Andy Pettitte pitched a complete-game and lost 2-1 to Gil Meche and the Mariners on humid and damp Saturday afternoon in the Boogie Down. I was at my mom's for lunch with Emily and mercifully missed the vexing affair. The baby-faced Meche pitched well earlier in the season at The Stadium, and he was nasty again this time. According to The New York Times:
Before this season, Meche, 24, had 12 career victories. Now, he is the first pitcher in more than a decade to miss two seasons and rebound to win at least 10 games, which is not that surprising since he throws 98-mile-an-hour four-seam fastballs, 94-m.p.h. two-seam fastballs, nifty changeups and nasty sliders. For most of the day, the Yankees were baffled.
"It's got to be huge for them," Derek Jeter said. "I knew he had great stuff. I didn't know he threw that hard. When you have a guy like that, I don't want to say he came out of the blue, but we really didn't expect it."
After Pettitte returned to the clubhouse to cool off in the bottom of the first, he watched on television as Meche tossed robust fastballs to strike out Johnson and Jeter. Meche looked even more dominant in that inning than he did in stifling the Yankees, 6-0, on April 29.
"After I saw him in the first inning, I said, `Surely he can't keep that up,' " Pettitte said. "But he did."
This is Pettitte's second hard-luck outing in a row. (Remember last Sunday's gem against Mulder in Oakland?) Dem's da breaks, but Andy's been the best pitcher on the Yankees staff for well over a month now. The Bombers lose ground as the Red Sox hit a bunch of historic homers up in Boston to drill the O's, 6-4. The Yanks lead is back to three, the same as it was when Ed Cossette left for vacation. The more things change, the more the stay the same. Welcome home, Edward.