Saturday, June 12, 2010

Superior Pettitte hits another Yankee milestone

While I wouldn't vote for him, Andy Pettitte is making a solid case for inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pettitte achieved another milestone with last night's victory, becoming only the third pitcher to win 200 games with the New York Yankees, behind Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing, two Hall of Famers.

Pettitte got a hug and the game ball from Mariano Rivera and a congratulatory phone call from another Yankee legend, Ron "Gator" Guidry. He seemed thrilled and proud of the honor as he should be. "It's special," Pettitte said. "There are not a lot of guys that have won that many games as a Yankee so I'm real happy."

It is truly astonishing that Pettitte is off to the best start of his career just a few days shy of his 38th birthday, tying budding superstar Phil Hughes for tops in the Yankees' rotation with eight wins. This year, he's proving an old dog knows many tricks, beating hitters more with his guile than his stuff, even if the stuff is still pretty good.

“I’ve just been feeling real comfortable with my mechanics, with all of my pitches, throwing them at any time,” Pettitte said. “I feel like mentally I’m in a real good place.”

He sure is. One of these days Pettitte is going to follow through on his annual threats to retire. But it's hard to imagine that day coming after the year he's had. I thought Pettitte would retire after winning his fifth title last year, but he wasn't ready to go, knowing that he still had more life in that left arm. Given his superior pitching, I find it hard to believe he's going to want to retire this year.

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