The ceremony surrounding Andy Pettitte Day was beautiful. Bob Shephard's voice introduced him in the bullpen one more time, he took one more victory lap around Yankee Stadium, and he gave a candid speech to the fans regarding his storied career. It really was a touching tribute, and I think many Yankees fans will remember it for a very long time.
The game, though, was an event I will likely erase from my memory. The game started in typical CC Sabathia fashion as he gave up a two-run home run to Carlos Santana in the first inning, but then it went from bad to worse. Sabathia's velocity clearly wasn't there--he sat at about 88 mph--and that was an early concern. But when he tried to dial it up to 91 mph in the third inning (after already allowing four hits and four walks), he tweaked something in his oft-injured right knee and was removed from the game. The pitching staff was just about to head into a six-man rotation, and now that future is unclear. Sabathia has been pretty dreadful this year, but an injury like this (although we are still waiting on the MRI) is no good when it seemed there was a shot he was turning a corner.
The game wasn't much better afterward. The Yankees were able to scratch across a run in the bottom half of the third after a botched throw on a Brett Gardner steal brought Jacoby Ellsbury home from third, but they were otherwise static on the offensive side. They managed just two hits in the first six innings, and just five hits overall. They did draw six walks, but Trevor Bauer does lead the league in walks.
The Yankees were still able to tie the game at one point (in the seventh), and that's only because a bloop from Carlos Beltran landed in left field and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. That drove in Drew and Ellsbury, but that was all they could muster.
The relief that filled in for Sabathia was incredibly shaky as Nick Rumbelow, Branden Pinder, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, and Justin Wilson combined for six walks and five hits, but ironically Dellin Betances spoiled the game as he allowed a go-ahead home run to Francisco Lindor in the eighth inning. That was the nail in the coffin, and the Yankees fell, 4-3.
That brings the Yankees to 68-55 on the season, and they are now in a virtual tie for first place, at least until the Blue Jays' game ends. This could leave them a half-game out of first place if the Jays win, and that would be a big blow to lose a four-game series against a team the Yankees should have beat up on. The Yankees will now take on the Houston Astros tomorrow to start a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The game will start at 7:05 PM EST, and you can catch it on WPIX or MLB Network.