Short and sweet didn’t define Game 5 of the World Series for the Yankees, but it did define Andy Pettitte’s meeting with manager Joe Girardi before Game 6.
Pettitte talked briefly with Girardi yesterday and told his manager he felt great.
“It doesn’t take more than that,” Girardi said. “This is something that we talked about, and we’re still very comfortable doing it, and he’s our guy.”
That’s all it took for Girardi to officially decide Pettitte, on three days’ rest, would pitch Game 6 against Pedro Martinez tonight in the Bronx. The Yankees lead, 3-2.
Pettitte is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA and is 2-0 in series clinchers this postseason.
All four playoff starts, though, have come on extended rest. Pettitte will pitch on short rest for the first time since 2006.
“I really don’t think there’s that big of a difference, I really don’t,” Pettitte said. “My mindset is just going to be the same as normal. I’m not going to try to blow balls by guys. If I can get my command and your mechanics are comfortable … I feel like I should be successful.”
Pettitte, 37, has found success on short rest in the World Series. He tossed 8 1/3 shutout innings against Atlanta in 1996. He also lasted 8 2/3 innings in a win over Florida in 2003.
His most recent outing, though, could be a more tell-tale sign of what to expect. He gave up four runs on five hits in six innings in Game 3 against Philly.
“What an opportunity,”?he said. “That’s the only way you can look at it.”