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« Conor's Eye for the Corner | Main | Adjusting to McLouth »

Andy Pettitte Battling

With the retirement of lefty pitcher Andy Pettitte, the Yankees will be down a solid starter for the 2011 season. Pettitte developed a reputation as a "battler", fighting in and out of jams towards the end of his second stint with the Yankees. It's possible this view is simply a matter of selective memory. However, a quick look at some of his numbers suggests he was a better pitcher when he had his back against the wall.

Andy Pettitte 2008-10
Men On Base10279.0%17.6%78.4%.281.342.426.350
→ w/ No Outs2465.7%16.7%84.3%.284.305.394.329
→ w/ No Outs1094.6%8.3%89.5%.341.330.459.377
→ w/ No Outs60.0%16.7%100.0%.

Pettitte wasn't doing anything special with runners in scoring position. However, with the bases loaded, his K-rate jumped 6% while managing a greater rate of swings and misses. Since 2008, in the 6 plate appearances in which he faced a bases loaded, no outs situation, Pettitte yielded no hits, no walks, and struck out one batter looking (Kendry Morales on September 10, 2008).

When he had his back to the wall, Andy Pettitte was at his best. The Yankees will surely miss that toughness this year.

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