Tag Archives: Andy Pettitte

World Series Game 6

Sweet Victory

No 27

Yankees Win World Series 2009

Game 6 went according to some kind of plan. Pedro Martinez was willing to pitch around Mark Teixeira and A-Rod, just to get to Hideki Matsui, and for perhaps the last time Hideki Matsui played like his nickname Godzilla, batting in 6 runs. The Yankee pitching, led by Andy Pettitte and closed by Mo, did pretty much everything it was expected to do – hold down the Phillies so the offense can pound out some runs.

I guess it’s the kind of pleasure you get watching a blockbuster – they spent the money to give you a thrill ride, and a happy ending. Pleasing the crowd is the iron rule of entertainment and the Yankees do have a world wide crowd to please. It’s all good.

Goodbye Godzilla

291104110_Phillies_Yankees_144834384_lbigJeter has this quote about Hideki Matsui:

“He looked like he wanted it bad,” Derek Jeter said. “Matsui is one of my favorite players. He’s one of my favorite teammates. He comes ready to play every day. He’s a professional hitter. All he wants to do is win.”

That’s mighty high praise from the captain o a team that has Tex and A-Rod and CC and AJ and Jorge and Mo. The scuttlebut is that it may have been Matsui’s final game in NY pinstripes. If so, it was a heck of a way to say farewell.

Everybody seems to be talking about what a long road it’s been and what a great finale it might be so I’ll leave it be. The guy got what he wanted in the end. We should all be so lucky.

When you think about it, 2009 is the year of the NPB. Ichiro and his guysfrom Japan won the World Baseball Classic, and now Matsui put his stamp on the World Series by becoming World Series MVP. It’s a good year for the Nippon Professional Baseball guys.


Goodness. So, I’ve seen 7 in my lifetime. I’m trying to get my head around that one. They don’t come as often as one would be made to think about all the talk about the money. Let’s get one thing straight, money alone doesn’t win it all, and certainly if you think winning the World Series is the only credible end to a season for a team, then you’re already thinking like the Steinbrenners.

I’m just glad it’s in the can. The next might take 10 years, 15, even but I won’t be forgetting 2009. This was a really, good, memorable squad.

In Democrats We Trust

Not a single title during the Bush years. Not a single title during the Reagan years or the Bush snr. years. All that money spent and no titles. The Yankees won 2 under JFK (’61, ’62), 2 under Jimmy Carter (”77, ’78), 4 Under Bill Clinton (’96, 98, 99, ’00) and now 1 under Barack Obama (“hooray!”).

Makes you wonder why George Steinbrenner ever donated to the Republicans!

To tell you the truth I had an inkling this coincidental streak might run from the moment Obama won office and the Yankees traded for Swisher, and signed CC, AJ and Tex.

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World Series Game 3

A Win Is A Win Is A Win

Unlike the previous 2 games, Game 3 turned out to be a slugfest. Naturally, the Yankees tend to win these and so they on this one 8-5. It’s the first game in the post season that the Yankees got their bats talking with A-Rod, Swisher and a pinch-hitting Matsui hit homers. Even Andy Pettitte had a hit and knocked in a run. In response, Jayson Werth had 2 and Carlos Ruiz had one of his own, but it was simply a game where the OPS did the talking and the Yankees’ slight edge in the OPS stakes allowed them to win 8-5.

The Yankees now send CC Sabathia to the mound again on short rest to face Joe Blanton. I’m inclined to think that this matchup also gives a slight edge to the Yankees. Cliff Lee awaits a start for Game 5. Will It be AJ? I don’t quite know. In any case, I like he odds of the Yankees stretching out to a 3-1 series lead.


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ALCS Game 6

The Yankees Win

Like, that was more a relief than an outburst of joy. Andy Pettitte did the thing he does best and win a deciding match for the Yankees, setting a post-season record. A lot of these post-season records are pretty vacuous, thanks to the recent addition of extra rounds in the post-season to accommodate the Wild Card, but I guess you can’t discount anybody who sets any kind of record in the pot-season of any description.This kind of 5-2 win is exactly the way the Yankees used to do it back in the late ’90s.

Fangraphs has this graph.It shows the Yankees got on top with Nick Swisher’s single in the 4th inning and then worked to keep the advantage, never relinquishing it. Unfortunately after that point I was led away by my back pain until way after the game finished, all the while fretting. That’s life with a pulled muscle in the back.

It’s nice that the Yankees are heading back to the World Series after 6 years. It’s been a really long 6 years, I’ll tell you that right now.

4 More Wins!

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Yankees Update – 30/08/09

Getting There

Since the big series in Boston where the Yankees stamped their authority on the AL East, the last fortnight has been a process of working through the numbers. Their long road trip out west finished with a 7-3 record, and while they lot the series to Texas at home 2-1, they’ve won 2 so far of their 3 game series with the White Sox. While the tension has somewhat gone out of the AL East race, the Yankees still have to get through September.

Even losing 2 of 3 to the Texas Rangers was interesting in that, it makes it just that harder for the Red Sox to get their Wild Card berth; an while you wouldn’t exactly accuse the Yankees of tanking it, it’s actually a nice result given the context of the race for the post-season. The only time losing a series this season felt okay.

New Joba Rules

Joba came out of his 8 day break and sucked. So now they have new Joba rules. It’s a case where the desire to limit the innings and the need to get him to stay effective as a starter are beginning to work against each other. Clearly he needs the routine, so they’re going to give him the starts, just limit the innings. Fortunately the Sergio Mitre-Chad Gaudin combo of a 5th starter has begun to work. Today’s combined shut out by those guys is actually very useful. So it might be the case where Joba will pitch regularly, just not that long into the game any more. Certainly not until the post-season.

Andy Pettitte Wants To Keep Pitching

Most people were assuming he was going to retire but he’s now making noises about going a bit longer. Well, with the sort of money on the table, why wouldn’t you? Well, I’d be okay with that if he takes a similar incentive deal.

Derek Jeter’s Magic Run

Captain Intangibles is about to reach a Yankee milestone later this season. he is likely going to pass Lou Gehrig as the career hits leader for the Yankees. I’m sort of amazed he’s passed Bernie Williams let alone Babe Ruth, but there you go. Today, I consider him to be the luckiest man on the face of this earth. 🙂

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Yankees Update 06/06/09

Still No. 1

After losing the series to the Phillies, the Yankees won 2 series against the Indians and Rangers. The Indians have been scuffling so that was not particularly surprising, and the league leading Rangers were possibly not for real. The opening game with Tampa was washed out, and they lost the first game. Over all, the Yankees went 4-4 this week. They really could do with a win against Tampa tomorrow.

In amongst all that, the Yankees went into this weekend tied with the Red Sox for the division lead. Boston might look like they’re scuffling with injuries but they’re still pretty competitive.

Wang Returns To Rotation

Chien-Ming Wang and Phil Hughes swapped places as Hughes went to the bullpen and Wang pitched the last game against the Rangers. He only lasted 4.2 innings, 2 of which were good and 2 of which were shaky.

The indication is that his sinker has got its sink back. He’s steadily been reducing his ERA from the enormous 34.50 it blew out to, so if nothing else, he’s probably pitching closer to league average. Because the front end of the rotation is stacking up to be Sabathia, Burnett, Chamberlain and Pettitte in order of effectiveness, the Hughes/Wang spot is now the fifth starter role. Wang just need to be able to go 6-7 innings with an ERA of 4.5 to be useful.

The Hitting Is Much Better

As of this writing, the Yankee team offense line is .281/.358/.483 for the season. A team hitting .841 collectively is a pretty solid. Teixeira is hitting .284, with an OPS of .993. A-Rod is only at .250, but his OPS is .916. Swisher’s OPS is .906, Posada is hitting 1.030, and Jeter, Cano, Melky, Damon and Matsui are hitting over .800 in their OPS. That’s a pretty solid team. Certainly, it’s not surprising for Cano to be there and they’re career norms for Jeter, Damon, and Matsui.

At this point, it’s pretty close to the way the team was drawn up as an offense. Maybe A-Rod’s average could be higher, Maybe Melky is over-achieving, Xavier Nady is not quite in the picture due to injury, but the rest of it is as projected.

The Starting Pitching is Mostly Sound

As mentioned before, the Starters have been doing much better in the last 5 weeks. Still, looking at the pitchers, it’s not as impressive as what the batters are doing, apart from Sabathia and Chamberlain.

Pettitte’s ERA is at 4.50 which is league average-ish. Burnett has had a couple of rough starts where his ERA has blown out to 4.69. Phil Hughes was sitting at 5.40.  Wang of course has pared back his ERA down to 14.46 in his brief relief outings.

Pettitte had an ugly patch in late April through to early May where he gave up 13 runs in 17.2 innings. Since then he’s given up 14 in 29.2 IP.

In the case of Burnett, he’s ben steadily paring back his ERA since that game where he gave up 8 runs, but he had a couple of hiccups with games against the Blue Jays and the Phillies where he gave up 5. He’s been good in the other 7 or so starts.

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The Pettitte Signing

Welcome Back Again

With the signing, the 5th Starter spot now goes to Andy Pettitte. There really wasn’t much discussion around Andy Pettitte this winter, but his RSAR is projected to be about 24.5 according to Replacement Level Yankee Weblog’s projection system CAIRO.

Scanning down the CAIRO spreadsheet, Carlos Zambrano is projecting to be about 26.3 runs saved above replacement; Chad Billingsly at 27.9(!); Chien-Ming Wang is 24.1; Mark Buehrle 24.5 and so on. Pettitte projects to be about to 41st best Pitcher in MLB. That’s a solid No. 2 on most teams, with Wang not far behind at 43rd. AJ Burnett and Joba are at 20 and 34 respectively, so  *if* they’re not quite Aces, you get the picture where the Yankees are going to trot out a very good No. 2 starter every outing where they don’t send out a dominant Ace in Sabathia.

Just as an aside, Hughes comes in at 11.3 RSAR/ No.141 and Ian Kennedy at No. 158/ 10.1 RSAR. They’re solidly No.3 guys on an ‘average’ team, and they don’t make the roster at all.

A quick look at Pettitte projection over at FanGraphs says:

  • Bill James: ERA 3.90 192IP
  • CHONE: ERA 4.31 167IP
  • Marcel: ERA 4.48 183IP

That’s not a medicore player. His BABIP has been Yankee-Unlucky, in as much their defense has not been very good, his K/BB is solid. That’s a pretty good bargain for $5.5million with incentives. Even with the depressd marlet, it’s hard to imagine Mark Buerhle getting that deal in a proper free market, so you have to say the Yankees got an amazing bargain.

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