Though Andy Pettitte’s return to the majors did not live up to
the hype, the veteran left-hander is only looking ahead.
Pettitte hopes his second start goes better as the New York
Yankees look to avoid a season-high fourth consecutive defeat by
continuing their interleague success Friday night against the
visiting Cincinnati Reds.
Back from retirement, the 39-year-old Pettitte took the ball
Sunday for the first time since Game 3 of the AL championship
series. However, amidst all the celebration, Pettitte allowed a
pair of two-run homers and walked three in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-2
loss to Seattle.
Despite the result, Pettitte felt right at home and eager to
“I just cannot believe how comfortable this is for me,”
Pettitte said. “There is not a question in my mind how this is all
going to play out for me. It’s not about this one start. I’ll
measure if this was a successful return or not at the end of
Though Pettitte has not faced Cincinnati since 2008 with
Houston, he’s given up 10 hits and struck out 14 over 11 1-3
scoreless innings of his last two starts against the Reds.
New York (20-18), a major league-best 157-107 against NL
opponents, is riding a five-game interleague home winning streak.
The Yankees averaged 5.2 runs while going 13-5 against the NL in
2011. That included taking two of three at Cincinnati.
“We’d like to come out and score a lot of runs every day, but
it’s not always going to be the case,” shortstop Derek Jeter, whose
326 interleague hits are the most all-time, told the Yankees’
official website. “Obviously, we’re a whole lot better when up and
down the lineup we’re swinging well.”
New York, however, has totaled four runs and 13 hits during a
three-game skid. Curtis Granderson had two of the Yankees’ five
hits in Thursday’s 4-1 loss at Toronto.
“As a team, we’re collectively not getting it done and we need
to get better,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Alex Rodriguez is 3 for 18 in his last five games, but 7 for 19
in his last five versus Cincinnati. He’s a lifetime .350 (7 for 20)
hitter with two home runs and two homers off scheduled Cincinnati
starter Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 3.25), who should be familiar with the
Yankees from his days with Boston.
The right-hander has a 6.99 ERA with no record in seven regular
and postseason starts versus New York, but he has not faced the
Yankees since 2005.
Arroyo, 7-8 with a 6.00 ERA in 18 interleague starts for
Cincinnati, gave up four runs and 11 hits in five innings but did
not factor in the decision of a 9-6 win over Washington on
After falling 9-4 on Thursday to split a two-game set with the
Mets at Citi Field, the Reds (19-18) make the short trek to the
Bronx for the first time since taking two of three there in 2008.
They are 5-4 all-time against the Yankees.
Cincinnati went 6-12 against the AL last season, and is 97-123
all-time during interleague play.
Batting .390 with four homers and 10 RBIs in his last 12 games,
Reds star Joey Votto went 7 for 12 with a solo shot at the old
Yankee Stadium in 2008.
Teammate Ryan Ludwick is mired in a 4-for-32 slump but will
serve as the designated hitter for two of the three games. He’s 1
for 7 versus New York.
“I know he’s better than he’s shown,” manager Dusty Baker told
the Reds’ official website. “The only way to come out of it is to