UPDATE: Pettitte has groin strain, out 4-5 weeks

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9:11 PM:  Yankees GM Brian Cashman says Pettitte could be out four-to-five weeks due to the left groin strain that he suffered Sunday.  This from The Journal News.  Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley and prospect Ivan Nova are options to replace him.

5:13 PM:  Pettitte has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left groin, according to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News.  Yanks manager Joe Girardi said that he’s likely to land on the disabled list.

2:48 PM:  Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reports that Pettitte has a strained left groin.  He may need a 15-day stint on the disabled list.

2:44 PM:  According to Erik Boland of New York’s Newsday, Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte left Sunday’s start against the Rays in the middle of the third inning due to an apparent groin injury.  The lefty was ineffective before exiting, allowing six hits and three earned runs in 2.1 innings.  Dave Robertson replaced him.

The Yanks currently hold a two-game lead in the American League East over Tampa Bay, but losing Pettitte for an extended period of time and having to replace him with someone from the bullpen or farm system would obviously hurt. 

Pettitte is 11-2 this season with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, even when you factor in Sunday’s shortened effort.  He has also fanned 90 batters in 115.2 innings while issuing only 38 walks.

Kershaw-Sale anything but a pitcher’s duel

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World Series Game 1 was billed as a battle of aces, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw against Chris Sale of the Red Sox. Between them, they have 14 All-Star Game nominations. Kershaw has won three Cy Young Awards. Sale could his first Cy Young Award this year. Among his 10 seasons with at least 110 innings pitched, Kershaw has never posted a sub-2.92 ERA. Sale has been at 2.90 or below in each of the last two seasons. The two have combined for over 4,000 career strikeouts and both have averaged better than a strikeout per inning over their careers.

And yet Tuesday’s Game 1 was anything but a pitcher’s duel between Kershaw and Sale. Though a couple of fielding mistakes weren’t of any help to Kershaw in the first inning, Red Sox batters were squaring him up good. Of the five balls put in play in the first inning, three had exit velocities of 100 MPH or higher. Of the 12 total balls put in play against him overall, five reached triple digits in exit velo.

Kershaw gave up a pair of runs in the first, another run in the third on a J.D. Martinez double to straightaway center field, and another two in the fifth. Kershaw led off the fifth by walking Mookie Betts, then giving up a single to Andrew Benintendi, ending his night. Ryan Madson relieved Kershaw and proceeded to allow both inherited runners to score. All told, Kershaw yielded five runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts on 79 pitches in four-plus innings.

Sale, meanwhile, was on the hook for individual runs in the second, third, and fifth. Dodger hitters weren’t squaring him up quite as well as the Red Sox batters squared up Kershaw, but Sale was still more hittable than usual. Of the eight balls put in play against him, four were at least 90 MPH in exit velo. One of the runs was a no-doubt solo home run to Matt Kemp in the second. The Dodgers chased Sale in the fifth when he issued a leadoff walk to Brian Dozier. Matt Barnes relieved him allowed the inherited runner to score. Overall, Sale threw 91 pitches in four-plus innings, serving up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

The game is now, as has been generally the case throughout this postseason, a battle of the bullpens.