May 13, 2012

Not sold on Pettitte

Andy Pettitte
Don't get me wrong, I couldn't have been happier to see No. 46 back on the mound on Mother's Day in his signature style, shielding his face from the batter.

Everything looked like it was going great until the sixth inning, when Andy Pettitte allowed five hard hits including a two-run homer to Casper Wells, his first of the year. He had thrown just 63 pitches before the inning began.

Remember, he was facing one of the worst offenses in the league. The Mariners were hitting .233 as a team going into today's action (13th in AL) with 129 runs scored (10th).

Pettitte's final line: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR, 94 pitches, 60 strikes. Toward the end, his strikes were getting too much of the plate.

I wanted him to do well today, and through five innings I was very excited. He had made just one mistake in the fourth inning to Justin Smoak, a terrific young hitter who belted a low slider over the left field fence.

Pettitte's graying hair set in very early today, and that worries me, especially since he had plenty of adrenaline pumping today, too.

Even if the Yankees had backed him with plenty of runs, I'd still be quick to point out that Pettitte tired out too early and left pitches up and over the plate.

Perhaps I was right from the get-go. Maybe the Yankees brought him up too early. Maybe they should have been a little more cautious after he allowed 19 hits in 17 innings of minor-league work.

Pettitte turns 40 in a month. He's always been a battler, but I'm afraid he's finally run out of gas.

Photo courtesy of Samantha Epstein

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