Pettitte talks struggles in return to Yankees

Andy Pettitte.

There was no doubt that Andy Pettitte appreciated the moment of stepping onto the Yankee Stadium mound and hearing the standing ovations he received from the fans.

What he didn’t like were the mistakes he made during his return from a year-plus retirement. After allowing four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings during Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the Mariners his voice tinged with regret about the outcome.

“I appreciate the fans,” Pettitte said. “They have been absolutely great to me. I just want to go out there and do my job and help this team. I appreciate it so much. I sometimes feel like you don’t give them what they want.”

Nobody in the crowd wanted to see him give up a pair of two-run home runs to Justin Smoak and Caspter Wells respectively.

The two-run shot by Smoak in the fourth was his first hit allowed after being a groundball machine in the first three innings.

“I was throwing the ball around the plate and I tried to throw one in the zone there,” Pettitte said. “That’s a bad idea, especially to Smoak right there because that’s kind of his nitro zone. It was just a horrible pitch.”

The pitch to Wells also was a cutter that did not run away from the right side of the plate. Wells dinged it off the right-field foul pole, quieting a crowd that had done nothing but shower Pettitte with adoration.

“I just got careless to Wells,” Pettitte said. “I got real aggressive on the outside corner and I thought I could strike him out looking right there and he ran into it. I got a ball that was up and I can’t say that I was trying to go paint down and away. I thought that I might freeze him right there with a fastball that probably came back to the plate probably just a little too much.”

It was the sixth that Pettitte seemed to be the most regretful about. He attempted to get through it with fastballs in the high 80s, but the Mariners jumped on those pitches for five hits and had the bases loaded before Pettitte escaped with a double play started by Mark Teixeira.

“It was all there,” Pettitte said. “Other than my cutter, I was throwing my cutter down in and I couldn’t get guys to swing over it as far as the righties. But I still had a curveball; I still had a changeup you can go to.

“Actually Russell [Martin] wanted to go to them a few times and I shook him off. I don’t know why, but I wished I would have pitched a little bit differently in that inning.”

While Pettitte was disappointed in the way it unfolded, not everyone on the team felt the same way.

“He looked like he hasn’t missed a beat,” manager Joe Girardi said.  “It wasn’t like he had to re-invent himself because he wasn’t coming back from an injury. It just felt normal to see him there.”

It also felt normal to see Pettitte sound disappointed after a loss. It is what he has done throughout his 16-year career.

But as he continues to go on with this comeback, gets back to pitching on normal rest, he feels that he will get stronger and perhaps the next time the right-handed hitters will see properly located four-seam fastballs and cut fastballs that can generate the desired swings and misses.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Pettitte said. “It was exactly what I thought it was going to be.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…