The Royals came through last night, and now the Yankees have an opportunity to turn the tide in the American League East. Tonight, if the Yankees beat Boston and the Rays lose a second straight in Kansas City, the Yankees will be back in the driver’s seat in the division.
To try to get there, they’ll turn to Andy Pettitte, who will be making his third and final regular-season start since coming off the disabled list.
“I still felt good at 75 (pitches) the other day, so I’m not sure that’s necessarily that important,” Pettitte said. “I would love to get to 100 pitches or get more because that means I’m deep in the game.”
Of course, Pettitte said those words on Tuesday afternoon, before he knew his start was being pushed to tonight, and before news broke of his stiff back. There is a lot at stake tonight in Boston: The Yankees fighting to regain first place, Pettitte is trying to shake off any lingering rust and the Yankees need everyone — Pettitte especially — to finish the day healthy as could be.
“If I had been absolutely horrible in the first start against Baltimore, then bad again in my last one, in the back of my mind, maybe I’d have a little doubt,” Pettitte said. “It’s about executing my pitches and getting them where they need to be. If I don’t, I’ll get hit.”
Can’t say it any more simply than that.
Associated Press photo