By Sweeny Murti
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Andy feels dandy.  Well isn’t that a relief?

It’s been a rough year and a half for the Core Four.  Andy Pettitte retired before the start of the 2011 season and Jorge Posada did the same before this season.  Mariano Rivera will miss the rest of the 2012 season too.  Derek Jeter purrs right along in his pursuit of 4,000 hits—this season alone it seems—but otherwise the men who store multiple World Series rings in their closets have had a rough go of it lately.

So what a pleasant surprise to see Pettitte emerge from his cocoon on Mother’s Day, finally pitch in a major league game after two months of comeback talk, and even more importantly feel good physically and believe he can continue on for the Yankees in 2012.

Pettitte’s comeback effort wasn’t a one-shot deal, obviously, so not a big deal that he didn’t get a “W” next to his name Sunday.  Those will come, assuming he continues to feel this good.

Asked by reporters how he felt the day after his start, Pettitte stood in the visitor’s clubhouse in Baltimore and laughed, “I’m in one piece, y’all.  I’m alright.”  And that’s great news for the Yankees.  The Core Four will not be getting the band back together, but it’s nice to see the tall lefty back in his usual spot.

Now it’s about doing it again and again and putting some wins on the board.  Pettitte knows that, so now he’s about trying to get stronger and get deeper into the game.  He worked into the 7th inning Sunday and threw 94 pitches.  I asked Pettitte if there was one thing about the game that bothered him more than anything else, something he felt needed to get better.  Here was his response:

Pettitte said he is looking forward to the routine of pitching every five days.  Yankee fans are looking forward to that too.  He will start again Friday against the Reds, and then the following Wednesday against the Royals, both at Yankee Stadium.  There will be some big tests ahead for Pettitte as he gets deeper into this season and asks his almost-40-year-old body to do more.

We can all see that #46 still looks good in his pinstripes.  Now it’s time to start showing the things that made him a beloved Yankee to begin with.  The real test of Andy Pettitte’s comeback is only just beginning.

Sweeny Murti

Are you happy to get Andy back? Sound off in the comments below…

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