Yanks make it official: Pettitte to duel Pedro in Game 6

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The Yankees confirmed Tuesday that Andy Pettitte would take the mound on short rest and start Game 6 against the Phillies and Pedro Martinez on Wednesday.
It was obvious the Bombers would go that route from the moment that A.J. Burnett was chosen to start Game 5. If Chad Gaudin was going to pitch, it would have been to prevent Burnett from having to go on short rest. Once Burnett was picked, the Yankees were committed to the three-man rotation throughout.
Pettitte is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in short rest during the playoffs, but because those starts came years ago, the Yankees were clearly more nervous about asking him to go on three days’ rest than they were either CC Sabathia or Burnett. Pettitte hasn’t even started on four days’ rest since Sept. 5. His final four regular-season starts and first four postseason starts all came on at least five days’ rest.
Working with the extra time off, Pettitte is 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA so far in the postseason. He allowed four runs over six innings in his Game 3 victory over the Phillies.

Athletics hire third base coach Matt Williams

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The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.

Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.

Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.

While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.

“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”