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Entries in Andy Pettitte (7)


Starting bad for Andy Pettitte

As the world awaited the return of Alex Rodriguez last night, you can be assured more than a few anxious Yankee eyes were focused on Andy Pettitte.

And it was ugly. Pettitte last 2.2 innings and allowed 11 hits and seven runs. It was his shortest start since July 18, 2010.

At 41, Pettitte seems to have run out of gas.

He is 7-9 on the season with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.461 WHIP. But that is only telling part of the story

Here is Andy Pettitte' 2013 story

Andy Pettitte Inning by Inning - 2013
1st inning .396 .560 .430 2 20
2nd inning .260 .390 .301 2 20
3rd inning .293 .387 .341 0 20
4th inning .254 .394 .295 2 19
5th inning .188 .297 .264 1 19
6th inning .322 .661 .355 6 15
7th inning .316 .421 .333 0 11
8th inning .333 .333 .333 0 3
9th inning - - - 0 -

But that is only telling part of the story

Since July 1, in seven starts, Pettitte is 2-3 with a 5.72 ERA, 1.672 WHIP and a .331 BAA.

But that is only telling part of the story

When I say start, I literally mean start, as in the start of each game where Pettitte has had headaches. He's allowed runs in the 1st inning in seven straight starts. 

Pettitte Inning by Inning since July 1, 2013

1st inning .514 .757 .524 2 7
2nd inning .323 .581 .344 2 7
3rd inning .333 .407 .379 0 7
4th inning .227 .318 .261 0 6
5th inning .095 .095 .136 0 6
6th inning .333 .667 .333 2 6
7th inning .400 .500 .455 0 4
8th inning - - - 0 -

But that is only telling part of the story

When I say start, I literally mean start, as in the start of at bats, where Pettitte has had headaches.

Pettitte by Count - 2013
0-0 .433 .683 .413 3 60 26 9
0-1 .344 .410 .365 0 61 21 4
1-0 .325 .575 .325 2 40 13 5
1-1 .328 .410 .323 0 61 20 4
0-2 .116 .233 .116 1 43 5 3
2-0 .364 .545 .333 0 11 4 2
2-1 .400 .600 .381 1 20 8 2
1-2 .222 .361 .243 2 72 16 6
3-0 .000 .000 .800 0 1 0 0
2-2 .274 .435 .274 2 62 17 6
3-1 .333 .333 .750 0 6 2 0
3-2 .220 .380 .458 2 50 11 4

Starting to get late

Whether it is the start of a game, or the start of an at bat, it's starting to look problematic for Andy Pettitte.

And despite the fact that now Pettitte at 252, has one more one win than Bob Gibson and one less than Carl Hubbell, and despite the fact that now Pettitte at 2404, has eight more strikeouts win than Sandy Koufax and three more Dennis Eckersley, Pettitte may be starting to see the end.


Why the Yankees have gone 23-28 Since May 26

This is not a look at the injuries, turmoil, or the budgetary restrictions of the 2013 New York Yankees.

To quote Dragnet's Joe Friday, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Since May 26

After play on May 26, the Yankees were 30-19 (.612) and basically tied with the Red Sox who were 31-20 (.608) for first place. Since that date, the Yankees have been 23-28 (.451) the third worst record in the AL, only "better" than the Astros 20-29 (.408) and the White Sox 15-34 (.306).

With their victory last night, Boston for the 58th consecutive day remained in first place in the AL East, but don't be misled by that, they have only pulled away from the Yankees and Jays (24-25). Boston and Baltimore each have played 30-21 ball since then and the Rays have a 34-18 record, the best record in baseball since that date. 

So what's gone wrong for the Yankees?

Nine to Know since May 26:

  1. The Yankees are hitting .238 as a team, the Astros at .223 are the only team with a lower batting average.
  2. The Bronx Bombers have hit 27 homers, only the Giants with 24 have hit fewer long balls.
  3. The Yankees have a .303 OBP, topping only the Marlins (.299) and the Astros (.284).
  4. Travis Hafner has hit .160 with four homers and Vernon Wells has hit .207 with no homers.
  5. The 3-4-5 batters have a slash line of .221/.294/.337.
  6. From the 7th inning on, the Yankees are hitting .213 tied with the Brewers for the worst BA in baseball.
  7. Yankees from the right side of the plate are hitting .206/.267/.253. Their .520 OPS is the worst in baseball (the Tigers righties' OPS is .807).
  8. Andy Pettitte is 3-4 with 5.04 ERA and 1.410 WHIP.
  9. CC Sabathia is 5-4 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.212 WHIP. 

Should Joe Girardi be manager of the year?

This has been a trying season for Yankee Universe and there is no indication that it is going to get much better.

Brian Cashman keeps working the phones, Joe Girardi keeps working on keeping his non-injured players looking for wins, and the press keeps working on the impending Alex Rodriguez bombshell. 

The fact that the Yankees are just seven back in the AL East and just 5.5 back in the AL Wild Card race has some people talking about Girardi as Manager of the Year.

While Girardi would appreciate this memorable honor, I'm sure in future years Girardi will be doing everything he can to forget this season, not remember it.




Pettitte's Slider Still a Put-Away Pitch

With the Yankees locked in a typically vicious AL East race and Michael Pineda out for the year, Andy Pettitte's return from retirement has morphed from a depth-adding bit of nostalgia to a crucial factor in the Bombers' playoff prospects. Pettitte, days from his 40th birthday, hasn't disappointed. The left-hander blanked the Rays over 7.1 innings last night, striking out ten batters while pulling the Yankees within a half-game of the division lead. Pettitte's slider was key, as he used it a quarter of the time and got five punch-outs with the pitch. That breaker is why Pettitte boasts the best K rate (8.1 per nine innings) since he left New York for Houston back in 2004.

Pettitte is doing a superb job of jumping ahead in the count, throwing a first-pitch strike nearly 68 percent of the time while throwing a nearly even distribution of fastballs, cutters and curveballs in first-pitch counts. But when he gets two strikes on the batter, it's time to break out the slider. Pettitte has tossed his slider nearly half of the time in two-strike counts. He's burying that slider low-and-away to fellow lefties with two strikes, and in on the knees of righties:

Pettitte's slider location with two strikes, 2012

A hanging two-strike slider from Pettitte is about as rare a sight as the Transit of Venus: Just three of his 75 two-strike sliders thrown (four percent) have been located high in the strike zone. While those low sliders are out of the zone, they're close enough that hitters down to their last strike haven't been able to lay off them:

Hitters' swing rate by pitch location vs. Pettitte's two-strike sliders, 2012

Opponents have chased 54 percent of Pettitte's two-strike sliders, well above the 46 percent average for starting pitchers in such situations. And those off-the-plate swings on two-strike sliders are producing precious little contact:

Hitters' contact rate by pitch location vs. Pettitte's two-strike sliders, 2012

Pettitte's slider has a 42 percent miss rate with two strikes (32 percent average for starters), and he has used his slider to record 21 of his 32 Ks this season. That, in turn, has helped him post the tenth-best ERA+ (156) among starters throwing at least 30 innings this season. Not bad for a greybeard who started the spring merely throwing batting practice.