It’s funny – I was actually planning to do a post on Andy Pettitte today because, of all the Yankees in this year’s All-Star Game, he’s the one whose story I find most compelling. Of course, then I woke up this morning and found that Chad had done an excellent piece for the newspaper on Pettitte; sometimes you just can’t stop this inter-office synergy.
At 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA, Pettitte is on pace for the third 20-win season of his career – not bad considering he’s 38 and will, as he’s done each of the past few offseasons, consider retirement yet again when the season ends. This is the first time he’s made the All-Star team in nine years.
“It’s definitely special, at my age now, to be able to put together a good first half for us. To be consistent,” Pettitte said during yesterday’s media session, according to Newsday. “That’s what I’m most proud of, to be consistent for our team. Not that I thought I wouldn’t, but that’s what you want to do. Give us a chance to win every night that I take the mound. You know that you’ve got a great team behind you. You know that you’ve got Mariano Rivera closing for you. So if you could stay consistent, go out there and just do my job, keep us in the game, you’re going to help us win.”
In terms of this season, here’s the part that’s most interesting about Pettitte: Historically, his second halves are better than his firsts. If you look at his career splits, his winning percentage, ERA, WHIP and strikeouts/9 are all better in the second half and, typically, August is his best month – 50-19, 3.43 ERA, 1.253 WHIP.
In other words, if you liked what you saw from Pettitte in the first half, don’t be all that surprised if it gets even better in the second.
* That’s an AP shot of Pettitte with his 5-year-old son, Luke, on the field before last night’s Home Run Derby. Personally, I like the kid’s stirrups.