The Andy Pettitte Revival Tour continued rolling on Wednesday night.
Once more, the New York Yankees called upon the age-defying righty to deliver them another win, and once more the 40-year old and stepped up and did just that against the Tampa Bay Rays — except this time, he’d found a foil who was just that much better in Alex Cobb.
So yes, for the first time in 2013, Pettitte came out of his start with a loss, though the Yankees’ 3-0 defeat on this night could hardly be called his fault.
If anything, the veteran’s six inning of work would have been enough to win on most nights. Through six innings, Pettitte gave up a pair of earned runs (three total) on seven scattered hits and a walk, all the while setting down 10 Rays batters by strikeouts. Five of those hits were singles, and he was not particularly easy to hit on this night.
Still, this game is about margins, and the 17-year player had none to work with as far as errors go on Wednesday, which meant that the two hits which were not one-baggers (a two-RBI double and homer) ultimately cost him the game. The measly four singles that the New York offense dished out didn’t help much, either.
There is a consolation to this for the Yankees, of course. Though his bid for a perfect April is gone, the team can take heart in the fact that Pettitte has been, well, pretty close to perfect thus far.
Aside from the incredible 2.22/1.13 ERA/WHIP he has going (that should come up at some point), none of the other numbers suggest that the former retiree’s form has diminished at all. In fact, this velocity has been up from last season (88.6 mph vs. 87.8 in 2012, according to PITCHf/x), and a 3.67 K/BB — an eight-year high — says that his control is as good as ever.
The last time that number was up there? Oh, just the 222.1 IP, 2.39/1.03 ERA/WHIP, 5.4 fWAR season in 2005 that was arguably the best in Pettitte’s career, that’s all.