Nov
04

Memories of Pettitte’s Game 6s past

By

As we tick off the hours, minutes and seconds until Andy Pettitte‘s first pitch to Jimmy Rollins tonight shortly after 7:57 p.m., we have ample time to reflect upon tonight’s starter. On Sept. 28, Andy Petitte got the win when the Yankees clinched the AL East with a victory over the Red Sox. On Oct. 11, Pettitte earned himself a W when the Yankees eliminated the Twins in the ALDS and secured themselves an ALCS berth. On Oct. 25, Pettitte won again as the Yanks downed the Angels to move on to the World Series.

So tonight, Pettitte will go for what is, in horse-racing, termed a superfecta. He’ll try for the chance to win all four clinching game for the Yankees this year. That would be some feat for a pitcher who perennially can’t decide whether to keep pitching or just retire.

For Pettitte, tonight will mark his 40th playoff start. If all goes according to plan, if he can last 6.2 innings or more, he will throw his 250th playoff inning tonight as well. Those are gaudy numbers, Pettitte is no stranger to Game 6. Tonight will mark his fifth Game 6 start. In three of those starts, the Yankee needed a clincher but got it from Pettitte just once. In the fourth, the Yanks were averting a World Series loss, and although Pettitte was masterful, Josh Beckett was better. So let’s review.

November 3, 2001: World Series Game 6
After two dramatic come-from-behind wins in New York City, the Yankees returned to Phoenix to face the Diamondbacks with the World Series hanging in the balance. The Bombers had a 3-2 lead with Andy Pettitte lined up to pitch in his first career Game 6. Just two innings and 14 batters later though, Pettitte’s night would be over.

The Diamondbacks were merciless that Saturday night in Arizona. They scored one in the first and three in the second. Pettitte put the first two runners on in the third, and Jay Witasick, in one of the World Series’ most disastrous relief performances, came in. Witasick allowed two inherited runners to score and six more that inning. The Yanks were down 12-0 before anyone realized what just happened.

On the night, Pettitte threw just two innings and gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out just one. Later on, word emerged that Pettitte may have been tipping his pitches. Even if he was not, that’s one game YES watchers will never see on Yankee Classics.

October 15, 2003: ALCS Game 6
Considering the outcome of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Game 6 is often overlooked. In it, Joe Torre gave Pettitte the ball; Andy pitched well enough to win; and Torre and the bullpen gave this one away as the Red Sox won 9-6.

Pettitte’s final line in this outing wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. He struck out five in five innings and allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks. The damage, though, was limited to one inning. In the third, a home run, two walks and two singles gave the Red Sox a 4-1 lead, but that would be all for the scoring against Pettitte. He left this one with the Yanks up 6-4, but Torre gave the ball to Jose Contreras, Jeff Nelson, Felix Heredia and Gabe White. Nine outs away from the World Series, Mariano Rivera never pitched, and the rest is Aaron Boone-inspired history.

October 25, 2003: World Series Game 6
Ten days after a mediocre ALCS Game 6, Pettitte got the ball with the Yanks’ backs against the wall. Heavy favorites to win the World Series, they split two games in New York against the Marlins before losing two of three in Miami. The Yankees returned, then, to Yankee Stadium needing a home sweep to win, and Pettitte, masterful in throwing eight shutout innings in Game 2, would get the ball.

Pettitte was great that night. He threw seven innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks. He struck out seven and threw 71 of 106 pitches for strikes. He should have been hailed as a hero, but Josh Beckett was just better. Beckett threw a five-hit shutout and struck out nine as the Marlins stunned everyone to win the World Series.

Little did we realize at the time, but that Saturday night affair would be Pettitte’s last start in pinstripes until 2007. The Yankees assumed he would just resign with them, but the Houston Astros offered more. For three years, the Yankees had little in the way of shut-down starting pitching, and Pettitte would be missed. I’ll take another Game 6 similar to that one tonight.

October 25, 2009: ALCS Game 6
This one — the ALCS clincher — is still fresh in our minds, and every Yankee fan would take this outing and outcome from Pettitte. Facing a feisty Angels’ club and with the Yanks just 27 outs away from the World Series, Pettitte came through in a big way. In 6.1 innings, he allowed just a run on seven hits and one walk. He struck out six and threw 64 of 99 pitches for strikes. He could locate his curveball, spot his fastball and keep the Angels off balance. With Mariano Rivera in for the final six outs, the Yanks found themselves back in the Fall Classic.

And so we arrive at tonight’s game to see if a tried-and-true formula can deliver a win. Mariano Rivera has saved more wins for Andy Pettitte than any other duo in baseball history. We want one more. As we sit 27 outs away and a few hours from first pitch, Andy Pettitte, number 46, the man with the stare, will be on the mound, ready to deliver.

Categories : Playoffs

104 Comments»

  1. Rose says:

    As we tick off the hours, minutes and seconds until Andy Pettitte’s first pitch to Jimmy Rollins tonight shortly after 7:57 p.m., we have ample time to reflect upon tonight’s starter. On Sept. 28, Andy Petitte got the win when the Yankees clinched the AL East with a victory over the Red Sox. On Oct. 11, Pettitte earned himself a W when the Yankees eliminated the Twins in the ALDS and secured themselves an ALCS berth. On Oct. 25, Pettitte won again as the Yanks downed the Angels to move on to the World Series.

    I don’t get a hat tip for this??? lol

    • Rose says:

      I also added the note that Mariano Rivera had saved each one of these wins for Pettitte as well! Not nearly as important relevant…but still a neat fact.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        That’s been said on YES a lot of times over the course of the season.

        • Rose says:

          That’s been said on YES a lot of times over the course of the season.

          Huh? The YES Network, a lot of times over the regular season, talked about how Pettitte clinched the 2009 AL East game, ALDS game, and ALCS game???

          Well what did they say about the World Series clinching game??? LOL

    • You don’t get a hat tip for something that’s been mentioned all over the place. Stop asking.

      • Rose says:

        Stop asking.

        I asked once. “Stop asking” is usually a request to somebody who has been constantly asking.

        • Yeah, but I was about to say something on your two comments from this morning. We’ve been talking about the Pettitte thing for days now.

        • Hmmm… was he saying to stop asking for this hat tip in general, or stop your repeated practice of asking for hat tips generally? Because, speaking totally hypothetically, of course, if you had a habit of begging for hat tips (or, to phrase it differently, attention) that was sizable and noteworthy, say, one that stretched back over multiple months and several different iterations of your various avatars/personas, then this specific begging for a hat tip could, in fact, be denied on the grounds of your repeated and incessant begging for other hat tips in the past as yet another singular violation in a larger and more problematic pattern of violations that could be small and innocuous when viewed individually, even if this specific instance is the first time that this version of you has, in fact, asked for a hat tip.

          Just something to consider. I’ll move along now.

          • Rose says:

            TSJC,

            What are you talking about? I’ve asked for one hat tip since I’ve been here. And it was jokingly (as noticed with the “lol” added on to it). Then all hell broke loose so I pleaded my case. That’s about the jist of it.

            Begging for attention?? You make it a point to respond with smark allecky comments on a constant basis perhaps to gain attention yourself. Anybody on this message board, who is posting anything at all, is in some way or another looking for the attention of a response or some form of acknowledgement perhaps.

            But whatever…let’s move on please.

          • Rose says:

            AND by the way…the only reason there are various avatars/personas is because it gives me some breathing room.

            I understand you may not notice as much as I do to peoples responses to my posts…but they DRASTICALLY went up once people found out who I was previously.

            I was still quite cordial with the amount of replies I was getting before people knew…but now that people know…they coincidentally increased by a large margin…and what-do-ya-know…they’re more negative as well LOL.

            But whatever. That’s why the avatars/personas changed anyway. I wasn’t purposely doing it to try to trick people.

            • Rose says:

              Again, please don’t take this as me “crying for help” or thinking everybody is against me. I’m not saying that. I was just trying to explain the avatar situation that’s all.

              • Will do. Just a word of advice, though:

                Try not to use the “It’s the first time I’ve ever done it” defense. It doesn’t work, in your case. You may want to pretend like parts of the past didn’t happen, and we’re actually willing to put them to bed (for the most part), but when you say “But I’ve never done that before” and you have, or when you say “I never said that” and you did, it’s dishonest and drags us all back into a referendum on your past again.

                In order for us all to move forward amicably, you can’t attempt to alter the past. Okay? Cool.

                (shakes hands)

  2. dkidd says:

    twenty years from now, tonight’s start will be the one all of us remember

  3. Rose says:

    When was the last time the Yankees were up 3-2…lost a Game 6 and then won a Game 7?? 2003 against the Red Sox in the ALCS??

  4. I feel quite relaxed about Pettitte, really. I think it’s because he’s got the full offense behind him, he’s at home (where he’s been improved of late), and despite the three days rest, he is still well rested (no outings above 105 since August) and I’m 100% confident in him.

  5. Jose says:

    This could be the last game that Andy Pettitte ever pitches. Hopefully he gives everyone a pitching performance that will never be forgotten. He has been such a great Yankee, he deserves to go out with a bang.

    • Tank Foster says:

      …he deserves to go out with a bang.

      I know what you mean, but “bang” isn’t the word that comes to my mind when I think about how I want a good Yankee pitching performance to go. I’d rather think of a whimper, as in whimpering Phillies’ bats.

      We’ll leave the bang part for Mrs. Pettitte and the post-WS celebration.

    • Rose says:

      We all remember Mike Mussina’s last pitching performance!

      Hopefully all of these irrelevant nonsensical facts add up together for something special! lol

  6. He’ll try for the chance to win all four clinching games for the Yankees this year. That would be some feat for a pitcher who perennially can’t decide whether to keep pitching or just retire.

    Those guys drive me nuts.

    Sincerely,
    Brett Favre

  7. Game 6 in 2003 was probably his best IMO. I agree with everything said, back against the wall and he delivered.

    For everyone over reacting about Pettitte say “he had nothing” on Halloween night has anything to do with tonight, is crazy.

    It was mentioned in the last few days, about pitchers having 10 good, 10 bad, and 10 grid-it-out starts. Andy just didn’t have it that night.

    He was able to recoup, I’m sure he worked on mechanics, looked at video and I have full confidence in Andrew Eugene Pettitte.

    • I have full confidence in Andrew Eugene Pettitte.

      Me too. I also have full confidence in Pedro Martinez not being able to shut us down for another 6 innings. His luck shall run out.

      Pedro’s toast. Ever since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers, he’s been completely senile.

      • Riddle me this:

        Who’s better? Andy on short rest (not since 06) or Pedro on reg rest (not in a month, mostly went on extended rest).

        • Rose says:

          Do either of them matter that much? I would say they are both equally as minimally relevant to how they pitch tonight.

          If they are ineffective…it won’t be a majority reason of days of rest. It will have to do with adjustments, mistake pitches, anything else. These are two VERY good offensive teams here.

    • Rose says:

      I just hope he doesn’t make the same mistake with Werth that CC and company have been making with Utley.

      Don’t be afraid to throw inside or plunk one of them with 2 outs!! Utley is so relaxed up there…I don’t know why we haven’t done anything…

  8. No comment on the post, just wanted to commend you guys on some outstanding articles today. The amount of research and (gasp) facts/stats you’ve put up are a very nice, much needed contrast to the “momentum” based predictions supported with nothing other than the phrase “three days rest” the likes of ESPN are putting out. So thanks.

  9. Moshe Mandel says:

    “We want one more. As we sit 27 outs away and a few hours from first pitch, Andy Pettitte, number 46, the man with the stare, will be on the mound, ready to deliver.”

    I don’t get a hat tip for this? I’ve been saying that I want the Yankees to win one more with Pettitte on the hill all day!!!

    /
    Rose’d

  10. ansky says:

    I wonder who wants Andy to close it out more? Us (Yankee fans) or Cole Hamels?

    • dkidd says:

      anyone else remember john tudor in the 1985 series? cards were up 3-2 and he was slated to pitch game 7 and he kept saying he didn’t want it to go 7 and when it did, he gave up like seventeen runs. cole hamels doesn’t want to pitch tomorrow night (cc, however, wouldn’t mind)

  11. Sal says:

    Brett Gardner will be the star of the game, how many times have you seen a plater get hurt and the guy the replaces him comes up big .

    Brett Gardner Brett Gardner Brett Gardner

  12. Lance says:

    Nothing to worry about. Pettitte clinched the ALDS and the ALCS and now he’s just going for the Trifecta.

  13. NatalMike says:

    Somebody please tell me that Andy is going to pitch a gem, Pedro is going to stink, A-Rod will hit 3 homers, Utley is going to get beaned, Gardner will steal 4 bases and we will live happily ever after and won’t have to face a 7th game. Or am I asking for too much?

  14. The Iron Horse says:

    I’ve been supremely confident all year but I just don’t see how Pettitte can be good tonight. The guy gets into trouble (and works his way out of it, yes) on a good night. On 3 days’ rest in the cold, I’m just not feeling it. I hate to say it, but I think he wont get out of the 5th inning, 4 ER’s, 2 men on base. It’ll all come down to whether or not we can hit Pedro, which, aside from solo blasts game 2, we didn’t.

  15. steve s says:

    For what its worth I think if you take a close look at Pettitte’s complete post-season history he rarely seems to be mediocre and if he is not very very good to great (most of his starts) he stinks (Division Series 1997 (both starts), 2002, Championship Series, 1998, 2003 (2nd start), WS, 1996 (1st start), 1999, 2001 (both starts). If he is showing signs of stink tonight get the bullpen merry-go-round started sooner rather than later; short leash is mandatory even if it’s first inning (3 runs in first is the stink limit for me).

  16. Hi, I'm Jerry, this is my associate Cornelius says:

    I know I’m late to the Hensley Meulens party, but I actually met the guy when I was stationed in Japan and he was with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Pretty cool guy actually. We’d sit in the bleachers during batting practice and he’d come over and hang out for a little while. Real nice guy. Met Mel Hall too. Not a nice guy.

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