The Yankees lost tonight 8-5 but more importantly, found out that Mark Teixeira needs surgery on that wrist and is done for the year.
Not that he helped that much anyway. Teixeira, who injured the wrist in spring training preparing for the World Baseball Classic, came back and played in just 15 games as a Yankee, hitting a meager .151 with 3 HR and 12 RBI, striking out 19x in 53 at bats, and having an OPS+ of just 65. Prepare for an entire season of Lyle Overbay at 1B (unless the Yanks get a righty hitting 1B to platoon w/Overbay (necessary). Heading into tonight’s game, Overbay was hitting .256 vs. lefties but just .197 vs. lefty pitchers).
Of a different concern are Pettitte and Joba. After starting the year 3-0, 2.01 in his first three starts, Andy Pettitte, now 41, is 5-6, 4.22. Which leads me to a question I’ll address in a bit.
In his last 10 starts, Pettitte is 2-6, 5.06. With Michael Pineda weeks away from being ready, what do you do if, say, at the end of July, Pineda is ready and Pettitte is, say, 5-10 with an ERA of 5.00 (which, considering Pettitte’s age, is a possibility)? You can’t just release Andy—not after all he’s meant to the Yankees for so many years. Does Cashman call him quietly aside and offer him to retire with dignity rather than release him? Would Pettitte accept that? I remember the Phillies trying to do that with Steve Carlton and Carlton refused to accept the inevitable and bouncing around the majors for three to four more years. You’d hate to see that with Andy. But Pettitte retired before and I would think would just retire again. I can’t see him accepting a demotion to the bullpen. I think if push came to shove, Pettitte, who retired and didn’t pitch at all in 2011, would just retire.
Now I’m not trying to force Andy into retirement. Truthfully, I hope he rights himself and in two months, we’ll see he has gone 5-1 after having got on a run where we are looking at a 10-7 record.
But you have to accept that in the end, that Father Time always wins out. Is he winning out now? 2-6, 5.06 in his last 10 starts seems to suggest so. Which is why I ask, is there a graceful exit for Andy in a month or so (or less) if they Yanks think Pineda should replace him in the rotation?
Pettitte went 6 tonight, and took the loss. His next win will tie Bob Gibson on the all-time list. He gave up 4 R, 3 ER, 2 walks and 6 K. Not bad, and all four runs came in the same inning. He wasn’t helped when Nix made an error.
Another concern is Joba, who is a free agent after the year and who looks more and more like he could be dealt (for probably not much) at the trade deadline. From all the excitement (and I wrote often about him in 2007 and saw him at SWB before he came to the majors) to this. What a waste of what seemed like a great talent. He pitched 2/3 of an innnig tonight, 2 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Just when the Yanks got back into the game, he helped to let the game get away. His ERA went to a ghastly 6.38 and there is no doubt he is on the bottom of the totem pole, surpassed some time ago by Preston Claiborne, who pitched 1/3 of an inning tonight, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K and whose ERA dropped to 1.52.
Boone Logan went 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. ERA 2.18.
Shawn Kelley gave up 2 unearned runs due to a rare error by Brett Gardner. 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.34.
Lyle Overbay hit a HR (9) in the second to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead but Pettitte gave up 4 in the third.
The Yanks got two in the sixth to cut it to 4-3. Gardner singled, Ichiro doubled and then Cano singled in one and Hafner another. But with the bases loaded & one out, Nix GIDP.
After Joba gave up two to make it 6-3 Texas, Ichiro hit a two-run HR (5) in the seventh to cut it to 6-5 but those two unearned runs (Gardner’s error) in the 9th put the game away for Texas.