Game 161: Andy’s Last Start

(Scott Halleran/Getty)

(Scott Halleran/Getty)

For the last time in his career, Andy Pettitte will start a Major League game tonight. He is retiring after the season and, after making his final Yankee Stadium start last weekend, will wrap-up his borderline Hall of Fame career at home in Houston. Pettitte lives in the area and spent three years pitching for the Astros, so things worked out pretty well for him. Coincidentally, he will also be making his 438th career start in pinstripes, tying Whitey Ford for the most in franchise history. Pretty neat. Here’s the lineup that will face right-hander Paul “don’t call be Rogers” Clemens:

  1. CF Curtis Granderson
  2. 3B Eduardo Nunez
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. 1B Lyle Overbay
  6. RF Zoilo Almonte
  7. DH Ichiro Suzuki
  8. SS Brendan Ryan
  9. C Chris Stewart

And on the mound for one last time is Andy Pettitte. Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t seem to have the same luster as it would have had he not retired once before. Still going to sad to see him go.

It is hot, humid, and raining in Houston. Luckily, Minute Maid Park has a roof. We’ll have baseball tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy the penultimate game of the season.

Mariano Rivera Update: Rivera said he was pitching with “tremendous soreness” in his forearm down the stretch. He won’t pitch against this season and is unlikely to play center field as well.

Injury Update: Alex Rodriguez (hamstring, calf) is unlikely to play at all this weekend. With his appeal hearing set to start Monday and a lengthy suspension on the horizon, it’s fair to think he may have already played the final game of his career.

Rotation Update: Girardi confirmed that Hiroki Kuroda has been shut down and will not pitch tomorrow even though he lines up for the game. David Huff is likely to get the ball, at least until the parade of September call-ups close out the season.

Categories : Game Threads


  1. Kenny says:

    After pitching tonight, he should throw the first (real) pitch tomorrow to give him the most starts in Yankees history.

  2. Betty Lizard says:

    Aw, I didn’t know Andy was going to tie with Whitey Ford for most starts in Yankees history. That’s terrific, especially as Whitey Ford and Andy Pettitte are my two favorite Yankees pitchers.

  3. CashmanNinja says:

    I think it’s great to tie with Whitey instead of try to surpass him with a 1 pitch “start” tomorrow. Andy is the type of player who likes to earn what he gets and doesn’t want things handed to him. I think it would mean *much* more to him to tie Whitey than it would be to surpass him for nothing but a ploy.

    And surprising Mo was pitching with his arm hurting that much. I wish I could see him in the outfield, but if he’s content of not playing out the season then that’s ok too.

  4. JGYank says:

    Well I guess we saw Mo for the last time. I thought we would see him this series. Glad Pettitte is a making his last start in his hometown. Hopefully he pitches great and goes out with a bang. Any particular reason for shutting Kuroda down?

  5. Selective Amnesia says:

    Yeah, it was surprising to hear Mo say he was hurting. It was a perfect to end it in NY though.

    Glad Andy is pitching in his home state and I hope the Yankee bats are lively tonight. It would be nice if Andy could go out with a win

  6. forensic says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t seem to have the same luster as it would have had he not retired once before.

    Also since he left for three years.

    Still don’t agree with him being included with Jeter, Mo, etc. for that reason.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      You’re seriously the most negative fan I’ve seen — and that’s saying something considering some of the fair weather fans that are here. He left because he wanted to be with his family. You can’t fault him for that. Plus don’t forget how Steinbrenner tried hard to have Pettitte traded in the late 90′s to the Phillies. Oh, and Pettitte signed with the Astros because the Yanks didn’t re-sign him. How is that his fault? He came back later on, but the Yanks did not go out of their way to re-sign Andy. So how is it his fault he left in the first place? He’s been a Yankee for a long time — 15 years. Posada had what was it? 16 or 17 years? He’s included in that group without a moments hesitation. Tied for the most starts in Yankee history. Enough said.

      • forensic says:

        How is not including him with lifelong Yankees being negative???

        It’s a fact, he left. It didn’t fault him or say it was his fault, but it happened. And as Mike said, he’s also already retired once and skipped another whole season because of that.

        I don’t like terms like ‘core four’ anyway, but I’m not going to include him in groups with lifelong Yankees.

        If you want to ignore those years and do it, then that’s your prerogative. It’s also my choice to look at him and his situation as I choose.

        And that has nothing to do with my negativity or someone else’s positivity.

    • Mike M says:

      Andy didn’t leave, the Yankees chose to pursue Gary Sheffield instead of offering him a new contract.

  7. vicki says:

    a-rod, with a whimper. sigh.

    re luster and andy, i think he’s been robbed of his rightful magic moments since the yankees let him walk. i feel his imminent loss as much as mo’s.

    • SDB says:

      I don’t think he’s wanted those sort of ‘magic moments’ like that, he always seemed more the sort who’d just leave quietly in the offseason.

      But I’m glad Mo talked him into announcing his retirement now rather than after his last pitching outing, and I’m glad he had those moments on Thursday too. Very, very classy of the Rays btw to not take the field after Pettitte removed Mo, and to give him a few minutes for his own ovation.

  8. forensic says:

    I bet Girardi was getting the shakes after not having Stewart appear in either of the last two games.

    That was the first time Stewart hadn’t played at all in two straight games (not including DH days) since…

    June 2-3!!!

    That’s just way too much Chris Stewart.

  9. Mickey Scheister says:

    Bexy is crying somewhere.

  10. vicki says:

    this game does have some significance beyond his tying whitey. andy is 10-11. with a no decision or a loss he’d register the first losing season of his career.

  11. WhittakerWalt says:

    Andy getting squeezed and getting no help from the offense.

  12. vicki says:

    little dude is fast.

  13. WhittakerWalt says:


  14. Carapazza’s K-zone really beginning to piss me off.

  15. 51 pitches in five innings? Talk about checking out.

  16. Selective Amnesia says:

    Seems like a ton of popup outs.

  17. forensic says:

    That was weird, how do you cut the back of your hand in the middle of a pitch?

  18. NYPLATOONS says:

    When you can’t hit off a guy called Paul Clemens you got problems. Big problems! Keep running trash out there Yankees. I need ya to win two games 85!!!!

  19. Wheels says:

    Robbie padding those stats.

  20. Selective Amnesia says:

    Go Nunie! Go Robbie! They tied it…. Will they score more?

    Weird about that cut on his hand… Did him in, we were just talking about how few pitches Clemens had thrown. Now he’s out.

  21. vicki says:

    little dude can field too.

  22. Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense & Baserunning says:

    What the hell was that?

  23. forensic says:

    Wow, watching this series, you can understand how they can get a 0.0 TV rating for a game.

  24. BFDeal says:

    I bet Stewart can’t do that.

  25. Selective Amnesia says:

    Wow, never seen that before. Too funny!

  26. Wheels says:

    ha, wow.

  27. That will go down as a first for me.

  28. SDB says:

    A LEAD!

    all hands on deck to protect this!

  29. SDB says:

    Chris Stewart is no longer the worst catcher in the game. Thanks!

  30. Chris Stewart 2-3 in garbage time…


  31. Selective Amnesia says:

    81 pitches, have a quick inning Andy.

  32. hogsmog says:

    I hope they let Andy push for one more inning, and let Mo save him…

  33. forensic says:

    Geez, talk about not being prepared and not thinking ahead as a Manager.

  34. Jesus christ, I know Bo Porter is a rookie manager, but this is totally silly.

    Wasn’t the Portergate incident enough?

  35. Wheels says:

    Well done, Andy.

  36. Dan in Athens says:

    I hope Girardi lets him go out to warm up and then gets him so he can get the recognition he deserves.

  37. Darren says:

    Great to see Andy go out in style.

    On a side note, Derek Jeter (2012 version) is a better defensive shortstop than Brendan Ryan. Ryan hasn’t two straight games without a bobble or misplay of some sort. His excellent range doesn’t make up for that.

    • Alkaline says:


      • vicki says:

        consider the source.

        • Darren says:

          Whatever. Do you watch the games or just follow them on your phone? try watching them, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’d rather have a SS that makes just about every single routine play and has very little range than a SS than can make the incredible play but bobbles an easy ball almost every game like Ryan.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense & Baserunning says:

            Ryan has 1 error as a Yankee.
            I’ll take the SS that gets the most outs.
            That’s Ryan.
            And it’s not remotely close.

            • Darren says:

              Nice double standard! For 10 years people have been saying that you can’t consider errors when rating Jeter, since he doesn’t get to enough balls, therefor resulting in less errors. ok.

              Ryan has had about 10 misplays, maybe not errors, but misplays.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense & Baserunning says:

                You can’t consider just errors, because it ignores range. Nobody in their right mind would argue that Ryan doesn’t have vastly superior range than Jeter. He also typically has similar error totals as Jeter.

                As for 10 misplays – maybe if you include bobbles where he still gets the out. There’s no way he’s cost them 10 outs. Maybe 3-5. And Jeter messes up some routine plays as well. So maybe, worst case, he’s cost them 2 or 3 outs on relatively routine plays over what Jeter would have. And that’s probably a stretch. I’d say he’s easily gained them at least 10 outs on range plays that Jeter doesn’t even come close to.

          • vicki says:

            dude, could you be any weirder.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense & Baserunning says:


  38. Bravo pitching performance.

    Can’t say the same for the guy behind Stewart.

  39. Send him back out for the 9th.

  40. CashmanNinja says:

    I really hope Girardi lets Andy just go out and complete this. That’s the way to go out. He has no reason to save his arm, the season is over, let him end his career on a high note in front of his family.

  41. Alkaline says:

    Let Mo save this. One last time.

  42. CashmanNinja says:

    Girardi better let Andy finish it up. I don’t care if he’s gassed. Let him go out like this!

  43. vicki says:

    thanks, hackers!

  44. Selective Amnesia says:

    Here comes Andy!

  45. CashmanNinja says:

    I was about to go crazy on Girardi for that. Andy needs to finish this. 1 more.

  46. CashmanNinja says:



    That is ALL!

  48. Pasta Stumbling Sojo says:

    Can we get a signature Pettitte pickoff to end the game?

  49. Leg-End says:

    Been a pleasure to watch Andy, thank you.

  50. vicki says:

    joe, you drama queen. loving it.

  51. Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense & Baserunning says:

    *standing ovation*

  52. Dan in Athens says:

    Thank you Andy.

  53. JGYank says:

    Wow a CG. Great ending. Got the win in his last start to even his record. Pettitte and Mo know how to go out.

  54. BFDeal says:


  55. Andrew J. says:

    He was our best pitcher these last two months. Hope he has a change of heart again in the off season. We need him back.

    • Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

      Exactly. He still can pitch. He has a couple of years left in him, especially if he pitched in the NL and in a pitchers park.

    • hogsmog says:

      I don’t know, he really nailed it this season, going out on top. It feels good for us and him- he wanted to “leave it all out on the field”, and he did.

      He doesn’t have anything else to prove really. I’d hate to see him turn into Barry Zito in August ’14 and be forced ungracefully off the mound.

      • Andrew J. says:

        Going out on top is coming back one more year and pitching in the playoffs. It really sucks that Mo and Andy had to end careers in a regular season shutout loss to the Rays and a win in Houston (a transplanted National League team) in a meaningless game against the worst team in baseball.

  56. Selective Amnesia says:

    What a great way to end a career!

    Andy Pettitte!

  57. SDB says:

    I’m tearing up for the second time this week.

    Thank you Andy.

  58. Chris says:

    This was sadder of the two retirements this year. Don’t know why but I always associated more with Andy, and was so thrilled when he came out of retirement last year. Actually, I liked Andy more than any long time Yankee since Bernie.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Me too. Much more wrenching than Mariano’s retirement and that’s not taking anything away from Mariano’s achievements.

    • vicki says:

      my guy retired two years ago, but i love andy. i didn’t get weepy last sunday until he walked off the mound.

      it’s great to see him get the admiration and respect he deserves. well done, houston.

  59. number 21 says:

    I miss Andy and Mo already.

  60. Wheels says:

    “It’s a shame you get old.”

    Yes it is.

  61. dkidd says:

    thank you, andy

  62. Farewell Mo and Andy says:

    Talk about the end of an era. Seeing the end of Mo and Andy this week feels like my dog died.

  63. Lukaszek says:

    It went almost like a cliched 80′s sports movie

    Andy: “I gave it all I had coach just…I know you came here to take me out, but…please, let me get this last batter out, I promise I can…”

    Joe: “I didn’t come here to remove you. I just came here to say…you’re a great fucking pitcher sport. Ever since I came into the league you been like a son to me. I saw your rise to stardom, I saw you leave us, and yet at the end of the day, you’re right here, being the best Andy that Andy can be. Now, take this ball from me, and get this last batter out. Do it for us, but most importantly, do it for Mo”

    Andy: “Thanks coach, I won’t let you down!”

    do, do, do, don’t you, forget about me

  64. hell hammer says:

    Andy Friggin’ Pettitte! Been one hell of a ride guys.

  65. Alkaline says:

    Hell. still awesome.

  66. forensic says:

    Terrific game for Pettitte!


  67. CashmanNinja says:

    I’d like to thank that Astros catcher for doing his best Carly Rae Jepsen impersonation that gave us our first run.

  68. Mike M says:

    The first time Andy retired, I felt like he was still going to come back. So this time around meant a lot more to me.

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