A year ago, Andy Pettitte threw out the first pitch before Game 2 of the division series. He was nine months into what was supposed to be his retirement and like many former Yankees who throw out first pitches for playoff games, he was greeted with a raucous ovation.
The next time he takes the mound will be different. It could be in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Though a rotation has not been announced beyond CC Sabathia on Sunday, that seems likely.
“It is [different],” Pettitte said. “It sure is. I wouldn’t have done that if I came back.”
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Though Pettitte did admit to being tired toward the end of his three starts since returning from the DL, he expressed a confidence about making his 42nd career postseason start.
“I’m ready to go out there and give what I can,” he said.
During the nighttime workout Friday, Pettitte simulated game situations while throwing to catcher Chris Stewart.
Ichiro focused and reflective
Ichiro has not had a playoff workout day since Oct. 19, 2001 when he was a rookie for the Mariners and lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. Since that five-game series, he came close in 2002 and 2003 on teams that finished a combined eight games out of the wild card.
Ichiro conducted his interview on the floor near his locker while doing his usual stretching exercises. When asked why he and the team performed so well down the stretch, he joked “the media” before giving the real answer.
“I think even keeled is the word that comes to mind,” he said through his interpreter. “Here it is a long season; it was just amazing to see how everybody didn’t get too high or low. Everybody was calm. That’s what I loved.”
Teixeira tests calf in simulated game
A simulated game this time of year is designed to give players who have played little down the stretch to stay sharp. A.J. Burnett took part in one two years ago.
On Friday, Mark Teixeira took his turn in a simulated game along with Brett Gardner and pitchers Adam Warren and David Aardsma.
Teixeira has just 16 at-bats since Aug 27. His 451 at-bats were the lowest of his career while his .251 batting average was the second-lowest.
“That’s why I’m out there,” he said. “I’m one of the streakiest hitters in baseball.
“Personally [it was not good]. There were big home runs and big hits but not the quantity. I definitely have to have a higher average.”
Teixeira is a .169 (18-for-69) postseason hitter as a Yankee.
Scenes from a night time workout
In case you were wondering what actually takes place, there’s more than just everyone getting in some batting practice.
The workout saw pitchers simulate fielding grounders and throwing to the bases. It also saw Pettitte and Phil Hughes participate in bullpen sessions.
The session had music piped in and once Girardi asked for it, the NL wild-card game was put on the big center-field video board. That gave the Yankees something to watch as well as react to the controversial infield fly call by left field umpire Sam Holbrook in the eighth inning.
Towards the end of the session near 9 p.m. when most players finished, Rodriguez and Eduardo Nunez spent time alternating taking ground balls at third and throwing across the field to first. That came after they did some long tossing in front of the Yankee dugout.
Another simulated situation included injured infielder Jayson Nix testing out his hip. He did so by simulating a swing without a bat and running toward first and rounding the bag on a few occasions.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.