Pettitte tries to use lengthy layoff to his advantage

Pettitte tries to use lengthy layoff to his advantage

Pettitte tries to use lengthy layoff to his advantage
NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte threw a pitch at Yankee Stadium during last October's postseason, but that was only ceremonial before Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Now out of retirement, Pettitte is back in New York's starting rotation with an opportunity to improve upon his all-time best postseason wins total.

"My wife told me the other day, 'I didn't like that very much.' She didn't like me throwing out the first pitch," Pettitte said. "She thought I needed to be out there."

Pettitte will be out there, although neither he nor manager Joe Girardi would say whether the lefty will start Game 2 or 3 of the ALDS against the winner of Friday's one-game Wild Card matchup between Baltimore and Texas.

He threw a bullpen session Friday during a team workout in the Bronx, and plans to throw another small one before his first postseason start. He was prepared to start Thursday, if the Yankees had to play the Orioles in a one-game playoff had they finished the regular season tied atop the AL East.

But the Yankees won and have a lengthy layoff between games, allowing Pettitte an opportunity to do more leg work in the weight room than he typically would between starts as he attempts to regain the strength and stamina lost during a three-month absence with a fractured left ankle.

He went 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his three starts back from the disabled list, but finished six innings only once as he worked his way from 75 to 88 to 94 pitches. He is unsure how many pitches he could throw in a postseason start, but it will certainly be more than the one he tossed last year.

"I can tell you, I feel like I have been getting a little tired when Joe has taken me out of the game. Earlier in the year, when I threw 115 pitches or so in a game, I'm not sure if I could do that," Pettitte said. "Hopefully my legs feel good under me and stay strong. I don't know how they'll respond, but I'm feeling really good."