• Pettitte Only Good For 85 Pitches In Game Six?

    Posted by on November 3rd, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Some Yanks insiders have concern over the team’s “sort rest” plan in this World Series. Via Jon Heyman with a h/t to WW reader “ken” -

    Longtime Yankees postseason star Andy Pettitte told several teammates he had absolutely “nothing” after hanging in six innings to win Game 3, and now he is being entrusted to summon something better with only three days’ rest in Game 6 Wednesday. Pettitte is the all-time winner in postseason play with 17 victories, but if a younger A.J. Burnett lost so much in the three days from Game 2 to 5, there is wonder even within the Yankees clubhouse about how this will all work out.

    Pettitte won more respect from teammates for hanging tough in a game where he not only didn’t have his best stuff but by his own private accounts to longtime friends actually had zero. Zip. Nada.

    Three Yankees teammates recounted how Pettitte told the team he took “nothing” (his word of choice) out to the mound for Game 3. But even beyond his self assessment, the plan for short rest for the Yankees’ three vaunted starting pitchers was always seen as by far the most worrisome in the case of Pettitte, who at 37 is five years Burnett’s senior. Plus, Pettitte is 5-7 lifetime on three days’ rest (compared to Burnett’s 4-0 mark going into his Game 5 disaster), and Pettitte hasn’t done it once since he was a youngster of 34.

    “Andy will be ready to go. He’s a competitor,” Cashman said after Burnett’s Game 5 debacle, when Girardi was still officially leaving the door slightly ajar to turn elsewhere. “All these guys wanted to take the ball. Andy’s looking forward to it.”

    That’s somewhat reassuring. Yet, one person in the Yankee hierarchy said, “The only thing that worries me (about Games 6 and 7) is that both (Pettitte and Game 7 starter CC Sabathia) are going on three days’ rest.” So even within the inner circle of the storied franchise, there is still a smidgen of unrest about the lack of rest.

    Here’s the thing with Andy Pettitte – look at this pitch counts since 9/21/09:

    9/21: 91 pitches
    9/27: 97 pitches
    10/3: 95 pitches
    10/11: 81 pitches
    10/19: 95 pitches
    10/25: 99 pitches
    10/31: 104 pitches

    So, if Pettitte is only good for, on average, 95 pitches when throwing on normal or extended rest, how many pitches will be be good for on three-days rest? Say, maybe, 85 pitches? Is that going to be enough for the Yankees in Game Six? Time will tell…

    Comments on Pettitte Only Good For 85 Pitches In Game Six?

    1. Evan3457
      November 4th, 2009 | 2:28 am

      Sounds like some “insiders” are playing CYA, and preparing to put Girardi on the chopping block for blowing the series.

      With any tactical decision comes the possibility of failure. What if Girardi had started Gaudin in game 4, and he had gotten his boobies knocked off, and Blanton had given up his 4 runs and won the game anyway, and then if Lee had beaten Sabathia, and the Phils went on to win the series, 4-3? Or if he had started him in Game 5, the Phils had won easily, and the Yanks bypassed Petttitte altogether, and the Phils then went on to outfight Burnett and Sabahia in game 6 and 7 anyway?

      Why, then, these same brave insiders would be “measuring Cashman for the pine box”, for not picking Lee up in mid-season in a trade.

    2. MJ
      November 4th, 2009 | 8:31 am

      As I wrote in another thread, I don’t see the relevance of Pettitte’s post-game comments in the context of tonight’s game. He HAD nothing in Game 3 (emphasis on past-tense). That doesn’t mean he will HAVE nothing in Game 6. The “nothing” in this case refers to “stuff”, and isn’t necessarily indicative of fatigue as much as feel for pitches. Having “nothing” can happen to a pitcher at any point in a season, even on full rest, and even on warm summer nights. In fact, having “nothing” is very common for pitchers. It simply means they were having mechanical issues and/or couldn’t “feel” their pitches and had to rely on guile and luck alone.

      Is it possible that Pettitte throws a stinker tonight? Given his history and his age, yes, it’s imminently possible. But it’ll have nothing to do with Game 3. For the record, CC Sabathia had “nothing” in Games 1 and 4 and only one of those starts was on short rest.

    3. Corey
      November 4th, 2009 | 9:12 am

      So you’re saying you’re afraid of 6 innings at 90something pitches? I’d take that everytime.

    4. Raf
      November 4th, 2009 | 9:12 am

      FWIW, Burnett’s velocity was fine, his command wasn’t. That has been a problem for him his entire career.

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