How Pettitte talked his way back out for the eighth

The Yankees don’t want to make a habit of having Andy Pettitte throw 115 pitches, but the look in the lefty’s eyes convinced manager Joe Girardi to send the 39-year-old back out for the eighth inning on Friday — despite what sounded like reservations from head athletic trainer Steve Donohue.

I’ll let Pettitte tell the story, recounting what happened in the dugout during the New York seventh inning:

“It was kind of funny. Joe comes and goes, ‘I don’t want to push you too hard,’ and I was getting a little bit of a massage from our trainer. I’m like, ‘I’m good. I feel like I can give you another one.’ I knew I was getting a little tired but I was staying within myself. Our trainer says, ‘How many pitches you got?’

“I think he said like 106. He’s like, ‘Maybe you ought to go pitch to pitch.’ Stevie drops that on him. Anyhow, I felt like I was in a good rhythm. I know Joe trusts me and I felt like I could give him another inning. I’m thankful that I told him I was good and I was able to get through that inning.”

It worked out, as Pettitte pitched a perfect eighth to complete his longest scoreless outing since July 8, 2008 against Tampa Bay. It was also Pettitte’s first victory since July 8, 2010 against the Mariners.

“It’s not something I want to do on a consistent basis,” Girardi said. “He looked like his stuff was still really good. I know he has to go again in five days and then he gets an extra day, and I think about that as well. It was just kind of the way he looked, and I talked to him. I looked him in the eyes.”

Here is Girardi’s postgame press conference:

2 Comments

It is great for all Yankee fans to see Andy P. pitch so effectively. He and Whitey Ford are the two greatest Yankee starters of all-time. He is a big game pitcher who has the ability to raise his level of play according to the situation. That is what being a true Yankee is all about. In the pressure cooker of New York, it takes a career to develop that skill.

On another note, as funny as it sounds, right now the Yankees are really missing Brett Gardner. He is a pest and he makes pitchers think about him when he is on base. In particular, Tex and AROD will hit better when he returns.

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I doubt they miss Gardner that much, they’ve been successful without him in the past. Tex is a notorious slow starter when the season starts and A-Rod is at the end of his career his skills are slipping. Gardner didn’t make them better simply because he was in the lineup, he wasn’t much of a factor for these guys when he was healthy as last year proved, but they are struggling for the reasons I just stated.

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