gibson or the like. To succeed, he has to learn to pitch. He can’t throw fastball after fastball and not expect it to be hit hard. I did wonder last night about the absence of his change as Girardi was raving about it after the last game.

    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    Mac,

    I didn’t compare Hughes to either pitcher. That list was from the chart of 10 pitchers most closely compared to those pitchers up through age 25. Gibson’s was through age 26. I’m well aware of what Koufax and Gibson accomplished after that age, but, the fact is, until then, they weren’t that great. It took Koufax 7 years to accomplish much of anything besides striking 250+ hitters in a season, but, that’s pretty much all he did until then. Koufax was barely a .500 pitcher until ’61. I’m also aware of the 3 pitchers stuff.

  27. jacksquat May 29th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    luis May 29th, 2012 at 9:19 pm
    JS,

    Where do you live?

    New Mexico, Mountain time zone, 8pm start for me, not too bad.

  28. austinmac May 29th, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    GB,

    I know you know their stuff as well as me. If your point is let’s wait and see, I agree.

  29. Against All Odds May 29th, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    How many non-Yankee fans think he will suddenly blossom

    ——————-

    Not many but then again like us they aren’t GMs :)

  30. trisha - true pinstriped blue May 29th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Hi jmills. It’s always nice to see you around these parts. We are all kindred spirits in that we are members of the elite AL East.

    Teams slump. And teams come out of slumps. The Jays are too good to slump too long.

    ****

    GO YANKS!

    GO ANDY!

    This is going to be a great game.

    Will join up a few minutes lates. Have to run a last-minute errand.

  31. DaveD May 29th, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    It is no more illogical than Sox fans calling Bard the next Verlander or Buchholz the next James Shields.

  32. GreenBeret7 May 29th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Mac, he’s still too young to dump in the trash. They’ve been doing the same thing to other players that have “disappointed” them. I wouldn’t take these clowns word that water was wet. They were wrong about Jeter and Cano, and the same ones wanted to dump Chamberlain 2 years ago, and they’re being proven wrong about Teixeira. I don’t blame this on impatience. I blame it on stupidity.

  33. trisha - true pinstriped blue May 29th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    GO TIGERS!!!

  34. TheHansons May 29th, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    By the end of the night we’ll be tied at the top of the Wildcard standings and 2 games out of first. I’ll take it. Sux will be 4 or 5 back. I’ll take it.

  35. JobaTipsHisCap May 29th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Andy should be ok tonight, but offense will let him down.

  36. jmills May 29th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Trish et al ! Thanks for the welcome . After my Jays beat your Yanks ,……..I will quietly reside . Sorry my favourite American is a person around Boston – Sylvia Plath . I promise to work on that ! :)

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