Carl Pavano gave the Yankees exactly what they were looking for last night: a solid performance from a starting pitcher. The Yanks beat up on the Twins, 8-2. Pavano gave up just two runs over seven innings. He got ten ground ball outs and pitched aggresively (he pitched to contact as they like to say). Even in the seventh inning, when Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter roped line drives against him, Pavano kept his composure, and challenged hitters. He got out of the inning having given up just one run.
"When he was on the Marlins, he was pretty aggressive on the mound," said Abreu, who faced Pavano when both played in the National League East. "That's the way I saw him back in the day. Today was a pretty good start to going back."
(Tyler Kepner, N.Y. Times)
It helped that the Yankee offense jumped all over SirSidney Ponson early. Bobby Abreu had four RBI an a homer, and later, Alex Rodriguez hit an absolute rocket over the right field fence that was still going up when it crashed into the seats. It was Rodriguez's fifth home run in six games. (When he's going the opposite way, you know he's locked-in.) Jorge Posada added two RBI of his own, Johnny Damon had a couple of hits, and Derek Jeter had three (Melky Cabrera is one of the few regulars who are struggling offensively). Even better, the Yankee defense finally had a good night. Jeter made two nifty plays--going up-the-middle to snag a base hit away from Mike Redmond in the third, and charging a high-bouncer from Luis Castillo in the sixth.
But Pavano was the story. After he was taken out of the game, he sat next to Andy Pettitte in the dugout. I always felt that Pavano could be related to Pettitte. Maybe they could be cousins. Both are big guys, with big legs and big rumps, and somewhat narrow shoulders (at least it looks that way when they pitch). They both have dark, good looks. Andy's got the Roman nose, Pavano's got that classic chin. You could make pretty good busts out of those mugs. Anyhow, the announcers mentioned that the two have become pals. That should be fun to watch as the season unfolds.