Last season Andy Pettitte struggled with shoulder pain and put up a rather poor 5-9 record with a 5.16 ERA after July last year thanks to that pain.
It made the Yankees question whether they should even bring him back this season as they put off signing him until he nearly took a $11 million pay cut. They ended up bringing him back and it paid off, but just last week his shoulder issues sprung up and it might have been memories of last season or thoughts of this year’s playoffs, but many were cringing.
Well last night, pitching on nine days rest, Pettitte threw six mostly strong innings allowing just three earned runs. He also threw just 91 pitches, the least amount he’s thrown since the last time he faced the Angels on July 11 and got pulled early after allowing six runs.
“Everything is good, things went well as far as me being healthy,” Pettitte said. “I felt pretty good. I scuffled in the first inning, when everything came back over the plate.”
Between the rest and the results, many Yankees fans are starting to breathe easier, the Yankees certainly are.
“I have a much higher comfort level than I had coming into the game,” manager Joe Girardi said about the 37-year-old Pettitte.
The Yankees are certainly going to be paying attention to Pettitte’s shoulder between now and the playoffs, but after last night’s start they are still penciling him into the playoff rotation.