Friday, May 17, 2013

Another Yankee Down?

More Yankee Injuries? Andy Pettitte, Chris Stewart

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 17- It took 3 hours and 26 minutes for the Yankees to lose the rubber game of the three-game series with Seattle. Although the Thursday night loss was disappointing, the Yanks are still in first place in the American League East. The biggest worry for Yankees executives and fans is the seriousness of the physical condition of Andy Pettitte and Chris Stewart.

The Yankees veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte seems snake-bit when pitching against the Seattle Mariners. Seattle is the only American League franchise that has a winning record over Pettitte. The Mariners have handed him 13 losses in the 25 games he has pitched against them. He has 5-10 in his last 15 decisions.

On Thursday night, Pettitte failed to record his 250th win in the majors as he was removed from the contest after pitching only 4.2 innings. At the start of the fifth, the starting pitcher told manager Joe Girardi he had a little spasm, but wanted to remain in the game once two were out. Girardi recalled, “When I saw the drop in velocity, I had some concern. To me, his trap had a knot in it.” The manager does not know if the lefty will miss a turn or even be out of action longer.

Pettitte gave up two runs, four hits, three walks, and threw a wild pitch during his time on the mound. He left with the Yankees trailing, 2-1.

Interestingly, Seattle’s starter, Hector Noesi, threw the same number of pitches as Pettitte, 79, but he was not involved in the decision as he left the game after only 4.1 innings.

The Yankees scored their first tally in the second with two out. Curtis Granderson beat out an infield hit in only his third career start as designated hitter. He advanced to second on an error by the first baseman on the same play and crossed the plate after a double by David Adams. Adams, who began his in the majors on the previous night, recorded his first extra-base hit and first run batted in.

The Mariners scored an insurance run in the sixth, which proved to be needed, when outfielder Michael Morse led off the inning with his 10th four bagger. The home run was the hot hitting outfielder’s 9th hit in his previous 14 at bats.

The Yanks cut the deficit to a single run in the seventh as they pushed one run over the plate on an infield single by Robinson Cano.

Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his 11th save of the season in 11 save opportunities by holding the Yankees to an infield single in the ninth.

Catcher Chris Stewart was replaced by Austin Romine in the eighth. Girardi said Stewart complained of pain in his left groin. After the game, the manager said, “Let’s see what the MRI says.” When asked if he would bring up another catcher from the minors, he responded, “We’ll just have to see.”

The Yankees will begin a three game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Hiroki Kuroda (5-2) will start for New York against Mark Buerhle (1-2) for Toronto.

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