Andy Pettitte Helps Yankees Avoid Opening Season Sweep in First Outing
With the New York Yankees facing an unwanted opening season sweep at the hands of the arch-rival Boston Red Sox at home, the Yanks turned to their reliable veteran left-hander, Andy Pettitte. And, as usual, Pettitte delivered when the Bronx Bombers needed him to most.
Giving up just one run on eight hits while striking out three, Pettitte tossed eight solid innings for the Yanks. The veteran southpaw held the Red Sox off the board until a seventh inning RBI double by rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. The 40-year old would need just 94 pitches to make it through the eight inning outing, before turning the ball over to Mariano Rivera.
When Rivera struck out Bradley in the top of the ninth inning, that marked the 69th time in their careers that that Pettitte and Rivera had shared a win and save respectively.
In his first outing of this his 18th season in Major League Baseball, Pettitte showed incredible command of most of his pitches throughout the night as the game progressed. The veteran lefty and catcher Francisco Cervelli did a masterful job of shutting down the Red Sox bats, up until that seventh inning double by Bradley.
After opening the season by convincingly dropping the first two games to Boston, the Yankees desperately needed a performance such as this.
With the Yankees rotation considered shaky at best right now, Pettitte was able to help the Yankees brass breathe a small sigh of relief. After watching ace C.C. Sabathia get touched up a little bit on Opening Day and then having to watch Hiroki Kuroda leave early last night, it was refreshing to see some stability on the mound in the Bronx.