First Pitch: Pettitte in a big spot
August, 16, 2013
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsCan Andy Pettitte turn back the clock tonight at Fenway?Andy Pettitte will make his 513th major league start Friday night.
He'll do it against a very familiar foe.
In 41 career appearances (39 starts) against the Boston Red Sox, Pettitte is 19-11 with a 3.87 ERA. In 20 appearances (18 starts) at Fenway Park, Pettitte is 7-4 with a 3.98 ERA.
In years past, this is who the Yankees would want on the mound opening a critical mid-August series against their archrivals.
But Pettitte turned 41 years old in June. And this year has not exactly gone as planned.
After coming out of retirement and re-joining the Yankees last May, Pettitte made 12 starts and pitched to a 2.87 ERA. But a year later, in 21 starts, Pettitte's ERA is nearly two runs higher (4.62). And he currently sports a losing record (7-9), which would be a first for him if the season ended today.
Pettitte has faced the Red Sox twice this year. In his first start, on April 4 at Yankee Stadium, Pettitte pitched eight innings, giving up one run on eight hits and picking up a win. On July 19 in Boston, Pettitte pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits, resulting in a loss.
He's 0-3 with a 5.47 ERA since July 19. The Yankees desperately need Pettitte to break out of that slump Friday night.
Andy Pettitte at Fenway Park -- we may never see this again. Can the wily lefty turn back the clock and slay the Sox one more time?
UP NOW: The Yankees failed to complete a four-game sweep of the Angels on Thursday, losing 8-4. Phil Hughes was OK, but still lost. Boone Logan made a big mistake. Vernon Wells said the Yanks have some work to do. Mark Reynolds, acquired from the Indians, could help.
ON DECK: It'll be Pettitte versus fellow lefty Felix Doubront (8-5, 3.66), first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand will have you covered from Fenway.
QUESTION: Do you think Pettitte is done, or can he bounce back the rest of the season?