Pettitte Near Perfect

September 1, 2009 – 11:58 am

Near Perfect PettitteNYY 5, Baltimore 1. Andy Pettitte just keeps on keepin’ on, piling up the innings and putting up W’s for the Yankees. And even flirting with no-hitters and perfect games. Although odds are extremely long that he would have ended up with either of those last night had Jerry Hairston not booted that ground ball in the seventh inning, you still have to admire an 8-inning, 1-run, 2-hit outing from the guy who was supposed to be your No. 5 pitcher coming in to the season. Pettitte finished up the month of August with a record of 4-0 and an ERA of 4.00. At this point you really have to pencil in Andy as your No. 2 starter come playoff time, don’t you?

Offensively it was Nick Swisher and Robbie Cano providing all that Pettitte would need. Together they were 5-for-8 with 4 RBIs. Cano has now hit safely with runners in scoring position in each of the last four games — his RISP stats for those games are 4-for-7 with 7 RBIs. So surprise, surprise — Cano’s BA/RISP is starting to look like it was an anomaly after all. Sheez.

Miscellany Dept: What is it with all the grief Hairston is catching over his error that ended Pettitte’s bid for a perfect game? I can see how you can maybe say that had it not been for that error, then somehow because Markakis would have been leading off the next inning rather than facing Pettitte pitching from the stretch for the first time, that Markakis would not have gotten his clean hit. But how do you wish away Mora’s lead off home run in the 8th? That had nothing to do with Hairston’s error. Andy just threw a bad pitch, and Mora made him pay for it. That happens, and that’s why perfect games and no-hitters are so rare. One bad pitch is all it takes. Pettitte pitched a great game, but still even if Hairston cleanly fields that ball, Andy is still not even 80% of the way through the process. He’s still got to go two more innings to get the perfect game.

And to Andy’s credit, he clearly understands this, as he explained to Hairston “If I haven’t thrown a no-hitter by now, then I’m not going to do it.” Amazing that so many fans and sports writers can’t comprehend that.

Photo: Newsday

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