Yankees starter Andy Pettitte shut down the Astros tonight in his final start of his career. The left-hander allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out five in a complete game effort. The lone Astros run came on a Chris Carter ground out in the fourth inning.
Second baseman Robinson Cano helped the Yankees tie the game in the sixth with an RBI single. The go-ahead run would eventually score on a wild pitch when catcher Matt Pagnozzi had a snafu behind the plate. Pagnozzi attempted to pick off Cano at second base, but spiked his throw into the ground and the ball bounced behind home plate, allowing Eduardo Nunez to score.
Pettitte will finish his career with a 256-153 record, a 3.85 ERA, and 26 complete games in 3,316 innings over 18 seasons.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.