CC Sabathia is the titular ace and Hiroki Kuroda has pitched like a No. 1. But what was reinforced yesterday afternoon was the Yankees still feel most comfortable and confident when Andy Pettitte starts.

At age 40. Off of 2 1/2 months of inactivity. With the questionable state of his lower left leg.

Same as it ever was.

It is just who Pettitte has been. Who he continues to be. The Yankees remain convinced that no matter the time of year or the date on his birth certificate or the state of his body, Pettitte will find a way to pitch well enough and long enough to give the team a great shot to win.