Three weeks after Andy Pettitte’s left ankle was fractured by a line drive on June 27, the Yankees had flown to a 10-game A.L. East lead. Back then, the prospect of a lengthy rehab could be tempered by thoughts of a rested and ready Pettitte pitching in October.
Along the way, the Yanks relearned how much they needed their 40-year-old lefty just to get them to the finish. Now, Pettitte returns to the mound in the teeth of an unexpected late pennant race – one he’s been aching to join.
Having ended a one-year retirement to pitch this season, Pettitte’s anxiousness to return cost him about 10 days when he ramped up his rehab too soon.
With ace CC Sabathia winless since Aug. 24 and Ivan Nova still sidelined at the time due to shoulder tendinitis, Pettitte had attempted to talk the Yankees into activating him prior to last week’s 55-pitch simulated session.
Pettitte felt he was in “a really good place before I got hurt, as far throwing all my pitches for strikes. And I’m hoping to get right back into it,” he said. “I know how I want to attack hitters. I’m not going to go out there and try to change my game plan.”
Clearing the bases
Major League Baseball is checking reports that Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar played Saturday’s game against Boston wearing eye-black displaying a homophobic slur written in Spanish. The message was written in his eye-black. The slur did not appear to be directed at any person in particular. … Texas has agreed on a one-year contract extension with RHP Colby Lewis.