Return to Normal? Pettitte's Yankees Chasing Red Sox in AL East

As Boston attempts to return to normalcy after the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Friday, a traditional Yankees-Red Sox race for the AL East could provide a nice distraction for the recent tragic events. This was supposed to be the year the division flipped, with the Blue Jays on top and the Red Sox and Yankees at the bottom, but Boston is in first and their toughest challenge is once again from Andy Pettitte and his New York Yankees, as shown by Pettitte's ninth appearance since turning 40 on the table below.

Date Opp Rslt Dec IP H R ER BB SO ERA SB CS PO
16-Jun at WSN W,5-3 ND 7 5 2 2 3 6 2.57 0 0 0
22-Jun at NYM L,4-6 L 6 7 5 5 2 6 7.50 0 0 0
27-Jun CLE W,5-4 ND 4 3 2 1 1 7 2.25 0 1 1
19-Sep TOR W,4-2 W 5 4 0 0 2 3 0.00 0 0 0
24-Sep at MIN W,6-3 W 6 7 0 0 1 3 0.00 0 0 0
29-Sep at TOR L,2-3 L 5.66 5 3 3 3 4 4.77 0 0 0
4-Apr BOS W,4-2 W 8 8 1 1 1 3 1.13 0 0 0
9-Apr at CLE W,14-1 W 7 5 1 1 3 4 1.29 0 0 0
19-Apr at TOR W,9-4 W 7.33 6 3 3 1 5 3.68 0 0 0
    7-2 5-2 56 50 17 16 17 41 2.57 0 1 1

Friday, the Yankees improved to 7-2 when 40-year-old Andy Pettitte has started, and the Yankees are now two games behind the Red Sox while the Blue Jays are now 7-10 in a season they were expected to dominate.

Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer to help the Blue Jays score three runs in 7 1/3 innings against Pettitte, who has had a 2.57 ERA since his 40th birthday last June 15. Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay homered to improve Pettitte to 3-0 on the season. The Yankees have been a .500 team this season when Pettitte is not on the mound, but are 9-6 overall.

Another stat one may notice from the box is that no one has stolen a base off of Pettitte. The lefty's legendary pickoff move resulted in him picking off 36 runners during his first three years in the majors, and since then it is almost impossible to get a big enough lead to steal second base or go from first to third on a single.

Pettitte's 5-2 mark since turning 40 is still a long way from Phil Niekro's 121 wins or Jamie Moyer's 105, but few have looked as strong at the age of 40.

"I felt like I hadn't pitched all year, to tell you the truth," Pettitte told the Associated Press, after having to skip his last start with back spasms. "Just trying to control my emotions and stuff like that. It took me a few innings to settle in. I felt good tonight, I didn't have any problems with it at all."

For the complete AP story on the game, click here.


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