Joe Girardi and the Yankees moved Andy Pettitte to Game 3 of the ALCS after starting him in Game 2 of the ALDS, and today the manager revealed why: Pettitte was struggling with back and hamstring injuries and they wanted to give him as much time as possible to recover.
Girardi explained that Pettitte pitched through discomfort in Game 2 of the ALDS–which makes his seven innings of two-run ball against the Twins even more impressive–and then had to cut short a bullpen session in preparation for potentially starting Game 5 of the ALDS.
In fact, according to Girardi there’s a chance Pettitte wouldn’t have been able to make his scheduled start versus Minnesota had the first-round series gone five games. Instead the Yankees swept the three-game series and Pettitte got 11 days to rest before starting Game 3 of the ALCS against the Rangers.
He tossed seven innings of two-run ball in that start as well, but took the loss because Cliff Lee shut down the Yankees’ lineup.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).