A lot of talk around the Yankees has been how impressive Andy Pettitte has looked since his return. I can’t agree more that his return has been huge. But, I don’t think it is just his play on the field once every five days that has made a difference in the team.
His return and strong pitching seems to have inspired every other pitcher on the team. I’m not sure if they try to emulate his strong play or just feel more confident knowing Pettitte is there. It seems like he reminded the team what it was like to win again.
On Sunday Pettitte wasn’t spectacular, but still only gave up 2 earned runs in 6 innings while striking out 8. For any other pitcher in a Yankee uniform that would have been considered a great performance last month.
But, lets look at the Yankees pitching staff the week before.
On Saturday night Phil Hughes gave up 2 runs in 6.1 innings while striking out 6.
On Friday night Hiroki Kuroda only allowed 1 hit in seven innings while striking out 7.
Thursday night saw CC Sabathia give up 3 runs in 7 innings and strike out 12.
Ivan Nova gave up 1 run in 8 innings and struck out 5 batters on Wednesday night.
Doesn’t this seem contagious?
Before Pettitte arrived Yankee pitchers were barely making it through 5 innings. New York wasn’t hitting either which was proving to be a deadly combination.
The return of Andy Pettitte seems to be just what the Yankees needed. If you watch the games the team seems to be a little more giddy in the dug-out. The pitchers seem to have a confident look on their faces rather than searching for an answer.
The Yankees are definitely playing better and much of that is due to none other than Andrew Eugene Pettitte who turned 40 years old today June 15.