So far this season, Andy Pettitte has been lights out. You wouldn’t believe by looking at his numbers that he sat out all of 2010. Coming into tonight’s start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Pettitte is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA. In his last two starts, Pettitte has racked up 17 strikeouts and has allowed just two walks – incredible for a pitcher who didn’t play for a year.
He’ll face a tough Angels team (25-25) that has turned it on of late. They’ve won seven games in a row, and have a chance to go above the .500 mark for the first time since April 6, when they beat Kansas City in the first game of the season.
Pettitte has had recent success against the Angels both in the regular season and in the postseason. In the 2010 regular season, Pettitte faced LAA twice, posting a sparkling ERA of .64 while striking out 14 in 14 innings. However, he was 0-4 with a 7.94 ERA in his last six regular season games against the Angels. For his career in the regular season, Pettitte is 14-10, 4.42 ERA. At Angel stadium, he is 7-7, 3.97.
Pettitte has faced the Angels twice in the postseason over the course of his career. In the 2002 ALDS, he took the loss in his only start in the series, going three innings and giving up four runs. In the world championship 2009 year, however, Pettitte was masterful. In the ALCS, he made two starts, and compiled a 1-0 record with a 2.84 ERA – his lone win coming in the series clinching game six.
Pettitte will have to face a fast and powerful Angel lineup. With Mike Trout at the top of the order, it will be important for Pettitte to keep him off balance with his pick-off move should he reach first base. Of course, Andy will have to slow down the surging Albert Pujols tonight. Surprisingly, Pettitte has had plenty of success against the Angels slugger, which mostly came in the NL when Pettitte was with the Astros, Pujols with the Cardinals.
In his career, Pujols is hitting .217 (5 for 23) with four K’s, no homers and two RBI. Shortstop Erick Aybar has had the most success off Pettitte of any current Angel. He is hitting .391 (9 for 23) with two RBI. Notorious Yankee killer Howie Kendrick (.350 career avg vs NYY in 177 AB’s) is just hitting .190 (4 for 21) against Pettitte.
With the Yankees win streak stopped at 5 (longest of the season) last night, they will look to end the Angels winning ways, as Andrew Eugene Pettitte takes the mound tonight.