Pettitte was hurt during playoffs
Yankees manager Joe Girardi shed more light on why Andy Pettitte couldn’t pitch Game 2 of the ALCS today, and why the team instead went to Phil Hughes for Games 2 and 6 against the Rangers. Here’s the transcript:
(Any second thoughts about how he set up Pettitte and Hughes?) Sometimes as a manager you have to do things for certain reasons. As I said before, we lined up our rotation, there were a lot of factors that went into our rotation. Sometimes you’re going to take heat or people are going to question things that you do about it because you’re trying to protect a player or protect a strategy.
Let me take you back. Andy Pettitte pitched Thursday against Minnesota. In the seventh inning, Andy’s back started locking up a little bit. His hamstrings got really tight. He gutted it through the seventh inning for us and got through it. He wanted to go back out for the eighth. I think he had about 88 pitches. And I said, ‘No, you’re not going back out. You’ve done your job.’
He came in on Friday and his back was locked up. Saturday was his bullpen because he basically had to prepare for Game 5. He got about halfway through his bullpen and had to walk off because his leg grabbed at him. A little different spot, his adductor. So we thought it was in our best interests, and I thought talking to the trainers and the doctors, if we could give him a couple of extra days he might be able to get through that series. He didn’t throw a light bullpen until Wednesday because we were fearful.
The last time Andy walked off a bullpen, it became a couple of weeks. If I only had Andy for one game in that playoff, I was willing to take the risk to make sure he was healthy. In talking to doctors, trainers, our staff, Cash, we thought we had to give him those two extra days. Andy had some leg problems down the stretch, he had some back issues. It was unfortunate and he pitched a great game.
Who knows what would have happened if he was able to pitch Game 2? We just felt that after having that issue on Saturday, we’d better give him a couple of extra days.
(If Andy was healthy, would he have pitched Game 2?) We might have lined up our rotation a little different if he was healthy, yes.
(Andrus’ tapper on the first play of Game 3) Yes, I held my breath. He seemed to be OK through that start. He talked about a little back stiffness but nothing like he had in Minnesota or when his leg grabbed. Every time he went after a ball, I was concerned. If you share that knowledge, maybe they bunt more. Maybe they try to do more things. And that was a concern of mine.
(Would Andy have pitched ALCS Game 7?) He was OK. At that point, he felt OK, so if I did have concerns, he was going.