Game 44: Yankees vs. Royals

May 23, 2012, 7:05 p.m. ET, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
TV / Radio: YES, WCBS 880 AM

The Yankees will turn to Andy Pettitte on Wednesday night with the hopes of ending this homestand on a good night and taking the series against the Royals. The Yankees have lost six of their last eight games and have been struggling to score, particularly with runners in scoring position.
“I don’t think we’ve struggled like this since I’ve been here,” said Mark Teixeira, who was moved back up to his regular spot in the batting order (third) on Wednesday.
After this game, the Yankees will embark on a 10-day, nine-game trip to Oakland, Anaheim and Detroit — the club’s longest trip before the All-Star Break. Today’s game concludes a stretch of 16 games in as many days dating back to May 8.
Back to Pettitte, Joe Girardi said the thing that has impressed him most has been Pettitte’s durability after the left-hander’s long hiatus.
“The fact that he was able to keep his velocity up after taking a year and a half off,” Girardi said. “Give us 115 pitches. I’m not sure if I asked him to give us 115 in 2010. I’ve been impressed with his durability so far. I know it’s only two games but for a guy that’s only 39 and hasn’t pitched in a year and a half, he’s responded pretty well.”

Pettitte will face Kansas City left-hander Will Smith, who is making his Major League debut. Pettitte made his professional debut in June 1991, just a month before Smith’s second birthday. Pettitte made his Major League debut in April 1995, two months shy of Smith’s sixth birthday. It’s the 14th time since 2000 the Yankees have faced a pitcher making his Major League debut (New York is 5-8 in the previous 13 contests).

Here are tonight’s lineups:

ROYALS (17-25)
Alex Gordon LF
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Billy Butler DH
Jeff Francoeur RF
Mike Moustakas 3B
Alcides Escobar SS
Eric Hosmer 1B
Humberto Quintero C
Mitch Maier CF

LHP Will Smith (Major League debut)

YANKEES (22-21)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Jayson Nix LF

LHP Andy Pettitte (1-1, 2.51)


I agree Seeknay. it may be premature but the way Andy is pitching right now I have more confidence in him than CC. He really is our Ace. Mind you it’s good to have both great lefties in the rotation. If only we could get the other starters to go deeper into the games and pitch with more consistency and confidence. Let’s hope the team is turning a corner here. it took a private meeting between Crashman and Girardi and the players to light a fire under them. Too bad it has to come to that. As professionals they should be able to do it on their own.


I know this will bring an argument/discussion but I believe that Andy is the greatest lefty starter in NY Yankee history. With all due respects to the Chairman of the Board.


Boys, that’s pitching in the 6th and 7th. Sometimes you forget what it looks like. Andy P is cutting up strike zone like Mo!


The old guy is getting it done again. He’s phenomenal. Great signing. Instills confidence in the hitters who are picking it up. Two HRs already. Keep it going. Need to win this series.


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