Andy Pettitte to start ALDS Game 2
BALTIMORE – Last season, the Yankees invited Andy Pettitte to throw a ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the American League Division Series. This year, they’ll be asking a lot more out of his left arm.
Pettitte will start Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles on Monday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced, slotting the 40-year-old veteran into a role he has filled many times in his pinstriped career.
“We know what we’ve got to do,” Pettitte said on Friday in New York. “Obviously, we know that as a staff, we’re going to have to pitch well. Pitch well, have the bullpen throw the ball well; I think we’re going to be all right.”
Pettitte, who finished the regular season 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts, threw a bullpen during Friday’s workout at Yankee Stadium. He would have been in line to pitch had the Yankees and Orioles needed to play a one-game playoff on Thursday in Baltimore to decide the American League East.
“I’m hoping my legs feel good under me and stay strong,” Pettitte said. “It gives me an opportunity to lift, and work my legs a little more as well. I don’t know how they’ll respond, but I’m feeling really good.”
Game 2 has historically been Pettitte’s territory; this will be the 16th Game 2 start in 17 big league seasons for the game’s all-time winningest postseason pitcher. He won his last Game 2 start, in the 2010 AL Division Series against the Twins at Target Field.
Girardi said that the Yankees are setting their rotation to have right-hander Hiroki Kuroda pitch Game 3 at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Phil Hughes would pitch Game 4, if necessary, and Sabathia would be available for a potential Game 5.
Kuroda was 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 starts this year for New York, but showed some signs of fatigue down the stretch as he completed a team-leading 219 2/3 inning workload – his heaviest since coming to the Major Leagues.
“We just felt that the extra rest would probably help him,” Girardi said. “He would have been on his normal turn. We thought the extra rest would help him.”