The Yankees said farewell to Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte today. Pitching was, of course, not their problem.
Another underwhelming day from the Yankees lineup left them with a stunning 2-1 loss to the Giants, a loss that might very well have wiped out any reasonable hope of this team making the playoffs. Pettitte pitched a gem, and Rivera got five outs, but an eighth-inning run off Dave Robertson — charged to Pettitte — gave San Francisco a late lead, and the Yankees couldn’t answer. They blew scoring chances in the seventh and eighth before going down quietly in the ninth.
Pettitte was remarkable in what was likely his final appearance at Yankee Stadium. He was perfect through four innings and carried a no-hitter into the sixth. A solo home run by Ehire Adrianza broke up the milestone and tied the game, but Pettitte didn’t allow another hit until a leadoff double in the eighth. It was Pettitte’s final pitch before walking off the mound to a massive ovation and eventual curtain call. Pettitte had been at 102 pitches when the inning started, and Girard left him in to fact a switch hitter — Pablo Sandoval — who’s struggled against lefties, but the move backfired when the leadoff double came around to score on a double off Robertson.
Even with the eighth-inning blunder, what really cost the Yankees were blown opportunities by the offense. Their only run came on Mark Reynolds’ solo home run. They had runners at second and third with one out in the seventh, only to have both Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki strike out. They had runners at second and third with no outs in the eighth, only to have Zoilo Almonte make a base-running mistake, Curtis Granderson strike out, and Robinson Cano get thrown out at the plate on a nearly game-tying single by Eduardo Nunez.
Associated Press photo