The Rangers (31-21) jumped on Andy Pettitte early, and Alex Rodriguez failed in two opportunities to score a run with an out. The two together were costly for the Yankees (31-22), who fell to Scott Feldman and the Rangers 4-2.
Pettitte, who insisted all week that his back was fine, had a rough first inning. He walked two and allowed three singles, leading to three runs for the Rangers. Nick Swisher —who doubled— scored on A-Rod’s two-out single, but that was the only good thing he did in the game.
The Rangers added one more in the second, but that was more than enough for Feldman. He held the Yankees’ high-octane offense to just five hits and two runs – the second run came on a homer from Jorge Posada in the seventh.
In the third, A-Rod came up with the bases loaded and one out. On a 3-1 count, he grounded into an inning-ending double play. He had another chance for an easy RBI in the sixth. With Johnny Damon on third and one out, A-Rod struck out swinging.
Pettitte was incredibly wild, which led to his early exit in the fifth. He walked six batters and allowed seven hits, but some how generated six strikeouts. Brett Tomko and David Robertson pitched great in relief, but a late-game comeback was not in the cards for the Yanks tonight. Full box score here.
Joe Girardi and other Yankees gave a lot of credit to Feldman after the game, but I think they just choked. If A-Rod hits two fly balls to center field —rather than a GIDP and a K— the game is still tied. Mark Teixeira didn’t play because of a bruised shin after breaking up a double play in the first game of the series. Without Tex, Derek Jeter ending his 16-game hit streak, and A-Rod choking twice, the Yanks had no chance of winning this game.
- Swisher went 2-for-3 and scored a run. After a great April and an ugly May, maybe even numbered months are the key to Swisher’s success.
- Tomko tossed three shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.16.
The rubber match starts at 1:05 p.m. on Thursday. Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.35) will battle Chien-Ming Wang (0-3, 16.07), who is making his first start since April 18. In that game, he allowed eight runs to the Indians in an inning and a third.