By Daniel Paulling
BALTIMORE — After their 7-2 win Sunday against the Orioles, the Yankees have the luxury of turning to the winningest pitcher in the postseason: Andy Pettitte.
What a trip he took to start Game 2.
Pettitte will be remembered for his 19 postseason victories but don’t overlook his 2012. Pettitte returned from retirement after missing about one-third of 2010 due to injuries to stabilize a Yankees rotation that lost Michael Pineda to injury and saw Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes post drastic declines over last season.
Pettitte finished 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA over 75 1/3 innings, producing a slightly less valuable season than Orioles closer Jim Johnson. Pettitte’s start Monday comes after making just three in September following a broken left ankle.
“To get hurt, to miss what I thought would be four weeks to six weeks and ended up being almost three months was extremely disappointing,” he said. “I’m ready to go. I’m going to quit analyzing what I had at the end of the season. It’s a whole new season now, a whole different ballgame, and I’m going to go out there and hopefully I can get in a good rhythm, get a good feel for my pitches.”
Pettitte, who will become the sixth major leaguer to play in a postseason game before turning 24 and after turning 40, will be opposed by Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.
Chen hasn’t pitched well against the Yankees this season, going 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA. He was 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA against the Yankees at home.
“It’s quite different now that we’re in the postseason, so we’ll see what happens,” Chen said. “Everything will be new and everybody will have a new start. I never thought of pitching a postseason. This is really a big dream for me.”