The New York Yankees have been struggling of late and find themselves in a first place tie with the Baltimore Orioles for not only first place in the American League East but also the second AL Wild Card slot as well. There have been many contributing factors for their slip as of late; lack of timely hitting, inability to get quality pitching from their starters and an abundance of their star players being out due to injuries. Well this coming Tuesday at least the later of the two could get a boost with veteran lefty Andy Pettitte set to make his return versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Pettitte has been out since June 27th with a broken left ankle which he injured against the Cleveland Indians when Casey Kotchman hit a comebacker at him that hit square off of the ankle. With the Yanks going through a downward spiral over the past month getting back the reliable vet could be the exact boost the team needs to get on a winning track and claim the AL East title.
Last Wednesday while in Boston, Pettitte pitched a simulated game at Fenway Park where he made 55 pitches and fielded several bunts to test the ankle and see if he would be ready to return to New York’s battered rotation. Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi has aid that Pettitte is expected to be on a pitch limit some where around 70 pitches or so, so hopefully for them he can locate them well enough to give them a quality start and a win.
Pettitte (MLB‘s winningest pitcher in the postseason, 19 victories) has a 21-12 career record with a 4.16 ERA against the Blue Jays has gone 3-3 with an ERA of 3.22 this season in nine starts. This is an ideal time for him to make his return not only because the Yankees are struggling so much but also so he can get tuned up for the postseason (if the Yanks make it) and possibly gain some more victories to his already gaudy postseason total.