For Andy Pettitte, the experiment stage has been over for quite some time. He’s no longer proving something. He’s just pitching. Last night, it wasn’t enough that he pitched well for most of the game, Pettitte was focused on the mistakes that cost him.
“After the first game, I felt like I was going to be able to do this,” he said. “Just the things that I wanted to be able to do were there in that game, so as long as I’m healthy, I’m going to be able to do this. That’s a moot point for me, now. Now it’s all about just helping this team win. You gotta keep them off the board and let our guys score first. That’s what I always try to do, and I hate that I wasn’t able to do it.”
That’s Pettitte. He knew he pitched better than the numbers indicated last night, but he was too upset about the home runs to feel particularly good about himself.
“You have to set up your pitches, throw pitches for a purpose to be able to get guys out,” he said. “I hate to sit here and try to tell yall and the world how I like to get hitters out, but it’s pitching. I can do a better job of it right now.”
The fact Pettitte is able to give those sort of answers, four starts into his return, is a good thing for the Yankees. There’s no patting him on the back for doing his best. He’s not a side show. He’s here to help, and questions about whether Pettitte has anything left have been answered.
“I was at least able to go deep,” he said with a kind of sigh. “But I gotta get better, that’s just all there is to it.”