I always look forward to doubleheaders. As a fan, double baseball means double fun, but you also get to examine a different type of managing. The Yankees won both games yesterday, Ichiro Suzuki came up big with an incredible 7 for 8 day, and best of all, Andy Pettitte returned from the disabled list. It doesn’t get much better than that right now.
In case you missed it, Pettitte opened up game one, and we expected him to throw anywhere from 50 to 75 pitches. Optimistically, I thought that 5.0 solid innings would be a possibility, and that’s exactly what he gave. He wasn’t exactly lights out, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks in his 5.0 IP, but he also didn’t allow a single run. For a guy who was rushed back from his fractured ankle, and hadn’t pitched in a game since June 27th, he looked as if he didn’t skip a beat.
|Cutter (Pre)||217 (25.6%)||87.3||11.11||0.19|
|Cutter (Post)||6 (8%)||87.7||9.90||0.28|
|Slider (Pre)||208 (24.5%)||80.6||3.61||-3.18|
|Slider (Post)||17 (22.7%)||81.6||3.82||-3.86|
|Two-Seam (Pre)||145 (17.1%)||87.9||9.50||7.63|
|Two-Seam (Post)||20 (26.7%)||88.3||9.14||7.59|
|Four-Seam (Pre)||117 (13.8%)||87.7||11.80||2.76|
|Four-Seam (Post)||13 (17.3%)||88.0||10.72||2.71|
|Curveball (Pre)||99 (11.7%)||73.3||-0.46||-7.33|
|Curveball (Post)||9 (12%)||74.3||-0.06||-8.49|
|Changeup (Pre)||63 (7.4%)||79.3||4.59||8.41|
|Changeup (Post)||10 (13.3%)||79.6||3.71||8.23|
Looking at the PITCHf/x numbers, you’ll see just how similar the movement on his pitches matched up to the rest of his 2012 season. There is the issue of small sample size here, but according to the YES gun and PITCHf/x, he was throwing harder too. Control-wise, he did suffer from a couple of walks, but part of that was from being squeezed by the homeplate umpire.
Of the few issues Pettitte had, he looked a bit rusty on his timing. Compare his mechanics below between a well located pitch in June, and a fastball that got away from him yesterday.
Rust is to be expected, but overall he looked like the same Andy Pettitte. The combination of consistent movement, strong velocity, and no signs of leg issues in this start makes me extremely optimistic. He’s now lined up to start a possible one game playoff, assuming the Yankees enter the playoffs in a wildcard spot, and I would feel very comfortable handing him the ball.
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