Feb
05

Friends & Enemies: Andy Pettitte Splits

By

Generic Andy Photo. My last generic Andy photo ever? Sob. (AP Photo/Andy King)

Your critical analysis will have to wait another few hours, because I am personally still in mourning over Andy Pettitte. Yes, I know he’s not dead, but the man has been pitching since I was seven years old. When I was eight, he was the best pitcher in baseball, period. This was confirmed by something better than a statistic: my grandma told me so. Anyway, it’s kind of a stupid emotional thing for me. Instead, I thought I’d focus on the batters who are glad to see Andy go and some who would have liked him to stick around instead. It’s hard to say why hitters do well against specific pitchers. If you can hit one soft-tossing lefty, why not all the other ones in the league? Oh well. Baseball, being hard to predict, I guess.

Sad to See Him Go

Manny Ramirez

There’s no two ways about it: Manny had Andy’s number. Those years in Boston gave him lots of plate appearances to do as much damage as he possibly could, too. In 104 PAs, Manny hit .391/.452/.652, with an OPS of 1.104. He leads all hitters in damage against Andy Pettitte in three categories: hits (36), doubles (9) and RBIs (23), while striking out only eight times. He follows only Carlos Peña in home runs (5, to Peña’s 6), and only Frank Thomas in walks (10 to Thomas’ 11). He was intentionally walked twice. With his declining power, he needs a little more Andy Pettitte in his life. But if we have to suffer without him, so do you, Manny.

AP Photo/Ted Warren

Magglio Ordoñez

Despite a smaller sample size attributed to his AL Central habitat plus injuries, Ordoñez did fine for himself against our crafty lefty. In 42 plate appearances, he whipped up an impressive 1.050 SLG complete with two homers, six RBIs, and a triple. His best year against Pettitte was 2000, in which he tacked up a double, a triple, and two walks (one intentional).

Carlos Peña

It always surprises me when I hear people who bat .196 sign for $10M. Perhaps the Cubs are signing him specifically for interleague? Peña tops the Pettitte home run list with six, as well as holding the record for highest SLG (an impressive .875) and fourth in OPS (1.301). On top of this, man is tied with three others for the triples-against-Pettitte champion crown with two. In 2007, Peña went 4-for-8 with two home runs, which probably explains the 2.100 OPS. Don’t you just love the absurd numbers a tiny sample size can create?

The San Francisco Giants

Congratulations Giants, you are the only major league team that Pettitte has never beaten. In three games, Pettitte gave up a grand total of 11 ER and had a WHIP of 1.582, going 0-3. Most of his bad Giants numbers stem from one particularly nasty start during his Astros tenure, in which he pitched a little over five innings and gave up six runs and eleven hits.

On the other hand…

Happy to See Him Go

Alex Gonzalez

In 62 appearances, Gonzalez only managed a downright pathetic OPS of .404. This might have something to do with the fact he struck out fifteen times (24%) and hit into four double plays. He did manage a home run and four RBIs, but generally, going 8-for-58 is not advised if you’re actually trying to win anything. If you’re trying to make Andy Pettitte look good, of course, then these numbers’ll do rather well. Not sure if this was Gonzales’ intention, though.

Darin Erstad

.184/.184/.204 with a .388 OPS, combined 16 strikeouts and no walks in 49 appearances. Ow.

The Baltimore Orioles

"So what if he beat me in one stupid game?" (AP Photo/Erik Lesser)

Admittedly, the Orioles have been making everyone look good for the past ten years except themselves, so it’s not that much of a surprise that Andy is 27-6 against them for his career. He’s maintained a career 3.52 ERA against them and racked up nearly 150 strikeouts in about 250 innings, good for a 5 k/9 and a 1.64 K/BB. Not spectacular, but it did well for him, for sure. That’s our Andy.

John Smoltz

We will not have to listen to another postseason of Smoltz biting the inside of his mouth as he talks about Pettitte’s playoff prowess. You’d think the guy took a hard playoff loss to Andy at some point in his career. Jeez.

Categories : Players

29 Comments»

  1. They don’t count since they’re not playing anymore, but they’re worth noting here:

    Garrett Anderson: .959 OPS in 85 PA
    Carlos Delgado: .994 in 77
    Shannon Stewart: 1.001 (!!) in 73
    Griff Bones: .963 in 70
    Edgar: 1.080 in 64

  2. Juke Early says:

    Nice! now I can re-hate Manny & those other clowns one more time. I’m guessing Andy never watched vids looking for a way to get those guys. Roger probably told him only sissies did that kind of prep.

    BTW Hannah – I like your style of writing: sharp, snarky & a bit sentimental. Can’t wait for your posts during the season. There is a 2011 season scheduled, right?

  3. Steve H says:

    Andy was never one of the best pitchers in baseball (for an extended period), but damn was he consistent. Of the 14 teams he pitched 100+ innings against in his career his best ERA against any of them was 3.35. His worst was 5.24, which was the only one over 4.50. Against the 12 other teams with 100+ innings his ERA fell between 3.46 and 4.42. He was very good for a long time. His peak wasn’t dominating, and his floor wasn’t mediocre.

    • Only one season out of 16 w/an ERA+ under 100 (98 in ’08).

    • Steve H says:

      Furthermore:

      Day ERA: 3.82
      Night: 3.91

      Grass: 3.88
      Turf: 3.91

    • bexarama says:

      his floor wasn’t mediocre.

      Oh yes it was.
      /KLaw’d

      (I’M SORRY. I generally like KLaw. But he’s been really, really snarky about Andy in the HOF discussion – when I don’t think Andy’s a HOFer myself – to the point where he’s acting like Andy isn’t even good. Then again, maybe I’m just being ~sensitive.)

      • Steve H says:

        I think he gets less than 140 characters to smack down insane arguments and doesn’t get a chance to write about how good Pettitte was. If he ends up writing a post on Pettitte’s HOF chances, he’ll probably have a ton of good things to say.

        • bexarama says:

          Meh. He was suddenly going on about the ASG like it’s some great arbiter of who should make it to the HOF. Bert Blyleven made the ASG fewer times than Andy in a longer career and Blyleven’s an obvious HOFer. No one would use that argument against him because it’s stupid. (Also, Andy’s a better second-half pitcher in his career.)

          • Steve H says:

            The ASG argument was poor. But he definitely doesn’t think Andy wasn’t a good pitcher, he just doesn’t think he’s HOF worthy.

            • Yeah, and I don’t blame him for that or for being rude about it, frankly. Imagine the kind of insanity in the @replies that guy gets in a given day.

            • bexarama says:

              That’s fine. I think the same thing. And I’m sympathetic to the “140 characters means you can’t exactly write an essay/get all your thoughts out” thing. It was still a terrible argument, one someone honestly shouldn’t even get into, and I’d really expect better from him.

              Then again, like I said, it could be I’m just all emotional and sensitive and it’s partial butthurt, even if I don’t think Andy’s a HOFer myself.

  4. bexarama says:

    Love this. ;______;

    Oddly enough, friggin’ Pujols is happy to see him go too. Not including postseason: 25 PA, .217/.280/.217/.497. If you include postseason the OPS goes up to .505. Obviously, that’s well below his career OPS.

  5. Big Bertha says:

    Edited by RAB: Off-topic.

  6. JMK says:

    It’s probably snark, but “When I was eight, he was the best pitcher in baseball, period”?

    1997 Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens disagree. In fact, Pettitte was only the best pitcher on his own team one year.

    Looking back on the stats that year, I’d forgotten just how good Craig Biggio was. A 9.6 WAR? Damn.

    And David Cone was pretty good that year too.

  7. Chris in Maine says:

    Note to author – Darin Erstad has been out of baseball for several years. I suspect he really does not care one way or the other that Andy retired.

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