Being overlooked is nothing new for Andy Pettitte.
It’s been that way for virtually his entire career, pitching in rotations with bigger names such as Roger Clemens and CC Sabathia and against other prominent pitchers during 41 postseason starts.
The latest will be Cliff Lee, who is 6-0 during the postseason and has handled the Yankees with ease, especially at Yankee Stadium where he is 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA over his last five starts in the Bronx.
In two Octobers of dominance with the Phillies and Rangers, Lee has become the latest pitcher to overshadow Pettitte, whose only accomplishment is winning the most postseason games of any pitcher.
And for Pettitte, it’s perfectly fine if all of the attention is devoted to Lee.
“I guess I can say I’m used to that,” Pettitte said. “It’s always maybe the other guy that’s going to get that. That’s totally fine with me. I’m not a guy who likes a lot of attention. I’m kind of uncomfortable with a lot of attention.”
What makes Pettitte comfortable is the postseason. Last year he won four games, including three series clinchers and this year he dominated in seven innings in Game 2 against the Twins.
That is why for all the hype surrounding Lee, the Yankees are completely confident Pettitte can get it done.
“Besides just having good stuff, Andy Pettitte knows how to pitch,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s been through it so many times, he does not become rattled, knows how to prepare for this type of game.”
While Lee has a two-year reputation, Pettitte’s spans 15 years and dozens of starts, several of the must-win variety. That’s what the Yankees face tonight, considering A.J. Burnett in Game 4.
“He’s a professional,” Jorge Posada said. “He understands what it takes. That’s what makes him so successful.”