Yanks’ resiliency “good for the spirit”
The Yankees have shown some resiliency of late, as they did last night in last night’s exciting comeback to topple David Price, Fernando Rodney and the Rays. They’ll try to parlay that into taking two of three in the series tonight at Tropicana Field, as Andy Pettitte heads to the hill for a New York team that is pleasing their manager.
“They’ve done a good job coming back in games during the course of this stretch,” Joe Girardi said. “After getting off to a little bit of a slow start they’ve bounced back very well, so I’m pleased with that.”
Ichiro Suzuki played a key role in the rally last night, singling and scoring the tying run in the eighth inning against Price and then lacing a two-run single to center field in the ninth. For his efforts, and also because the Yanks’ lineup doesn’t have Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells tonight, Ichiro has been bumped to the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
Girardi said that, as the Yankees prepare to face right-hander Alex Cobb, there can be a carryover effect from a rally like the one they had in the late innings last night.
“I think it gives you confidence when you’re behind in a game that your guys are going to figure it out if your pitcher can just hold them down, give us a chance to win a game,” Girardi said. “I think it builds character, and they’re good wins. They’re hard fought wins. It’s good for the spirit of a club.”
Pettitte is making his fourth start of the season, and outside of a brief setback with some back spasms, he has looked absolutely vintage. He’s 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA and is trying to win his first four starts of a season for the first time in his career.
“He’s such a competitor,” Girardi said. “It’s kind of like Derek [Jeter], in a sense. Nothing really ever surprises you because we’ve seen him do it for such a long time and he’s such a competitor. If you look at one thing he’s really done well, he’s really given us distance. Maybe you don’t quite expect the distance that we’ve gotten out of him in the games, but I did expect him to pitch well.”