Few answers for Nieve, Mets
The Yankees went quietly in this one, as Andy Pettitte was hit for five runs in five innings and there were few answers for Fernando Nieve and the Mets.
If there was any momentum swing from last night’s thrilling walk-off victory, it dissipated pretty quickly, as Pettitte just couldn’t find his cutter and wasn’t able to make adjustments. That’s why they always say momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. And Pettitte was the first to admit he wasn’t very good at all.
“It was obviously a horrible start for me,” Pettitte said. “It’s frustrating, after the big win we had last night, to come out and pitch the way I did and only give us five innings. I feel like I’m doing a fairly decent job of getting ahead of people and I’m not able to put guys away.”
Why do some teams always seem to struggle against unheralded pitchers, the first time they see them? Sometimes players who don’t have familiarity can have the advantage, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. Across the way in the Yankees clubhouse, Johnny Damon complimented Nieve but admitted that it is a recurring theme.
“He went out there and pounded the strike zone,” Johnny Damon said. “Those are the guys that seem to give our team problems, guys that go out and throw strikes. We like to take pitches, we like to put the other pitcher behind in the count.
“It seems like the guys we’ve never seen before are pounding the strike zone and we’re getting tougher pitches to hit after they’re ahead. Hopefully someday we can change that trend.”