It’s a tradition for the birthday boy to receive presents for his birthday, not to be expected to give a gift; but tonight is different. Andy Pettitte turns 41 on Saturday, a day which most pitchers dread; a time when they can tell their career is coming to an end. But not Pettitte; he has started the season pretty strong with a 5-3 record and a 3.82 ERA.
Just last night, the Yankees had a dismal performance against the Athletics, losing 3-2 in 18 innings. In those 18 innings, the Yankees had to use six different relief pitchers. This is where Pettitte’s “gift” comes in. The last time Pettitte pitched was June 8th, against the Seattle Mariners. He threw for 7.1 innings, and helped the Yankees win 3-1. After such a long game last night, the Yankees need Pettitte to have just as good of a showing as he had last week. If he can pitch for 7 or 8 innings, the Yankees could be in good shape, because they don’t have too many relievers that are going to be ready to pitch after yesterday’s game.
The celebrations can wait until tomorrow, but Pettitte and the Yankees need to focus on getting a win tonight.