The Yankees have scored six runs in each of their past three games. They’ve won none of them. They’ve put together some sort of late inning rally every time, and they’ve always fallen short.
“We battled back in every game here,” Joe Girardi said. “We scored runs. We just gave up too many.”
Pitching let the Yankees down this home stand. Aside from those first two games against the Twins, the pitching staff struggled in one form or another in five straight games. Tonight it was Andy Pettitte who had by far his worst start of the year, but said he actually didn’t feel too bad. The cutter that Carlos Pena hit for a home run was “just a horrible pitch,” but B.J. Upton went deep on a changeup that Pettitte was pretty happy with and Ben Zobrist homered on a sinker that Pettitte located where he wanted.
“I think they had a pretty good approach against me,” Pettitte said. “For Ben to hit the ball that he hit, he had to be thinking out there and staying out there. Most guys don’t run into the ball and hit it that far the other way like that… I feel like if I didn’t have anything I should be able to go out there and hold them to seven runs. Tonight I felt pretty decent. Definitely a frustrating night, that’s for sure.”
Here’s Joe Girardi’s postgame media session.
• One pitching bright spot was David Robertson, who looked positively dominant again. Two perfect innings with four strikeouts. “He’s thrown the ball better definitely the past few outings,” Girardi said. He seems to be getting back to that form that he had last year.”
• Two offensive bright spots: Three hits from Derek Jeter and another home run from Juan Miranda.
• One big picture bright spot: Curtis Granderson feels good. “So far, no setbacks,” he said. He believes it’s possible — though he admits this is optimistic — that he could get into a rehab game next week.
• I don’t have numbers to back this up, but the Yankees seem to be swinging early in the count quite a bit. “At times guys will do that,” Girardi said. “If you go up and take the first pitch all the time, just throw strike one and now you’re ahead of our hitters. I think hitters can’t fall into just one pattern of hitting. At times they have to be aggressive.”
• Nick Swisher said he felt no pain tonight, but he was disappointed by his two strikeouts. “My first few at-bats weren’t what I was expecting,” Swisher said. “My left side’s still a click off.”
• Chad Moeller got to the stadium around 6:30 after battling traffic from the airport.
• Mike Ashmore is reporting that the Yankees have signed catcher Rene Rivera to a minor league deal and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Associated Press photos of Francisco Cervelli and Juan Miranda.