9/21 – Yankees at Angels
Good evening from under the lights at Angel Stadium, where the Yankees kick off a very important six-game stretch of baseball against the Angels and the Red Sox. First up is the Halos, as Andy Pettitte gets the ball against a team that has perennially given the Yankees some serious headaches.
For Pettitte, his concern is that his left shoulder holds up through the fourth or fifth inning and shows no sign of the fatigue that prompted the Yankees to skip him a start. Joe Girardi said that he will be looking for Pettitte’s location to be sharp and has been encouraged by the lefty’s side sessions, which were all positive.
“He has not given me any reason not to feel good,” Girardi said.
The Yankees’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one, with the Rangers and A’s playing simultaneously here in California. Should the Yankees win or the Rangers lose, word is that there won’t be much celebrating going on. The champagne is being saved for the American League East clincher; that magic number was nine entering Monday.
Other notes — Girardi wanted to put more of a right-handed lineup out there against Joe Saunders, which is why Jorge Posada is DHing. That gives Hideki Matsui a night off … Sergio Mitre is not available in this series after pitching five innings of scoreless, one-hit ball on Sunday … Dave Robertson could be pitching in a game early next week. … Phil Coke is back at the team hotel, sidelined with acute gastritis.
Girardi said he was never hazed as a rookie, the way they got Mark Melancon, Ramiro Pena and Mike Dunn last night. The Cubs, with Rick Sutcliffe as a ringleader, had planned to dress Girardi as Drill Sergeant Vince Carter from the old TV series ‘Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.’ Steve Wilson was to play Pyle, but for one reason or another, the Cubs never followed through. In case you’re wondering, the mid 1990s Yankees also had an outage in that category, so guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera never had to go through the embarrassment.
|Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (13-6, 4.14).|
|Pitching: LHP Joe Saunders (13-7, 4.75).|