LADY AT THE BAT: Pettitte Got Back (On The Mound, That Is)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Pettitte Got Back (On The Mound, That Is)

For the first time in three seasons, Andy Pettitte got back on the mound at Yankee Stadium tonight. Because his back got hurt in Spring training, he was on a pitch count of about 80 pitches. Since a lot of the pitches were balls the Devil Rays got back the lead and won the game 7-6.

The night was filled with snow flurries and 20-degree wind chills. Pettitte pitched into the 5th inning, giving up 4 runs, 2 earned, on 6 hits. He also walked 3 and struck out 2. His defense didn’t help him very much, especially Derek Jeter, who made his 2nd and 3rd errors of the season. Pettitte also had trouble getting in sync with catcher Jorge Posada, who at one point, was shown in the dugout having his nails painted with white-out, so that Pettitte could better see the signs he put down. “We didn’t get a chance to work together in Spring training,” Pettitte told the YES Network after the game.

Joe Torre attributed Pettite’s shaky outing to his abbreviated Spring training and said he’s still got a ways to go before he’s really ready. When asked about his health, Pettitte told YES, “Physically, I feel fine.” I’m inclined to believe him. He’ll be “really ready” in a start or two and and, in his next start, he and Posada should be in sync.

As I watched the game tonight my mind flooded over with all of the memories Pettitte gave Yankee fans in the late ‘90s. It was great seeing that glove over the mouth, the bill of the cap pulled way down and those eyes penetrating home plate. Yes, his back got hurt and he didn’t have a full Spring training. But tonight at Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte got back.

The Lady

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