The most entertaining part of Sunday’s loss to the Rays was Andy Pettitte joining the broadcast booth. Participating in his first Old-Timers’ Day, the left-hander spent an inning of pure joy with Michael Kay and Paul O’Neil, breaking down CC Sabathia’s attitude towards pitching and his new life as a grandfather. I have no idea if Andy would ever want a broadcast role full time, but he certainly seemed to be a natural today.
Turning to the actual game, there wasn’t really much to talk about. The Yankees’ offense never looked particularly great, despite recording 11 men on base, one shy of what Tampa accomplished on the winner’s side. Wilmer Font, for all his very real struggles in 2018, looked great in his 4.2 innings of work, striking out five against just one walk. Didi Gregorius legged out a triple with two out in the first frame before Font very deliberately worked around Giancarlo Stanton to get to Greg Bird. Bird couldn’t cash in with runners on the corners, and Font escaped with no damage allowed.
That would be pretty much it for the Yankees offensively, save for an Aaron Hicks bomb in the fifth. At the very least, it prevented Font from being credited with a win.
CC Sabathia, meanwhile, came into today with a single job: eat up as much of the ballgame as possible. Sabathia’s struggled with length at points this season, but with one and a third games to play on Monday, the Yankees needed innings from their starter. He answered the call valiantly, working 7.2 innings with a 10:1 K/BB ratio. It was Sabathia’s longest outing in more than a year, as the last time he pitched so deep was an eight inning effort against the Red Sox on June 7, 2017.
Sabathia, as he does, did give up a fair amount of contact, ten hits in total. Against a better offensive team, the game could have gotten ugly, but a few key strikeouts and a double play kept it close. Like the Yankees, all the Rays’ runs came in a single inning, as Carlos Gomez and Matt Duffy both touched CC for RBI hits in the third.
Still, on the pitching side, it was a successful day. Adam Warren was the only pitcher from the bullpen that was needed, further leading to speculation about just where in the world AJ Cole is. Maybe we’ll see him tomorrow against the Nationals.
The structure for tomorrow is pretty simple. The suspended game will resume in the bottom of the sixth at 5:05pm EDT. Bryce Harper happens to lead off that inning, what fun for whoever the Yankees choose to pitch. Following the conclusion of the suspended game, the postponed game will begin after a 30-minute break. Both games will be on YES and WFAN, and you should be sure to check in with PSA for all the coverage you’ll need on the pitching decisions and who the 26th man will be.