Andy Pettitte is back.
The veteran left-hander returns in tonight’s series opener against the Blue Jays. This weekend in Boston, when Joe Girardi announced that Pettitte was ready to rejoin the rotation, Pettitte stood outside the Yankees clubhouse and talked about coming back.
Concerned about taking so much time off?
“I think I probably would be a little concerned if I didn’t feel like my command was where it was, because you feel a little helpless out there when you’re not able to control the ball like you want to. But my command’s been there in the simulated games. Like I said before, the only thing that’s the unknown is the stamina, I feel like. My command may not be great when I get out there, it’s a big-league ballgame, that could be different, but all I can say is that in these simulated games, I’ve felt really comfortable with all my pitches. My command’s been great, and I expect to do well when I pitch on Tuesday.”
Are the lack of innings a problem?
“I don’t think it is. I really don’t. I look back also, and obviously you like to look back if you’ve done stuff before, and I didn’t get to see a lot of action in spring training in 2010. A lot of my games got rained out. I think I only made two starts, and had to go right into the games. For me, it’s about mechanics. It’s about pitch selection, and hopefully location. As long as I’m able to go out there and do those things, I’m going to be successful.”
Excited to come back in the middle of a playoff race?
“That’s what you come back for. Obviously it would be nice to have a little bit of a bigger lead, where you can take a breath. It would be nice to know that we were going to the postseason right now, and not have to worry about it. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. But I’m looking forward to being back, trying to help this club do what we want to do; that’s get to the postseason and hopefully win the championship. I want to be part of that solution, not just sitting there watching it.”
Change your approach because of a limited pitch count?
“I won’t. I feel like I was in a really good place when I got hurt, as far as being aggressive in the strike zone. I was throwing all my pitches for strikes and I’m hoping to get right back into there. I know how I want to attack hitters. I’m not going to go in there and be trying to change my game plan. Whatever, I know there’s going to be a limit there, so I’m not looking to throw eight innings or seven innings. Whatever pitches I got, I want them to be quality and hopefully give us a good outing.”
How would you describe your year?
“Crazy? Crazy for sure. But that’s life, I mean, no regrets at all. I came back, I wanted to come back, I felt like I could still do this. I feel like I proved to myself I could still do this and feel good and help this team. I feel like I was doing that before I got hurt. And so this was an unfortunate deal. Like I said before, I thought my groin might give me trouble, I thought my back my give me trouble, I thought my elbow may give me trouble if I came back and started logging a whole lot of innings or whatever. I would never have expected to get a line drive off your leg and break your leg. That’s just part of it. You got to deal with it, but it’s been good, it really has. I’ve loved being around the guys, love being around this team. We got a great group of guys and just really happy I’m going to be able to get back into the mix here a little.”
Associated Press photo