So, how about that Andy Pettitte?
Seriously, is there anything he can't do these days? Andy, have you thought about giving curing cancer a try? Pettitte has been a near-lock for seven innings of two-runs-or-less ball this season, and true to form he gave another seven strong innings last night in the desert, surrendering two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts as the Yankees beat the Diamondbacks 9-3. Dan Haren was the tough-luck loser this time around, going seven innings himself and giving up only three runs, all of which were driven in by Alex Rodriguez.
Speaking of Alex, he finally hit a home run last night! And not only that, but he looked pretty good in the remainder of his at-bats on the evening. Hopefully last night was the start of A-Rod returning to his usual locked-in self.
After Haren departed, the floodgates opened courtesy of the D-Backs' bullpen. Going into the series, everyone knew this was Arizona's Achilles' heel, and it certainly lived up to the hype, as the awesomely named Esmerling Vasquez came into the game with Zona down 3-2 and immediately coughed up five runs, including Colin Curtis' first Major League hit and RBIs. Curtis appeared to wearing Joe Girardi's #27 jersey from last season, as the MLB logo at the back of the neck had red trim as opposed to the gray that the 2010 Yankee uniform has.
We as Yankee fans (and bloggers) tend to gripe about any and every negative thing that turns up during the course of a given season, which is only natural when one obsessively follows a baseball team to the point of writing game recaps and authoring comprehensive statistical analysis for absolutely no compensation whatsoever.
That being said, next time I start griping about the Yankee bullpen, I will do my best to remember that it could be far, far worse. I can't imagine being a Diamondbacks fan last night, seeing Vasquez come in to try to hold the game at 3-2 and basically knowing that the game was about to be blown wide open. The Yankees have certainly had their share of volatile relievers over the years, but man -- a 7.36 bullpen ERA, 5.70 FIP and 5.17 xFIP is just not going to help a team win games.
Great win last night, and the Yanks look to take the series tonight behind Javier Vazquez.