Source: “very strong possibility” that Andy Pettitte pitches in 2011

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A source close to Andy Pettitte tells me that there is a “very strong possibility” that Pettitte is going to pitch in 2011.  He is doing his usual preseason workouts and has had no physical issues thus far.

Moreover, the source tells me that Pettitte’s hesitation to confirm that he is coming back for the upcoming season is in no way connected to the Roger Clemens trial, which was something that many had speculated about.

Jon Heyman tweeted to this effect a little over an hour ago, but I’m pretty sure that he and I are talking to different people, so I suppose you can consider this corroboration of some kind.  Real journalism frightens and confuses me, however, so maybe it’s more confirmation. Or triangulation.  Or something.

Either way: I have this feeling that Bartolo Colon is not going to be the Yankees #4 starter in 2011.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.