Hughes: “It’s all fastball command, really” • 05.21.13
“You lay in bed and you think about things,” he said. “What could have gone differently for you, and what you could have done better. It’s tough. It’s tough any way you slice it.”
Doubt anyone needs to be reminded of the details, so here are the basics: Hughes got two outs, allowed seven runs and saw his season ERA jump by nearly a run and a half on Wednesday. Tonight will be his first start since the debacle, an opportunity for — as he put it — “officially putting that one out of my memory bank.” Of course, forgetting about that one will require a significant step forward, which will require some sort of correction.
“I felt like I was maybe on the side of the ball a little bit, which tends (to cause) my fastball to come back over the middle of the plate,” Hughes said. “My bullpen, I tried to focus on staying behind the baseball and continue to stay aggressive. It wasn’t any drastic changes or anything.”
Fact is, Wednesday was an extreme example of what’s made Hughes such an up-and-down pitcher, especially this season. He’s made eight starts this year. In his first two and his last two — the four starts when he struggled — he’s had a combined ERA of 14.17 with seven strikeouts. In his middle four starts, he’s had a combined ERA of 1.93 with 30 strikeouts. He’s been terrific for half the season (punctuated by eight scoreless innings on May 4), and he’s been awful for half of the season (punctuated by Wednesday’s embarrassment).
“It’s all fastball command, really,” Hughes said. “The days that I’ve had good command of my fastball, I’ve been able to work everything off that. Those have been the good ones. The bad ones, I’m falling behind and trying to figure something out. When the fastball is there and I’m locating it, I have a good chance to be good that day. If not, I think I need to do a better job of recognizing that earlier and throwing more off-speed pitches to try to counter-balance that.”
Locating the fastball requires control, beginning with Hughes’ emotions. He said he has a tendency to get on the side of the ball when he overthrows. Larry Rothschild told Hughes that overthrowing was the problem on Wednesday.
“Larry said it reminded him of last year when I threw in Anaheim (5.1 innings, 7 earned),” Hughes said. “Sometimes you just get too much adrenaline going and tend to overthrow the baseball. For me, when I do that, I get on the side and rush out a little bit. It’s something I need to recognize when I’m doing that and try to do a better job of handling my emotions, especially in the first inning, which is tough sometimes. I think that’s when you’re amped up the most. Once I get rolling a little bit, it becomes easier.”
Associated Press photo
Yankees react to bad news on Jeter • 04.19.13
Derek Jeter is gone until at least after the All-Star break after breaking his left ankle again. (My article today about the situation). The Yankees are getting used to bad injury news. They’ve had a lot of practice reacting so far this year.
“He’s our captain, leader,” Phil Hughes said. “It’s never good news when guys are going to be out longer than you expect. But we’ve got to continue to battle along like we have been.”
The Yankees have won seven of their last nine to move to 8-6.
“It’s tough, but we haven’t had him yet,” Brett Gardner said. “When you don’t have guys, you can’t really count on them to come back. You’ve just got to make do with what you’ve got. I feel like we’ve been playing pretty good baseball so far. We’ll try to keep it going.”
Of course, Eduardo Nunez becomes even more of a key figure as the main man replacing Jeter. Nunez made his first error of the season, on a bad throw to first, in Thursday night’s 12-inning, 6-2 setback to the Diamondbacks. He also missed a grounder he probably should have had. But his defense has been better overall so far than last year. Now he needs to stay consistent. And hit more. He’s batting .233 over his 11 games.
Before the game, and before the update came on Jeter, Nunez said, “I hope he comes back this year. I hope he comes back healthy. But I’m prepared to play all year. … This is what I’ve been working for all my life.”
After the game and the update, Nunez expressed mixed feelings, saying, “It’s good for me to keep playing, but it’s not what I’m looking for.”
Also, Phil Hughes was much improved Thursday night (here’s that story), so at least he can try to build off that. And in my Yankees notebook for today, I write about Travis Hafner’s good health being a key, have Brian Cashman explaining why it’s hard right now to bring in shortstop reinforcements and look ahead to the Toronto series that starts tonight.
Yankees postgame: Hughes back in form • 04.19.13
Yankee Stadium is filled with fog right now at 12:45 in the morning. The only positive that came out of this 12-inning, 6-2 loss to Arizona was that Phil Hughes came out of the fog, pitching well after two bad starts to start the season.
“You don’t want to let the bad starts snowball,” Hughes said. “I just kind of tried to stop the bleeding. It would’ve been nice to get the win tonight, but I feel like I threw the ball much better. Certainly it was a step in the right direction.”
Hughes gave up two runs and six hits over seven, fanning six and walking none along the way.
“I felt more like myself,” Hughes said. “I was being aggressive, attacking hitters.”
Of course, both runs here had to come on homers. Hughes has allowed at least one homer in 32 of his last 43 starts at Yankee Stadium since 2010 and he has allowed 27 homers in 18 home starts covering 2012 and this young year.
“I’m not going to lose my aggressiveness,” Hughes said. “… What comes along with that, I’m going to give up home runs.”
Francisco Cervelli wasn’t dwelling about his tying homer in the ninth.
“The home run right now doesn’t mean anything because we lost the game,” Cervelli said.
He was dwelling more on the two catcher’s inference calls against him, including one in the four-run 12th.
“They were a little late on the swing and I was too close twice,” Cervelli said.
So the Yankees finished the homestand at 4-2 and headed to Toronto at 8-6.
“You’d sign up for four of six any day of the week,” Brett Gardner said. “We would have liked to have won tonight and got out of town on a better note. But I think we’ve been playing pretty well for the most part.”
Mariano Rivera faced hitters for the second time since last year’s torn ACL. The video above is of Rivera throwing to outfielder Adonis Garcia (the video might have been better, but I wasn’t allowed any closer).
“The swings didn’t tell me much,” Rivera said. “I was telling them what I was throwing, but I felt good.”
As he’s said all along, Rivera insisted that live batting practice and bullpens aren’t a significant test. He’s been able to throw for a while now, and he’s just looking forward to getting into games to practice fielding bunts and covering first base.
“I don’t feel nothing (in the knee),” Rivera said. “The big thing is going to be game situations. That’s it. I don’t think about it at all. I don’t know if you guys have seen me run, I’m not even thinking about it. I’m running normal, like nothing ever happened.”
• Before Curtis Granderson’s injury, it was easy to dismiss guys like Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte as all but certain to open in Triple-A. Now they’re in the mix for a big league spot, and Girardi said he’ll be paying close attention as he tries to decide whether a young guy might be a better short-term option than either Matt Diaz or Juan Rivera. “I want someone who can do everything,” Girardi said. “Is that too much to ask? I don’t know.”
• Girardi made it clear that top prospects Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin are not really candidates for the big league opening. Neither has significant playing time above High-A. Didn’t specifically ask, but I’m assuming Ramon Flores is in the same boat.
• CC Sabathia faced hitters this morning. He’ll take two days off then face hitters again. He’s throwing sliders these days and said his elbow has been fine. “No problem,” Sabathia said. “Felt normal.”
• Phil Hughes said he walked and did some side-to-side work in the pool yesterday. He also did some shoulder exercises. Everything went well, and he’s been told that he’ll probably see the doctor on Wednesday to assess his progress. “Obviously I want to get back as soon as I can,” Hughes said. “But I’m not going ot rush it.”
• Girardi announced more upcoming starters.
Tuesday: Jose Ramirez
Wednesday: Nik Turley
Thursday: David Phelps (home), Brett Marshall (road)
• Worth watching tomorrow in Tampa: Andy Pettitte will throw live batting practice to Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin. Also tomorrow, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Hiroki Kuroda and Boone Logan will throw bullpens.
• Today’s second string: C Austin Romine, 1B Greg Bird, 2B Jose Pirela, SS Walter Ibarra, 3B Corban Joseph, LF Ramon Flores, CF Slade Heathcott, RF Tyler Austin, DH Zoilo Almonte
• Today’s listed pitchers: Vidal Nuno, Bryan Mitchell, Corey Black, Shane Greene, Ryan Pope, Kelvin Perez, Josh Spence, Chase Whitley
• David Phelps, Brett Marshall, Nik Turley, Mike O’Brien and Matt Tracy each threw bullpens today.
• Live batting practice
Facing Francisco Arcia, Rob Segedin, Thomas Neal and Adonis Garcia
Ivan Nova (throwing to Bobby Wilson)
CC Sabathia (Wilson)
Mariano Rivera (Chris Stewart)
David Aardsma (Stewart)
Clay Rapada (J.R. Murphy)
Shawn Kelley (Murphy)
Tom Kahnle (Arcia)
• Players staying behind for a workout in Tampa have been divided into these batting practice groups:
Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez, Ichiro Suzuki
Travis Hafner, Luke Murton, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis
J.R. Murphy, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson
• Tomorrow’s travel roster
Pitchers: Juan Cedeno, Joba Chamberlain, Preston Claiborne, Matt Daley, Jim Miller, Zach Nuding, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder, Jose Ramirez, Dave Robertson, Francisco Rondon
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, Bobby Wilson
Infielders: Greg Bird, Robinson Cano, Cito Culver, Travis Hafner, Addison Maruszak, Luke Murton, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Rob Segedin, Mark Teixeira, Gil Velazquez, Kevin Youkilis
Outfielders: Matt Diaz, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Melky Mesa, Ronnier Mustelier, Thomas Neal, Ichiro Suzuki
Associated Press photo
Tuesday notes: Another opportunity for Nunez • 02.19.13
It’s going to be a while before Derek Jeter is ready to play in games, and that means playing time for someone else. Most notably, it means playing time for Eduardo Nunez.
“I can’t kill him,” Joe Girardi said. “I can’t play him nine innings every day, but he’s going to play a substantial amount.”
Nunez and Jeter went through shortstop drills together again today, and the Yankees plan to keep Nunez at short this spring, and there’s little doubt that the Yankees idea of letting Jeter DH against lefties in the regular season leaves a legitimate opportunity for Nunez to get big league playing time again.
“I want Jeter to be healthy again and play how he plays,” Nunez said. “But for now, it’s my opportunity to show I can play every day and show I can play defense. I can do different things than people think I can do. … I feel great right now. My confidence is (high). I know what I can do. I know what kind of player I can be, and that I can be right now.”
Girardi said the Yankees will look for consistency out of Nunez, and that should come as little surprise. Nunez has shown flashes of being a valuable big leaguer — most recently, he played well during his short time playing in Jeter’s place during the ALCS — but his defensive lapses are well documented.
“He has to earn it,” Girardi said. “We’ve got to toy with some different options, but we liked what he did at the end of last year. We know he provides a lot of excitement. Our plans are probably to keep him at short for the most part — we did talk about that — but he does have to earn it.”
Girardi said there’s a chance the Yankees could carry both Nunez and Jayson Nix, but it would leave the Yankees without a left-handed pinch hitter, which they’d like to have. Ultimately, Girardi repeated his familiar promise to carry the best players to make up the best team. Nunez will have a chance to put himself in that group.
“Jeter’s a Gold Glove,” Nunez said. “Cano’s a Gold Glove. (So are) Teixeira and A-Rod. You don’t see too many errors from these guys. When they come to me, I make an error, it’s a big thing. … It was a little bit in my mind, frustration for that, but I thank Jeter, thank A-Rod (and) thank Cano. They talked to me a lot and teach me how to fix that.”
• Here’s Girardi explaining the Phil Hughes injury: “It’s upper back, up here by his shoulder blades, so we’ll see how he is in a couple of days. The good thing is he was ahead of where he probably would normally be at this time, which helps. … You’re usually more concerned about the lower lingering. But until it’s gone, it’s going to linger. That’s like a Yogi-ism.”
• Despite being ahead of most of the other big league pitchers, Hughes was not in consideration to start Saturday’s spring opener even before the injury.
• Austin Romine said he’s more or less stopped thinking about his back. He doesn’t really notice it any more. Bascially a week into spring training and Romine’s had no problems so far. He’s very optimistic that he’s gotten past the problem.
• Haven’t heard much about Michael Pineda lately. He said today that his shoulder still feels good, but he’s not scheduled for another bullpen until Friday.
• David Phelps gets the opening start on Saturday, and although Girardi didn’t talk about it today, he’s always made it clear in the past that early spring outings don’t carry a lot of weight. I can’t imagine Phelps is going to feel that way. This is what he said earlier in camp: “I pushed myself a little more in the offseason so my arm is ready a little quicker during spring training because I’m trying to make an impression.”
• Speaking of making an impression, I didn’t see it, but there was some buzz today about Ichiro Suzuki’s behind-the-back catch during outfield drills. I asked Brett Gardner to describe it and Gardner started laughing. “That’s my fault,” he said. “I told him to do it.” Gardner said that Ichiro has a variety of behind-the-back catches that he’ll do every once in while when the team is shagging fly balls. Gardner wanted to see a few today, and Ichiro was up to the task. Girardi said he didn’t see Ichiro do it today, but “I’ve seen him do it before,” Girardi said.
• Mark Teixeira’s last day in Yankees camp is March 2. Robinson Cano’s last day is March 3. After that, those two will join their World Baseball Classic teams to prepare for the tournament.
• Random conversation of the day was with new outfielder Thomas Neal. If a handshake is any indication of a man’s strength, Neal just might be a 40-homer guy. I’m not sure how he uses a cell phone without crushing it. Seriously, Neal said he got some interest from the Yankees pretty soon after being designated for assignment, but he took some time making his decision on where to sign. He decided the Yankees were the best fit, with the potential for a real opportunity.
• Matt Diaz tried to convince me to write a story about his son’s tee-ball team. Seriously. He thinks that group has a real shot this year.
Associated Press photos
Future uncertain for Hughes and Chamberlain • 02.15.13
As always, good stuff in today’s Times from our friend Tyler Kepner. He took a look at two of the very few Yankees first-round draft picks who have made an impact at the big league level in the past decade and a half. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that they got to the big leagues, but their future in pinstripes is uncertain at best.
(Phil) Hughes and a 2006 first-rounder, Joba Chamberlain, are both eligible for free agency after the season.If the Yankees re-sign (Robinson) Cano, who is represented by Scott Boras, his new salary will take a huge chunk from their payroll. How much would be left for Hughes and Chamberlain?
To use Kepner’s term, the Yankees have generally gone “boom-or-bust” in the first round, and they’ve busted quite a few times. In the six years since taking Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy in 2006, the Yankees first-rounders have been Andrew Brackman (derailed by injuries and lack of command), Gerrit Cole (who refused to sign and is now an elite prospect with the Pirates), Slade Heathcott (compensation for Cole, now one of the top prospects in the system), Cito Culver (shortstop who’s shown no bat in the low minors), Dante Bichette Jr. (supplemental rounder coming off a massively disappointing season), and Ty Hensley (talented high school pitcher a long, long way from the big leagues).
Hughes and Chamberlain come with mixed reviews, largely because of massive expectations that one or both would develop into an ace. Both have had injury problems, Chamberlain’s back-and-forth career is well documented, and Hughes has been an all-star but has also lacked consistency. Still in their 20s, both are young enough to play for another decade, but their futures are unclear.
What’s certain is that, for at least one more year, the Yankees need them.
Joe Girardi on Hughes: “I think it’s just to build off what he did. More consistency. Deeper into games. Can you log a few more innings for your club? Have the changeup continue to develop. At times it was really good last year, but try to get it to where it’s really good every day. Sometimes you’re not going to have your second pitch, and you’d like to have your third pitch when you don’t. But that’s the natural progression.”
Joe Girardi on Chamberlain: “You want depth in your bullpen, and I think it’s important. In what I saw last year, that it seemed that each week that went by, it seemed he got more consistent in his stuff. We’re going to need that. A lot of times, we’ve had three guys who can kinda knock down the seventh, eighth, and ninth. And he’s important. He’s an important role for us. Anytime a guy can knock down a whole inning, it gives you more opportunities to set up earlier in the game if you need it.”
Associated Press photos
Andy Pettitte loved the idea of pitching in the World Baseball Classic. The Yankees did not.
“They weren’t crazy about it, and I understand it,” Pettitte said. “I mean, it’s understandable. I spoke with Cash and I spoke with Joe. (They said), ‘If you decide to do this, we’re going to support you,’ but obviously they were hoping it was something that I wouldn’t do, and like I said, I understand it. And at the time that I was considering it, I was just hoping they would understand, which I knew they probably couldn’t. I’ve done a lot of things in this game, but I’ve never had a chance to play for my country. I don’t know if that sounds corny, but it was a big deal for me.”
Doesn’t sound corny to me, but it also doesn’t sound unreasonable for the Yankees to have some hesitation about a 40-year-old playing in an unnecessary exhibition.
“This needed to be the focus,” Pettitte said. “I guess it just came down to not really wanting to take quite that chance of having something go wrong and then kicking yourself all year long.”
• The spring’s first workout went smoothly, but it’s always a little more boring when it’s just the pitchers and catchers. The position players really bring the place to life. Two interesting pitch counts: Phil Hughes threw 40 pitches and Clay Rapada threw 35. Rapada joked that he’s going to be a long man. Hughes explained that he’d already thrown six bullpens before today.
• Hughes isn’t alone. Quite a few of the pitchers seem more advanced than usual (including Mariano Rivera, who actually threw a bullpen today rather than waiting another week). Some of the younger guys in camp — including guys like David Phelps, Adam Warren and Chase Whitley who could be in the big league mix — have already faced hitters. Phelps, Warren and Whitley threw batting practice at the minor league complex on Monday. Whitley said he expects to face hitters when he throws his first spring bullpen tomorrow.
• Because he’s coming back from an injury, Derek Jeter is allowed to report to spring training immediately (you may remember that David Adams and Justin Maxwell came to camp with the pitchers and catchers last year), but Girardi said he doesn’t expect Jeter to report early. “I don’t think so,” Girardi said. “I think he’s doing most of his stuff down at the minor league facility, doing his drills and all his work.”
• Girardi said all of the pitchers and catchers reported to camp on time. No one was late this year. “Not that I know of,” Girardi said.
• Pettitte said he’s well aware that the Yankees might try to protect him, but he wants — even expects — to make 30 starts this season. “I know Joe is going to protect me as best he can as far as keeping my innings limited,” Pettitte said. “But I want to throw 200 innings, make all my starts. Heck, I want to win 20 games, that’s what I want to do.”
• Is this Pettitte’s last year? He said he honestly hasn’t made up his mind. “I can tell you right now, as I sit right here, I hope this is it,” he said. “But having gone through this and done this, I’m not going to shut it down again unless I know for a fact that I’m done with this.”
Associated Press photos
The Yankees hit five homers in this 6-4 win over the Red Sox, all solo shots. The homer total tied a season high, and not coincidently the previous time also came against Boston pitching.
“Yeah, the home runs, that’s the way they live and they had a whole bunch of them tonight,” Bobby Valentine said after the Sox fell 13 1/2 games behind the Yankees.
This time, they did it with Mark Teixeira sitting out with his inflamed left wrist.
“I feel like we’re playing pretty well with a lot of our big bombers not in the lineup,” Nick Swisher said. “I think it’s a testament to this team’s resiliency.”
Swisher hit one from each side of the plate, the 12th time that has happened for him in a game. Only Teixeira is ahead of him on the all-time list, with 13. Swisher now has four homers in his last five games, giving him 18 for the season. He also has at least one RBI and one run scored in his last six games, which is a career high.
“It just so happens I’m hot right now,” Swisher said. “I felt I picked something up a week ago. … It’s rare you feel good from both sides of the plate at the same time.”
Derek Jeter hit No. 10 on the season/career No. 250, so the Yankees now have 10 players with at least 10 homers, a major-league high. And it ties the franchise record established in 1998.
Phil Hughes threw away a potential double-play ball in the third thanks to a bad grip or he would’ve had seven shutout innings. The four runs in that inning were unearned. But Hughes only gave up four hits in all and is now tied with CC Sabathia for the team lead in wins with 12.
Hughes used his changeup a lot more, especially to righties.
“It was more just being stubborn before,” Hughes said.
“It’s something we’re probably going to use from here on out,” Russell Martin said.
Rafael Soriano’s great season continues. He picked up save No. 30 in 32 tries, so he’s the seventh Yankee to post 30 saves dating to 1969 when the modern save rule came into existence.
The Yankees have won eight of 10. Saturday’s pitching matchup will feature David Phelps and Jon Lester.
The Yankees sure have done a better job getting past their injuries than the Red Sox. They have more talent and more depth than the Red Sox have, too. The pitching is much better. The gap between these first- and last-place teams is now 11 1/2 games after this 10-3 win by the Yankees.
“They don’t focus on the negative,” Joe Girardi said. “They focus on the job at hand. Because you’re going to go through injuries. Every team is going through it. We’re not immune to it. But they focus on what they’ve got to do that day. Who’s in the lineup, they go to work, pitchers go to work, and they try to win a game.”
The Yankees have had 13 players on the DL. The Red Sox have had 22. But Carl Crawford and Jacobi Ellsbury have been back since mid-July. Big Papi Ortiz is due back next Wednesday. The team has lost six of seven to fall to 49-51. The Yankees were saying not to count them out yet. Bobby Valentine was saying the same thing.
“We’ll turn it around,” Valentine said. “We haven’t had our big streak yet. That’s the good news.”
Ichiro went 1 for 4 in his debut in the pinstriped threads. He appreciated the warmth shown by the fans.
“Usually, I come in and the fans behind me are pretty tough on me,” Ichiro said. “But tonight they were great. They were awesome.”
He sure seems to appreciate being here.
“I was very excited,” Ichiro said. “My first game here in Yankee Stadium was against the Boston Red Sox. In Japan, you twist your cheek to see if it’s real or not, if I’m not dreaming. That’s really how I feel right now.”
Phil Hughes gave up three solo homers but only two other hits in seven innings. He’s up to 10-8 after his first win since July 1.
“With nobody on, the last thing I want to do is walk guys,” Hughes said. “That can lead to big innings. If I give up a solo home run here or there, I can work around that and find kind of a rhythm.”
Eric Chavez got hit high on the side of the right ankle in the eighth. He left after the inning when it tightened up, then met the media with a big wrap on it.
Chavez said it looked worse than it was. He said X-rays were negative, that it was just a bruise. He wasn’t sure if he would be available off the bench today. But he isn’t scheduled to start at third these next two games with lefties pitching.
“If there’s a good time to get hit, it was a good time,” Chavez said.
Today’s pitching matchup will feature CC Sabathia and Jon Lester.
The Yankees didn’t exactly break out at the plate, didn’t exactly cure their RISP ills. They did enough to win 3-2 over Kansas City, snap a three-game skid and move out of their last-place time share with Boston.
But they managed just six hits and had two big strikeouts with the bases loaded.
After going 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position, only one good for an RBI, the Yankees are 8 for their last 79 in these spots.
“Our pitching staff has done a good job,” said Derek Jeter, who delivered that RBI. “We can’t put so much pressure on them where they really have to be perfect.”
Phil Hughes’ take? “We have to ride this slow little pace we’re going through right now,” Hughes said. “Us as pitchers have to step up and do a good job.”
Hughes did a good job for the fourth straight start, moving to 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in this stretch.
“I think it’s more of a mentality thing, going out there more aggressive,” Hughes said. “I knew my stuff was there. I just had to not be so tentative and afraid to make mistakes and just go right after guys.”
This time, he allowed the two runs, five hits and two walks over six. He fanned seven. Seventy-four of his 106 pitches went for strikes.
“I think it was more a case of Phil Hughes pitching extremely well more than our offense not producing,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Alex Rodriguez, who fanned in the fifth with those bases loaded as did Raul Ibanez, sees good things ahead for the Yankees after stopping their slide.
“I feel this team is ready to go on a good hot streak,” A-Rod said. “The first one is always hard. Hopefully we’ll get another one tomorrow. And then the west coast. Probably the best thing that could happen to this team right now is a change of scenery.”
The Yankees are now up to 2-16 when they score three runs or less.
They are up to 22-11 when they launch at least one homer (0-10 without one).
Jeter’s fifth-inning RBI single snapped the Yankees’ 0-for -2 streak with the bases loaded.
Robinson Cano, who homered in the fourth, has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games, batting .365 with four homers and 13 RBI in that span. He’s at .400 for his last 14 games.
Rafael Soriano had to sweat out his third save in three tries. It was his 400th career appearance.
The pitching matchup for the series finale will be Andy Pettitte vs. Luis Mendoza.