Saturday, September 19, 2009

Yankees Glad to Hear Pettitte is Ready [David Stefanini]

New York Yankees' starting pitcher Andy Pettitte is expected to start against the Anaheim Angels this Monday. Why is this important you may be asking. Let me explain...

Andy Pettitte does not have amazing stand-out numbers this year. He has 13 wins on the best team in baseball, his ERA is 4.14 and his WHIP is 1.36. But Andy Pettitte is not about statistics this season, even though his second half numbers look impressive. He is a big game pitcher that most Yankee fans will want to pitch Game 5, if necessary, against the Detroit Tigers (or whoever their first round opponent is). At the beginning of the year many people, including myself, thought Pettitte was washed up and no longer a solid starter. The Yankees signed him to a $5.5 million contract, loaded with incentives, to essentially be their 4th or 5th starter. But as the year has progressed we have all learned something, Pettitte knows how to win and is still a legit starter.

Come playoff time the Yankees will look to him as their 2nd starter, but most likely give him the ball in the most important games. Which is why his health is so important. If Pettitte is not healthy the Yankees will have to rely on unproven postseason starters to carry them. With Pettitte in the rotation the Yankees can put him in the 2nd spot to make key starts in Games 2 and 5 of a series. If Sabathia loses the first game Pettitte will be there to pick up the Yankees like he has done many times. He will also be there for the most important game of most series, Game 5.

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