When 38-year-old left-hander Andy Pettitte announced his retirement from the game of baseball on Friday at a press conference inside the halls of Yankee Stadium, he answered a question about possibly pitching again with a “never say never” type of response. In fact, those were nearly his exact words. Now Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe can add a little fuel to that fire.
Cafardo spoke to a scout this weekend who believes that Pettitte might return at some point. Maybe not this season, but possibly in 2012.
“I get the feeling his career isn’t over,” said the scout. “For one, he can still pitch at a high level. Secondly, he didn’t retire with any conviction. The stuff about going back and forth on whether or not to pitch leads me to believe he’ll decide to pitch again.”
The Yanks were thought to be offering Pettitte a one-year, $12 million contract, and they probably would have sweetened that sum if he had asked. There’s little doubt that they will have interest if he decides to make a comeback next winter.
Pettitte has never relied on high velocities. He averaged under 90 MPH on his fastball last season and has been in the 89 MPH range for much of his career. He’s simply a crafty lefty, and he could probably remain crafty well into his early 40s.
Entering Thursday’s NLCS Game 5, Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez had never hit a home run nor even driven in a run in the playoffs in his four-year career. He had homered twice in a regular season game just twice and his career-high for RBI in a game was four.
Hernandez hit three home runs and knocked in seven runs to help power the Dodgers past the Cubs 11-1 to win the National League pennant and punch their ticket to the World Series. His first homer was a solo homer to center field in the second inning off of starter Jose Quintana. He blasted a grand slam to right field off of Hector Rondon in the fourth, then tacked on a two-run blast in the ninth inning off of Mike Montgomery to make it 11-1.
Hernandez is the 10th player to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Jose Altuve, of course, did it two weeks ago in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox. Before Altuve, Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), and Adrian Beltre (2011) were the last players to accomplish the feat.
Hernandez’s seven RBI set a new National League record for a postseason game. Only four other players — Troy O’Leary, John Valentin, Mo Vaughn, and Edgar Martinez — accomplished the feat.
No one has hit three home runs and knocked in seven-plus in a game… until Hernandez. He certainly picked a good time to break out.