It’s Mother’s Day, sure.
But it’s also Andy Pettitte Day.
As expected, the Bombers have promoted the veteran left-hander from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will start him on Sunday afternoon in their series-finale with the Mariners at Yankee Stadium.
Cody Eppley was optioned to the minor leagues on Sunday morning to open a 25-man roster spot for Pettitte and David Phelps has been demoted back to his long-relief role to create the necessary opening in the starting rotation.
Pettitte, 39, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the 2010 season.
He agreed to a minor league contract with the Yankees in mid-March after spending a year in retirement and registered a 3.71 ERA in four rehab starts before getting clearance late last week to return to the Yanks.
Pettitte is expected to throw around 100 pitches Sunday against the light-hitting Seattle lineup.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: