Tag: Andy Pettite

Andy Pettitte Was Injured for the Yankees Playoff Run?

By Eric Marmon

When Joe Girardi shuffled his starting rotation between the New York Yankees ALDS against the Twins and the ALCS against Texas, everyone in NYC assumed it was a strategic maneuver to get Andy Pettitte in position to pitch a potential Game 7. The move was noticeable, but the reaction was mostly ho-hum.

Well, not anymore. Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted this week that Pettitte’s back and injured hamstring were in such bad shape following his impressive seven-inning, two-run Game 2 victory in the ALDS that he would have been unable to throw in Game 5 of that series. Girardi also revealed that the rotation shuffle in the ALCS was a means of getting the Yankee-lifer as much rest as possible, as there was a chance he could miss the ALCS altogether.

“We thought it was in his best interest if we could give him another couple of days, he might be able to get through the series,” Girardi said on Monday.

This certainly won’t help curtail the “Yankees are too old” conversation…but it all becomes moot if Andy opts to retire anyway. It also highlights the already obvious need for more starting pitching. Cliff Lee, anyone? Oh wait, no. Y’all spat on his wife.

Perhaps the only thing in sports more beloved by the fans than winning is coming back on your shield. Kirk Gibson’s home run, Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, the unquestionable effort being put on display despite the very obvious physical pain being caused… this is what we love. While the revelation that he was playing hurt matters little now, the fact that he played through pain is just another remarkable footnote in the memorable career of Andy Pettitte.

And it gives true Yankees fans just another reason to love the guy.


This article originally appeared on The NY Sports Digest. If it’s offbeat and it’s about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Islanders or Rangers, then The Digest is the spot to get it. Stop with the mega-sites and get a feel for the true pulse of New York at www.NYSportsDigest.com

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Anatomy of the New York Yankees’ LCS Defeat

It’s been a few days since the Bronx Bombers dropped Game 6 of the ALCS in Texas. And while the healing-process was undoubtedly delayed by Cooper’s drunken rants against all things Yankee and the decade-old ramblings from an endangered species called “Orioles Fans,” the fact that the Knicks are set to start the most exciting season in nearly a decade is enough to get us out of bed in the morning.

However, in the next couple days we’ll take a look at what went wrong, what went right and what needs to change for the 2010 New York Yankees.

By Anthony Strait

The New York Yankees headed into their American League Championship Series matchup with so much on their side. They were coming off a three-game demolition of the Minnesota Twins which allowed them some rest. The starting pitching was coming together after a rough September and looked poised to power the team much like in 2009. An added bonus was that the Texas Rangers needed all five games to eliminate the Tampa Bay Rays, meaning that Cliff Lee would not start till Game 3.

Yet so much went wrong for the Yankees that many will make the argument that they could have easily been swept if not for a bullpen meltdown by the Rangers in Game 1. The Yankees ALCS loss in the end became a microcosm of the problems that plagued them over the last month of the season and in the end left them short of their ultimate goal: repeating.

You can start with the Yankees bats, which many felt would be the strength that would carry them back to the fall classic. In the regular season, New York led the majors with 859 runs—72 more runs than the Rangers. Yet outside of Robinson Cano and an eighth-inning comeback in Game 1, the Yankees bats were punchless.

The team batting average in the regular season was .267; in the LCS they batted .201 with a .300 on-base percentage. New York was just 5-for-47 with runners in scoring position in Games 2 through 6. A more sobering realization for the Yanks was that Cliff Lee pitched once in the series—meaning they couldn’t hit the other Rangers pitchers either. Losing Mark Teixeira didn’t help matters but he didn’t have a hit in the series (0-14). All in all, the Yankees scored just 19 runs in the series.

“We’re capable of anything at any time on offense,” said GM Brian Cashman after the Game 6 loss. “But outside of the one inning [eighth inning of Game 1] and the one game in New York [Game 5], we didn’t do anything.”

The Yankees offense vanished while the starting pitching was pretty much beaten up throughout the series. CC Sabathia was roughed up in Game 1 and Phil Hughes followed that up by allowing seven runs in four innings in Game 2. The starting pitching, a question mark at the end of the regular season; pitched well in the Minnesota series. Against Texas however the ERA through the six games was 6.58. Andy Pettitte pitched well in Game 3 while the decision to start AJ Burnett was questioned. Yet Burnett pitched well up until the sixth inning of Game 4. The starting rotation struggled down the stretch and was really roughed up by an aggressive Texas team that ran the bases and forced the issue.

Another key under the microscope and one that will be during the offseason will be manager Joe Girardi’s decisions during the series. The decision to start Phil Hughes in Game 2 over Pettitte raised eyebrows. Many viewed starting Sabathia and Pettitte back to back would have given the Yanks a chance at trying to steal two games on the road before facing Lee.

Game 4 saw Girardi going with the numbers game in leaving Burnett in one inning too long. It led to an intentional walk of David Murphy followed by Benji Molina’s three-run home run that gave the Rangers the lead for good.

The final nail was bringing in David Robertson after Hughes was knocked out of Game 6. He immediately served up a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz.

A series that saw the Yankees get outplayed, and to an extent out-managed, has now left them with an offseason full of questions to answer. The future of the core four (Jorge Posada, Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera) is up in the air, along with adding or subtracting personnel.

Heading into the playoffs the Yankees looked like a shell of the team that won it all a year ago. The Rangers made them look old through six games and now it will be up to Cashman to retool for 2011. Perhaps he can look at the last week to address the team’s needs; considering they will have the winter to reflect on a series where everything did go wrong.


This article originally appeared on The NY Sports Digest. If it’s offbeat and it’s about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Islanders or Rangers, than The Digest is the spot to get it. Stop with the mega-sites and get a feel for the true pulse of New York at www.NYSportsDigest.com


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New York Yankees Take Commanding 2-0 Lead in ALDS

The Yankees yet again won another come-from-behind playoff game against the Minnesota Twins as they beat them 5-2 last night behind a strong performance from Andy Pettitte.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Twins had jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, but Carl Pavano couldn’t hold it. Pavano pitched six innings and allowed four runs.
  • Pettitte needed just 88 pitches. His line: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
  • The Yankees tacked on another run in the ninth when Brett Gardner scored on a Curtis Granderson single.
  • Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera locked down the Yankees lead over the final two innings.
  • Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the seventh for arguing ball and strikes after an apparent strike three was called a ball and in the same at-bat Lance Berkman doubled to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
  • Berkman also homered in the fifth inning that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

With a 2-0 lead in the series, the Yankees are set up pretty well to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time ever as the Wild Card. The series resumes Saturday night at Yankee Stadium with Phil Hughes on the mound. If Hughes can’t wrap things up, CC Sabathia will pitch on short rest Sunday night. If the series goes the distance it will be wrapped up in Minnesota on Tuesday.

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Andy Pettitte Making a Strong and Silent Case for AL Cy Young

Andy Pettitte has had a remarkable MLB career.  He’s won 12 or more games in 14 of his first 15 seasons, and is the only pitcher in major league history to have a record above .500 for all of his first 15 seasons.

Missing amongst those accomplishments is a Cy Young award.  This year may be Pettitte’s best chance at that coveted pitching award yet—and seemingly, no one is talking about it.

The 37-year-old left-hander is 8-1 with an ERA of 2.46.  His eight wins ranks second in the American League behind only David Price of the Rays, and his ERA ranks third behind Price and Doug Fister of the Mariners. 

The National League’s pitching has stolen the show this year.  Ubaldo Jimenez, Jaime Garcia, Mike Pelfrey, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay—the list just goes on and on, literally.

In the American League, Pettitte has been the epitome of consistent this year.  In his 12 starts, he’s given up more than two runs in just two of those starts.  He’s gone less than six innings just twice, and he’s pitched seven innings or more six times.

Without research, an average baseball fan would assume Pettitte’s W-L record would be enhanced because he pitches for an offensive powerhouse such as the Yankees.  Obviously, it helps (New York averages 5.67 runs in the games where Pettitte pitches).  But Andy’s minuscule ERA is the real reason for his success thus far. 

In fact, an ERA this low is quite uncommon for Pettitte.  His career ERA is nearly a run and a half higher at 3.87, and his ERA’s been higher than 4.00 in nine of his 15 seasons. 

It’s remarkable considering the park he pitches in more often than not is, to put it nicely, a joke.  Lazy fly balls routinely find their way into the right field stands.  While that little quirk has a way of leaving pitchers snake-bitten, it hasn’t affected Pettitte too much this year…yet.  

I bring up the Cy Young argument, because at his current pace, he will wind up with a record of 21-3.  If the ERA can stay decently low, he should be a shoe-in for his first career Cy Young award.  Which is such a cool story, considering he claims 2010 will be his last season

Cy Young or not, the real story will be whether Pettitte still decides to walk away after this year, if he continues to pitch like he has over the next three and a half months.  It’d be a shame to see a pitcher with more to give hang up his cleats, but we need to remember that those comments came before the season.

Andy’s heart may be back in Texas with his family, but his arm is definitely still in the game. 

It will be interesting to see which one he listens to. 

While Pettitte may be one of the more under-appreciated pitchers in the game today, he may be rewarded with one of the greatest honors a pitcher can receive at the end of the year.  That would definitely be hard to walk away from.

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