Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Struggles Continue for Garcia

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Struggles Continue for Garcia

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - After two subpar starts, Freddy Garcia hasn't separated himself from the idea that he might be holding a rotation spot until Andy Pettitte is ready to rejoin the Yankees.

The Minnesota Twins hardly scared anyone during the season's first week and change, yet they made life a little more difficult for Garcia in Monday night's 7-3 win at Yankee Stadium.

Garcia lasted 5 2/3 innings and yielded nine hits, and four of the five runs against him came with two out.

"I'm really disappointed with things like that," said Garcia, who actually retired 11 straight batters after Minnesota scored twice in the first inning on five hits. "You've got to put them away."

But Minnesota took a 4-3 lead in the fifth and Justin Morneau's sixth-inning homer ushered in Garcia's end.

In his previous start at Baltimore, Garcia unleashed five wild pitches - one more than his entire 2011 total. Manager Joe Girardi felt that was mostly a product of the cool, dry and windy conditions adversely affecting the grip on Garcia's splitter.

Still, Garcia's grip on the No. 5 rotation spot hasn't improved.

Having come out of retirement after one season, Pettitte is due to make his third minor-league start Friday and might need just two more to be ready.

"I try not to worry about things that aren't right in front of me," Girardi said before the game of Pettitte's impending return to the Yankees (5-5). "We're a ways away."

Afterward, Girardi referenced Garcia's inability to minimize a potentially damaging inning while ex-Yankee Carl Pavano - who had an even shakier start - managed to survive seven innings to earn the win.

Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson led off with consecutive home runs during a three-run first. But Pavano (1-1) limited his old team to just three singles and a walk over the next six innings.

"He knows how to pitch. He mixes it up," Jeter said of Pavano, who made $40 million for just 26 starts as a Yankee due to various injuries and mishaps. "He doesn't throw too many balls over the middle of the plate. …

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