Just when Andy Pettitte thought he had turned his season around, he went out and pitched one of the worst games of his career.
Pettitte, who has lost five of his last six decisions following a solid 4-1 start, had put together back-to-back strong outings for the first time in over a month entering Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
But the momentum didn’t last. Pettitte was pounded for six runs and six hits, including a pair of homers, over just 1 1-3 innings—his shortest outing since Sept. 29, 2000—in an 8-7 loss.
“He was up in the zone and couldn’t get going at all,” New York catcher Jorge Posada said of Pettitte. “He was behind in the count and left too many pitches up in the zone. His location today was terrible.”
“I never got settled in to make adjustments to what I was doing,” he said. “I never had time to settle down and figure out what was going wrong.”
Pettitte watched from the dugout Friday as friend and teammate Roger Clemens recorded win No. 300. Clemens worked 6 2-3 strong innings and Hideki Matsui, Ruben Sierra and Raul Mondesi homered as the Yankees took the series opener 5-2.
“We just talked about it for so long and for it to happen now is just a thrill—especially in front of all these people,” said Clemens, who also became just the third pitcher in big league history to record 4,000 strikeouts.
The Yankees have won consecutive games since being no-hit by Houston on Wednesday, maintaining a slim advantage over second-place Boston in the AL East.
Jim Edmonds homered off Clemens, but St. Louis lost for the second time in three games after beginning June by winning seven of eight.
STANDINGS: Cardinals - 3rd place, 1 GB, NL Central. Yankees - 1st place, AL East.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Matt Morris (7-3, 3.06 ERA). Morris is unbeaten in his last five outings, and is 6-1 in his last eight starts. However, the right-hander was pounded for season highs of seven runs and 11 hits over five innings in St. Louis’ 11-10 victory over Baltimore on Sunday. Morris, who has never pitched against New York, is 3-2 with a 1.86 ERA in five road outings this season.
YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Pettitte (5-6, 5.33 ERA). Pettitte, who has never faced the Cardinals, is 3-2 with a 4.84 ERA in six home starts this season.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .386 avg., 54 RBIs and 55 runs; Edmonds, 18 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 12 SBs. Yankees - Alfonso Soriano, .290 avg., 18 HRs, 53 runs and 18 SBs.; Posada, 45 RBIs; .
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Cardinals - 7-3. Yankees - 5-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cardinals - Former Yankees 1B Tino Martinez returned to the Bronx for the first time since Game 5 of the 2001 World Series on Friday. He went 0-for-3, receiving several standing ovations. … St. Louis is 2-2 on its 10-game road trip, which will conclude with a four-game set in Milwaukee next week. … This is St. Louis’ first visit to Yankee Stadium since the 1964 World Series. Yankees - DH Sierra has hit safely in four of five games since being acquired from Texas on June 6. … 3B Scott Rolen is 4-for-9 with a homer and three RBIs in his career against LHP Pettitte. … Pettitte has had his way with Cards’ C Mike Matheny, limiting him to two hits in 19 at-bats (.109)
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cardinals - 13-18 on the road; Yankees - 16-16 at home.
INJURIES: Cardinals - C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; C Chris Widger (thumb), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL. Yankees - 1B Nick Johnson (hand), 15-day DL; OF Bernie Williams (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL.