Category: Lance Pendleton

>Yankees Look to Defeat a Local Pitcher

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The Yankees go into Wednesday’s night’s game hoping that A.J. Burnett can continue the solid pitching that Freddy Garcia displayed during game one against the Royals.  They will face Vin Mazarro who will make his first start of the season.
Garcia only allowed one run due to former Yankee Melky Cabrera’s home run in fourth inning.  He pitched six innings and only allowed six hits and two walks.  Garcia has been a blast from the past to this point and the Yankees only hope this effective pitching can continue.  Joe Girardi took Garcia out after only 85 pitches, so he could have been blamed for taking out a starting pitcher too early once again, but the bullpen effectively did their job for the last three innings to give Garcia his second win. 
David Robertson continues to be a reliable asset for Girardi.  He pitched the seventh inning and has now piled up 18 strike outs in only 13 and one-third innings.  His fastball reached 97 miles per hour and he struck out two batters in his inning on the mound.  He has a 1.35 ERA and he might have to be the primary seventh inning man for a period of time.  Joba Chamberlain picked up his eighth “hold”, Mariano Rivera converted his 13th save and they combined for only one hit in two innings. 
Earlier, set-up man Rafael Soriano, who got off to a rocky start but has pitched more like he did when he led the AL in saves since then, had an MRI which showed a little inflammation in his right elbow.  The Yankees hope to have his services back during the series against the Red Sox, which starts on Friday.  He had Tommy John surgery in 2004 and another more minor procedure in 2008, so hopefully this is not related. 
Lance Pendleton, who had been perfect so far this season in six and one-third innings out of the bullpen has been sent down to AAA Scranton to make room for Luis Ayala.  Before being put on the disabled list because of a strained lat Ayala had a 3.60 ERA in five innings.  He last pitched in Boston on April 9th.  If it had to happen, Pendleton, a Houston native, is probably content that it happened now because he just got back from pitching in front of his family against the Rangers in Arlington.  This is not a major move but it will give the Yankees another veteran presence out of the bullpen. 
Mazarro, who is from Hackensack, New Jersey, will face the same lineup that the Yankees used last night.  Bruce Chen was supposed to pitch tonight but he was put on the disables list on Tuesday with a strained lat muscle.  Chen was arguably the Royals best starter so far this season and in Mazarro’s three career starts against the Yankees while pitching for the Oakland Athletics, he had a miserable 9.69 ERA.  Hopefully a slumping Jorge Posada can begin his turn around tonight against the Royals, a team he has traditionally hit well against. 
Burnett leads the Yankees in wins with four, has a respectable 3.68 ERA, is coming off a start where he allowed two earned runs in seven innings and his career ERA against the Royals is a dominating 2.68.  The Yankees hold the edge in the pitching matchup so that should help them win their third game in a row.           
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>All Around Dominance Against the White Sox

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CC Sebathia was able to continue the Yankees starters streak and throw the seventh consecutive quality start in a 12-3 Yankees victory over the White Sox, on Thursday night.  Sebathia allowed three runs, zero earned because of an Eduardo Nunez error, seven hits and he struck out six batters in seven innings pitched.  Surprise contributor Lance Pendleton, who has not allowed any runs in 10 appearances, pitched two innings of scoreless baseball only allowing two hits. 
Pendleton was actually selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.  Shortly after he underwent Tommy John surgery and once he was recovered he went on to pitch in the minor leagues for a few seasons.  He was selected by the Houston Astros in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft, in December.  (If a minor league player is chosen in the Rule 5 draft he must be kept on the 25 man roster for the whole season or else he will be returned to the previous team.)  He returned to the Yankees on March 27th and was called up on April 15th when Phil Hughes was placed on the disabled list because of a “dead arm”.  
Bartolo Colon actually started the streak of dominating efforts by the starters on April 20th when he pitched six and two-thirds innings while only allowing two runs.  He recorded seven strikeouts which would foreshadow his performance later in the week.  Since the victory on the 20th the Yankees have not allowed more than three runs in any contest.  Colon had another brilliant performance on Wednesday, against his former team, the White Sox, only allowing one run in eight innings, while recording six more strikeouts.  Colon is starting to prove the doubters wrong since he has had two superb starts filling in for Hughes.   This was also Sebathia’s second dominating start of the streak since he threw eight innings, allowing three earned runs and seven strikeouts during a 15-3 victory over the Orioles on the 23rd.
However, this game signaled an offensive resurgence by the Yankees that will hopefully be a trend and not a mirage.  They had not scored more than three runs in any of the last three games, and they could have easily come away with a victory of they had given AJ Burnett and Ivan Nova some run support.  They were finally able to capitalize on Thursday, scoring six runs off of Edwin Jackson and feasting on a struggling White Sox bullpen.
Nick Swisher probably had his best game of the season so far, contributing three hits and his first home run of the campaign.  Brett Gardner might be showing signs of a resurgence after stealing his fourth base and even hitting his third home run of the season.  Gardner actually has as many home runs as David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez combined.  Curtis Granderson continued his hot streak with a triple off of Jackson which scored Eduardo Nunez.
I don’t expect the Yankees to score 12 runs every game but hopefully this is a sign that the offense is turning the corner in order to not waste many more quality performances by the starters.  As stated above, the rotation has been very reliable recently, but one does not know when Nova, Garcia or Colon will tail off.  However, right now it seems like Garcia and Colon will be more reliable than Nova.