This is the news story of the day, the one with serious and far reaching implications if the Yanks don’t figure out how to deal with it. Andy Pettitte admitted yesterday that he’s getting frustrated with the new Yankee Stadium, that its getting into his head and making him consider changing the way he pitches. He said:
“It’s simple, if you leave a ball up and they hit it with the barrel right now, it’s a home run,” Pettitte said. “You can’t make a mistake up in the zone.”
Pettitte was reminded of the hazards of the ballpark when he gave up a first-inning shot to Raul Ibanez.
“I ran a ball in off the plate and then I felt like I didn’t have to worry about keeping the next pitch down and got a little lackadaisical with a four-seamer away, and just left it up,” Pettitte said. “He hit it right out. You have to get the ball down, especially if you are not overpowering. If you don’t have, or if you are not throwing, overpowering stuff, you cannot let your guard down ever out there right now.”
“It’s so frustrating, because I felt so good and I just had a horrible pitch,” Pettitte said. “I couldn’t have felt more confident, I couldn’t have been more confident about what I wanted to do with the hitters and all that. I left a ball up and the kid hit it out of the park.”
But it’s that one bad pitch or one bad inning that is frustrating Pettitte.
Of the eight home runs he has given up this season, seven of them have been in the new ballpark. He said he now has to go out there thinking about limiting the damage.
“I cannot walk guys,” Pettitte said. “I walked a guy in that inning before the three-run homer. I am gonna have to stop doing that, because you know you are gonna give up home runs. I am gonna give up a few homers, so I just can’t walk guys.”
We all know the effect Coors Field had on pitchers, with the most famous case being Mike Hampton. Joe Girardi played for 3 years in Colorado before becoming a Yankee, I hope he has some answers for his increasingly frustrated pitchers.
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