Sunday, November 1, 2009

Andy Pettitte pitching, hitting Yanks toward the title

In the post-game interview last night, Derek Jeter had a lot of fun at teammate/buddy Andy Pettitte's expense. It wasn't his pitching or fielding Jeter was making fun of, it was his base running after tying the game with a clutch hit. Jeter followed with his own hit and both runners scored on Johnny Damon's double. Afterwards, Jeter said he could have caught up with Pettitte on the bases. That's putting it mildly as Pettitte's not exactly Carl Lewis out there. But he looked pretty solid swinging the bat, as he has no doubt reminded his teammates several times today.

As great as he was on offense, I was most impressed with Pettitte's pitching. After a rough second inning where he gave up three runs, Pettitte dug deep down and found something that got him through the rest of the game, giving the Yanks six solid innings. It was the type of gritty performance that Yankee fans have come to expect from Andy Pettitte, the reason why the game was not lost after he gave up those early runs. Young pitchers can learn a lot from Andy about pitching when you don't have your best stuff or when you get into trouble. Cole Hamels could have used that lesson last night. He fell apart after ARod's homer.
Pettitte would make a great pitching coach when he eventually decides to retire. I don't know if he's interested, but I could see him following in Mel Stottlemyre's footsteps as the Yankees pitching coach. But that's way down the line. First, he has to win his next ring. And he put himself and the Yanks one step closer to doing that.

Thanks to kidsire via Wikipedia for the photo.

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