The New York Yankees had lost five games in a row entering Monday night's contest with the Minnesota Twins, but the Bronx Bombers received a bit of a boost as longtime Yankee Andy Pettitte pitched his way into the record books.
Pettitte, who debuted for the Yankees in 1995, surpassed the great Whitey Ford for the franchise lead in strikeouts, finally breaking a record that has been in place since Ford's retirement in 1967.
The three-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion took the mound Monday night in a position to stop the club's five-game skid. The 41-year-old Pettitte finished the outing after five innings of four-run ball.
However, the most memorable part of Pettitte's day will most certainly be his fifth-inning strikeout of Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. Pettitte struck out the 2006 AL MVP and four-time All-Star swinging, giving him his second strikeout of the night and the 1,958th of his legendary career.
Pettitte, who has spent all but three seasons of his major league career in the Bronx, had Twitter buzzing. Baseball fans from all over the world offered words of congratulations to a pitcher who has just about done it all during his time in pinstripes:
Yankees had a HUGE win tonight to cap of an historic night with Andy Pettitte becoming the Yankees all-time leader in Strike Outs!— Alex Daines (@Dainze72) July 2, 2013
Congrats to Andy Pettitte on becoming the Yankees all-time strikeout leader and to Joe Girardi on his 600th managerial win!! #yankees— Julie (@julaayyyy) July 2, 2013
The Yankees seemed to be inspired by the performance of the MLB's all-time postseason win leader, as an offensive explosion in the late innings led the Bombers to a 10-4 victory. Robinson Cano continued his hot streak with two home runs, while the Yanks were able to explode for seven combined runs in the eighth and ninth innings.
The win moves the Yankees to 43-39, leaving them six games back of the division-leading Red Sox.