ROCHESTER, NY. (WFAN/AP) — Andy Pettitte hardly looked ready for the majors in the first Triple-A start of his comeback, throwing five shaky innings Sunday.
The 39-year-old looked out of step as he took the mound at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York, home of the Rochester Red Wings. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will be known as the ‘Empire Yankees’ while PNC Field in Scranton is being renovated.
The Rochester Red Wings organization later announced the attendance of 13,584 was the largest ever in their ballpark for a regular-season baseball game.
Pettitte allowed five runs, three of them earned, and eight hits for the New York Yankees’ top affiliate, the Empire Yankees against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
He spoke to reporters following the game. “The feel for my offspeed stuff just wasn’t there. I’m disappointed I’m not as sharp as I wanted to be,” Pettitte said.
He walked two batters, including one batter with the bases loaded, but was able to strike out five.
Nardi Contreras, the Yankees’ pitching coordinator is instructed to send reports to the Yankees. He wouldn’t reveal what his recommendation will be for Pettitte.
“I’ll let (Yankees general manager) Mr. (Brian) Cashman know what I saw. It’ll be up to (him),” Contreras said.
Asked when he thinks Pettitte will be promoted, Contreras smiled and said, “I’m sure sooner rather than later.”
Pettitte threw 59 of 92 pitches for strikes.
Yankees fans are hoping that Pettitte will look up to par when once he makes the jump to the majors and is facing say, the Boston Red Sox as opposed to the ‘Paw Sox.’
Brian Cashman had hoped that this would be his final minor league start as Pettitte felt he was previously to return to the majors.
Pettitte has pitched four minor league outings during his he comeback. His combined ERA is 3.71 through 17 innings.
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