Thursday afternoon was a day filled with a lot of positives for the New York Yankees.
Stating the obvious to start off, this afternoon’s game against the Kansas City Royals marked the return of their future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter to the lineup for the first time this season after rehabbing a broken ankle. Not only was Jeter in the lineup, he immediately made his presence felt by reaching on an infield single and scoring a run a few batters later.
With Jeter’s long-time teammate Andy Pettitte on the hill as he made his return, the Yankees went on to defeat the Royals for the second consecutive game, walking away with a split of the series.
However, as much of a story as the captain’s return to the lineup was, Pettitte also left a mark on today’s game–just not exactly for the right reasons.
While he later settled down and received some much-needed assistance from the Yankee bats, Pettitte did not look good early on, which is starting to become quite the negative trend lately. Giving up three runs to begin the game, the stretch of struggles in the first inning for the long-time Yankee pitcher continued to grow. In his previous five starts before today, Pettitte had a 10.80 ERA with an astonishing .432 BAA to go along with that. Those woes just continued with today’s performance.
Is this something to be alarmed about? Maybe, maybe not. But if this is a trend that continues, it could end up hurting the Yankees down the road tremendously. While he was saved today with another breakthrough performance from his teammates at the plate, that’s not always a guarantee with this Yankees lineup this season.
Like I said, it just might be some sort of funk that the veteran can break himself out of. Whatever the case may be though it’s certainly something to keep a close, concerned eye on.
Jack is a MLB Contributor for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS