NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Andy Pettitte had to watch helplessly for nearly three months as the Yankees’ once-formidable AL East lead dwindled down to nothing.
New York, with a half-game advantage over the Baltimore Orioles, was finally going to get its veteran starter back on Tuesday. Instead, the game was postponed, and the left-hander will take the hill against Toronto on Wednesday.
Regardless, the timing couldn’t be better.
“He treats every game the same, spring training or the World Series, I think that is why he had so much success in the playoffs. He always wants the ball,” Yankees catcher Russell Martin said, according to the New York Daily News. “And I think everyone on this team wants him to have the ball now.”
The 40-year-old, who broke his left ankle on a comebacker in late June, went 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in his first nine starts since coming out of retirement.
Talk about a long, long wait for start No. 10.
“A lot of experience and lot of years passed have helped me be able to handle anything,” Pettitte said on Sunday, according to the Daily News.
“To have to sit here and watch it for the last two months has been difficult, because I came back because I wanted to compete and I haven’t been able to do that,” he added. “Like I said when I got hurt, I’ve been trying to have my pom poms on and cheer these guys on.”
Pettitte, opposite floundering Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.87 ERA), is expected to have a short leash. Manager Joe Girardi said he’d be happy with about 70 pitches and “five good innings.”
“I expect Andy to be Andy and compete like he always does,” Girardi said, according to the team’s official website. “The only unfortunate thing is he’s not built up to 100 pitches.”
What do you expect from Pettitte on Wednesday? Be heard in the comments below!