Pettitte dealing with ‘stiff’ back problems


As the Yankees gear up for another October run, they’re doing so with major question marks surrounding their pitching staff. A.J. Burnett has lost the ability to pitch consistently or effectively, Javier Vazquez is a nonentity at this point and Phil Hughes is bumping up against an innings limit of sorts. So it is with more than a bit of dismay that we learn about an new injury: Andy Pettitte, reports Mark Feinsand, is battling through a minor back injury the team believes to be muscular.

According to the Daily News scribe, Pettitte felt his back stiffen up during his 3.1-inning start against the Red Sox on Friday, and he attributed this injury to his inability to command his pitches. When the Yanks clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday, the team immediately postponed Pettitte’s outing to give his back a few days of rest. “The next day, I knew I was going to be fine,” Pettitte. “But you don’t want to have anything going on, especially after what I’ve been through with my groin.”

Yanks’ skipper Joe Girardi downplayed the injury. “It’s always a concern whenever a guy is dealing with something,” Girardi said to Feinsand. “But it was muscular, so you have to believe he’ll bounce back. It’s a little concern.” Pettitte is still slated to start on Friday, and Yankees fans will be holding their collective breaths in the meantime. It’s not a stretch to say that the Yanks’ championship hopes rest on Pettitte’s back holding up for four or five more starts.

Categories : Asides, Injuries


  1. T.Braga says:

    Noooooo! Why, God, why?!?!?

  2. Hughesus Christo says:

    The general confidence in Pettitte is, at this point, a little silly. We’re talking about Game 3 in the DS, right? One start? If that?

    • If we’re going round by round, probably one start, maybe two in the ALDS. But after that, they’re going to need Pettitte unless you want to rely heavily on A.J. Burnett. Plus, one win is one-third of all the games you need to win in round one. That’s not insignificant in a best-of-five set.

      Let’s just say that, without Pettitte, the Yanks’ post-season rotation is much much weaker than with him. That’s sort of obvious though.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep says:

        Andy in game 2 and 5 for moi!

        “But it was muscular, so you have to believe he’ll bounce back. It’s a little concern.”

        I will rest easy on those words.

  3. bexarama says:


    Please have this be just some minor thing and he’ll be okay for his next start and the postseason. Sob.

  4. Sean C says:

    A 2010 World Series title will not happen without Pettitte. We NEED him healthy. Here’s to hoping he slept on the wrong side of the mattress or something inconsequential. Even if he got knocked around the last time out, I have an infinite level of confidence in him over anyone else in the Yankee rotation not named Sabathia.

  5. Kiersten says:

    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no


  6. MONKEYJAW says:

    With the way this team has been playing over the past month, does anyone really think they can beat anyone in the playoffs??? I doubt they could beat the Pirates 3 out of 5 right now. The Rays are begging them to take the division and they’re tripping all over themselves. This is some of the most uninspired play I’ve seen from them in a long time. Sadly, I think we’re one and done.

    • Kiersten says:

      The cliff, back away from it.

    • Hughesus Christo says:

      The only playoff teams streaking into October are the Phillies and Giants. Even Minnesota is leaking oil. In that case, I side with the talent.


    • Zack says:

      Did you know:
      Twins are 1-5 in their last 6 games
      Rays just lost 2 out of 3 to the Orioles
      Rangers just lost 2 out of 3 to the Mariners

      But no, the Yankees are the only team with issues.

      • MONKEYJAW says:

        I know…I know, you’re right but I don’t live and die with every pitch with those other teams. It’s tough to see all of the problems other teams have when the Yanks are playing like a steaming pile o’ dookie. Thanks for the perspective…maybe it’ll calm me down.

      • Not Tank the Frank says:

        Which of those teams has lost 15 of their last 23 games?

        Oh that’s right it’s the Yankees.

        It’s one thing to remain positive but something completely different to ignore the facts in front of you in order to be a complete homer.

        • I think the point isn’t to ignore that they’re playing poorly but rather to highlight that none of the playoff-bound teams are doing well. Tampa has lost 12 of their last 23 games.

          • Not Tank the Frank says:

            I understand. My point was that pointing out a team that has lost 2 of 3 or 5 of 6 is peanuts compared to the way the Yankees have been slumping. Especially considering the Twins were on an absolute tear until they clinched. I think it’s completely rational to feel that this team will struggle in the playoffs.

            Pointing out Tampa’s struggles over their last 23 games is a much better sample. There obviously is no dominant team in the AL this year, that’s for certain. All the more reason I would love to have HFA for every possible advantage… but now I’m just rambling bc of my morning coffee.

            • The Twins were the hottest AL team before they clinched, but they’ve gone into a slide lately. It’s a wide open and very competitive field for the AL crown this year. I think it’s a much tougher road to the World Series than it was last year.

          • That.

            NYY in September: 12-15
            TBA in September: 13-13
            TEX in September: 14-12


    • Sara says:

      They did the same thing in 2000. Infact it was worse. They lost something like the lasy 7 games of the season. Then tore it up in the post season. It just shows that the Yankees are a whole different team in the post season. They have all of the pieces of the puzzle to dominate the post season again this year. They match up so well with the Twins and have dominated them for years including this year. Have a little bit more faith and hang in there. They have a team that can win it all and have lots of battle tested veterans. I think them winning the world series all depends on how Tex, ARod, and Cano are hitting in the post season.

  7. charliechoochoo says:

    I’ve had near crippling muscle spasms that lasted a few days but when it’s gone, it’s gone. Not that I’m a pitcher but anything that throws your body out of its natural alignment can throw it into back spasms and dealing with a groin injury will most likely do that. You walk weird, you rest parts of you that are normally involved in mobility. It throws everything out of line. Usually the back spasms are temporary. I’ve had them take me out of commission for a day or two but then it’s like I never had them. It’s not like muscle spasms are a reoccurring injury.

  8. Mickey Scheister says:

    Please be just an old man pain that goes away in a day or with some Aleve!

  9. Yank the Frank says:

    Considering his long layoff and age this may be a natural occurance. No need to panic yet. Bur this could be trouble with an already shakey starting rotation.

  10. larryf says:

    O’s shut out the Rays twice in 3 days in Tampa.

    A) Tampa’s offense sucks
    B) O’s pitching that good/improved? When was the last time we had 2 shutouts pitched in the same week?

  11. larryf says:

    Watching Lincecum make hitters look silly with that changeup over and over. I would not like our lineup against him. Cecil has dominated us with the change and it is an achilles heel for our power-laden lineup.

  12. TLVP says:

    At the world’s biggest betting exchange the Yankees are still 2nd favorities to win the WS quoted 4.5-4.8 (Phillies are 3.95-4.1)

    That is a small sign that everone else is having problems as well (or simply aren’t talented enough in some cases).

    It doesn’t help having 6 starters of good quality in a race to three wins.

    Time to take a deep breath and relax.

  13. CBean says:

    My morning just got a whole lot worse. Feel better, Andy! I know Bexy would offer her services as your personal masseuse.

  14. Klemy says:

    I hate to think of our chances in the postseason without a healthy Andy. Hope this is just a precautionary thing.

  15. Mike HC says:

    This is just about the worst Yankee related news I could have woken up to. Well, I guess it could have been CC, but still pretty bad.

    I get the feeling Pettitte will shoot himself up with whatever he needs to get his ass on the mound another 4-5 times. And if the situation gets dire enough, he can’t be suspended 50 games if he is retired next year (just kidding about that last one, I think)

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