These guys know how to go out in style. Just two days after Mariano Rivera closed out his career with an emotional sendoff in The Bronx Andy Pettitte managed to turn back the clock in his final start throwing his first complete game in seven years in the Yankees’ 2-1 win over the Astros. With a packed house at Minute Maid Park chanting his name Pettitte walked to the mound for the bottom of the ninth inning having not completed a game since leaving the Astros in 2006. He started off by getting Jose Altuve out on a fly ball to right. Then Matt Dominguez flied out to right for the second out bringing most of the Minute Maid Park crowd to its feet. Chris Carter nearly spoiled the narrative sending a two-out single to left. But after a brief visit from manager Joe Girardi Pettitte remained in the game and got J.D. Martinez to ground out to third to end it. With the victory Pettitte improved to 11-11 and finished his career having never finishing a season under .500. Both teams streamed out of the dugout as Pettitte doffed his cap to the crowd. He spent three years in Houston leaving the Yankees following the 2003 season and returning to The Bronx in 2007 and helped pitch the Astros to the 2005 World Series where they lost to the White Sox. Now if only the Yankees pitchers who are coming back in 2014 finished the season as well as the two who are retiring. Pettitte’s farewell helped fill Minute Maid Park with 37199 fans and the left-hander didn’t disappoint. He was sharp pitched out of trouble when necessary and allowed just a fourth-inning run. The Astros helped of course with their anemic offense having difficulty scoring off of anyone. But Pettitte showed again that his decision to leave the game after 18 seasons is his alone because he still has the stuff to succeed. Pettitte lasted eight innings in a start just once this season his first outing of the year. He was even better Saturday against Houston right-hander Paul Clemens no relation to Roger Clemens. He didn’t leave much to chance against the woeful Astros who have lost 14 in a row. Houston took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Altuve raced home from second base on Carter’s groundout to short. Brendan Ryan made the long throw from the hole to get Carter but Altuve never stopped running and beat Lyle Overbay’s throw to the plate from first.
Pettitte: "I love to pitch. It's a shame you get old."
New York Post | Sep 29