Monday, March 30, 2009

UPDATE: Andy Pettitte Dominates in Final Spring Tune-up

Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte was spending most of his spring pitching against Minor League talent in Florida.

Pettitte tested his progression against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, and appeared in midseason form.

In facing the majority of the Blue Jays opening day lineup, Pettitte was given a reliable barometer on where he stood.

In giving up five hits and one run over 6 2/3 innings, he proved to be more than ready for his first start of the big league season.

Pettitte recorded a remarkable 15 of his 20 outs on ground balls or strikeouts.

This shows how much movement his pitches generated, and how consistently he threw on a downward plane.

Pettitte's best pitch, the cutter, was giving Blue Jays hitters daymares throughout the early afternoon.

He walked no one on the day, displaying the mastery of his command.

Pettitte will make his Yankee Stadium debut in an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs, which should be a very exciting weekend in the Bronx.

He is currently scheduled to make his first regular season appearance on April 10 against the Kansas City Royals.

The Yankees will be in excellent shape if Pettitte's arm is in good enough condition to pitch for a full season the way he began 2008.

After beating the Boston Red Sox on Jul 26, Pettitte had accumulated a 12-7 record and 3.76 ERA.

Arm fatigue caused him to lose velocity and command, and he finished the season 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA.

There seems to be some magic left in Pettitte's clutch left shoulder. Let's just hope he saves some for September and October.

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