Well the Yanks sure showed those feisty Rays what's what. Andy Pettitte was just plain nasty. Five of his eight innings pitched were 1-2-3 innings. Pettitte did a great job of keeping the Rays off balance and he gave them some depth which the bullpen always needs.
The Captain, Derek Jeter, provided all the offense that Andy would need when he picked up Gardner and Melky, who both had atrocious at bats with a man on third and less than two outs, in the third inning. Not only was he clutch at the plate but his jump throw that ended the seventh might have been the most important play of the game. If Jeter doesn't make that play then Pettitte might have been knocked out of the game and that means that Krazy Kyle Farnsworth pitches the eighth and who knows what happens then.
Scott Kazmir always gives the Yanks trouble but they almost always get his pitch count up and get him out by the fifth or sixth. In 10 career starts against the Yanks, Kazmir has only managed 59 innings which, of course is just under six innings per start.
Kazmir was the tougher half of his series but the Yankees can't afford to forget Edwin Jackson. A victory tomorrow would give them a winning home stand and would redeem them a bit for losing the series to the Rangers.
Aside from pulling themselves to within 7.5 games of the Rays in the division, the two best things to take from this game are from bosom buddies Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano. Melky delivered a blast to right center for his first home run since June 10. Maintaining his composure after pulling down a hat trick with three strikeouts in his first three at bats is a good sign, but he is still a long ways away from his April totals of .299 and five home runs.
Robinson Cano on the other hand has been nasty lately and his 11 pitch at bat in the eighth innings shows you how well he is seeing the ball right now. If Robbie sees four pitches in an at bat Girardi must be ecstatic. But 11 pitches after falling behind 0-2 and finishing the at bat with an RBI single was great to see.
Jackson was bad in his first start against the Yanks but brilliant the second time around, throwing seven shut out innings. Hopefully he keeps pitching the way he did in June which was something to the tune of a 5.70 ERA.