Andy Pettitte (10-9, 4.05 ERA) gets the start in place of Hughes as the Yanks go for the sweep against Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.76 ERA.) Pettitte will look to build on the seven scoreless innings he threw against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. That game marked the first time this season he didn’t allow a run in a start. The last time he faced Baltimore, he threw 6 2/3 innings of four run ball in a win on July 6. “He was really good,” Joe Girardi said Tuesday. “He went through the lineup with not too many pitches the first time. He got some big outs when he had to. I thought he was sharp.” Since a disastrous start against the White Sox on August 5th, when he gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings, Pettitte has permitted only two earned runs in 24 innings
Chen, who was optioned after his last start as a mere transaction move, will try to rebound from Tuesday’s start in Fenway which he called the worst outing of his career. Chen allowed eight runs over 3 2/3 innings in a loss.
The Yankees passed the Orioles on Saturday to take a half game lead for third place in the AL East and gained the same edge on Baltimore in the AL Wild Card race, slowly working up the division and Wild Card standings. One reason, if not THE reason, for the Yankees success is the bull pen. Ivan Nova’s three hit shutout Saturday gave New York’s relievers a day off, but they certainly earned it with their performance in August. The Yankees’ bullpen has posted a Major League best 1.05 ERA since Aug. 16, allowing only five runs over 42 2/3 innings. Overall this season, the Yankees’ relief corps owns a 3.19 ERA.
“We rely on our bullpen a lot. We try to move the ball around. We’ve had a lot of guys who have continued to have good years down there,” Girardi said. “You can start with Mariano Rivera then just kind of work your way back. We’ve gotten contributions from a lot of different guys.”
Notes on the game.
The Bombers have won two in a row and 15 of 22 since Aug. 9
The Yankees will face four straight left handed starters beginning on Sunday. They are 25-18 against lefty starters this season, including 15-7 at home.
Alex Rodriguez was scratched from the Yankees’ lineup on Saturday with flu-like symptoms. No word on wether he is available for the series finale.
First pitch at 1:05 PM on TBS and Yes