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 NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.