Andy Pettitte, as has been the custom of the Yankees’ non-Vazquez starters of late, was cruising this afternoon against Baltimore: He’d allowed one earned run through five innings, had thrown just 77 pitches, and had a comfortable 6–1 lead. Then Sergio Mitre came out to pitch the sixth inning, and Pettitte’s day was done. After the game, Joe Girardi confirmed what everyone had assumed (and feared): Pettitte’s early departure was injury related. Girardi said that Pettitte felt stiffness in his left arm near his elbow, and that he’ll undergo an MRI exam.
Through a team spokesperson, Pettitte said he thinks he’s going to be fine, but will know more after he gets the results of the MRI. He also admitted, “Anytime you are talking about the area around the elbow, you start to worry a little bit.”
The team’s current spate of injuries, of course, has more to do with a crew of aging veterans than any sort of jinx. But with Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada hurting as well, if you’d like to go ahead and blame Sports Illustrated for this — as one commenter already has — we’re not going to stop you. The Yankees won the game 7–5, by the way, despite the best efforts of their bullpen in the ninth. (On the radio broadcast, John Sterling used the phrase “Life without Mariano” approximately a hundred times — though he’s right.) That’s a sweep of Baltimore, a 5–1 homestand, and seven wins in their last eight overall.