Injuries to CC and Pettitte Leave Yankees Rotation Lefty-Less
Added by Elizabeth DiPietro on June 28, 2012.
Andy Pettitte suffered a fractured ankle and will miss at least six weeks.
Down here in sunny Ocean City, Maryland, it hasn’t been hard for me to stay in the New York Yankees loop. Sunday’s and Monday’s games were broadcast on the nationally televised ESPN, and Wednesday afternoon I treated my dad to a day at a bar that prided itself on subscribing to the MLB package.
As we settled in with a pitcher of Sam Adams summer ale, we glanced up at the flat screen TV blaring SportsCenter and became privy to the unfortunate information that Yankee ace and lefty extraodinaire CC Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin. He’ll miss at least two starts, and it’s Sabathia’s first stint on the DL since becoming a Yankee. He hasn’t missed a start since 2006.
“Wow, that came out of nowhere,” I commented to my dad. “Thank goodness Pettitte came back. Just think: where would we be without him?”
Little did I know that my seemingly flippant remark would become an eerie foreshadow a few innings later. In a strange twist of fate, the Yankees
lost both of their lefty starters on Wednesday as Pettitte left the game, a game in which he was pitching well and enjoying a 2-1 lead, after taking a line drive off his ankle in the fifth inning. He is expected to be out at least six weeks with a fractured ankle.
The Yankees eventually won the game, but the blows to their rotation are obviously devastating. It seemed as though the Yankees had finally worked
out their pitchues (short for pitching issues; the Yankees had so many of them this year I decided to combine the two words in an act of artistic license) with the starting rotation finally getting into a groove and formerly peripheral relievers like Cory Wade, Clay Rapada, and Cody Eppley picking up the slack for the injured Mariano Rivera and David Robertson.
So it goes, with pitchues, that inevitably someone else must pick up the slack. One glaring mandate is that the offense must keep producing. Robinson Cano continued his hot streak Wednesday with a crucial two-run blast in the fifth inning, providing the Yanks with a 4-3 lead. Cano is hitting .345 in June and the Yankees have quietly amassed a five-game winning streak this week.
Another contributing bat lately belongs to Eric Chavez. Chavez punctuated Wednesday’s game with three RBIs, including an insurance run in the eighth
that turned out to be the difference in the game. He also had a couple of impressive defensive plays at first base that would give Mark Teixeira
a run for his money.
Another unlikely hero of the game was Freddy Garcia, who ended up notching the win. The former Yankee starter has fallen into a niche of sorts as the eat-up-innings-when-we’re-really-far-behind guy, or the extra-innings-when-we’ve-used-everyone-else guy, free of expectations whatsoever. Manager Joe Girardi called on the veteran righty after using both Eppley and Rapada after Pettitte went down. Garcia rewarded Girardi’s confidence in him with 2 1/3 innings of hitless, shutout ball.
And it’s a good thing Garcia was effective, since he is the heir apparent to either Pettitte’s or Sabathia’s spot in the rotation. The other one, for now, will go to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Adam Warren. He is set to make his first major league start on Friday against the White Sox, since Garcia unexpectedly pitched Wednesday. Garcia will likely start on Monday.
Warren was a fourth-round draft pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He hails from the University of North Carolina and is 5-5 this season with
an ERA of 3.86.
The Yankees, for all their pitchues this season, have the best record in baseball. They are eighteen games over .500 and hold a 4.5 game lead in the American League East, arguably the toughest division in baseball. My father and I contemplated these facts in that bar Wednesday afternoon. Congenial
father-daughter debates notwithstanding, we both agreed that the Yankees have triumphed over adversity like nobody’s business this season.
Rivera down, Robertson down. Now CC down, followed by Andy. Somehow they always find a way.
And I’ve never seen the kid pitch a day in my life, and perhaps this is a bit presumptuous, but I have to ask: