Andy Pettitte takes the mound for the Yankees tonight in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles and yesterday the 40-year-old left-hander dropped some pretty strong hints that he plans to return in 2013.
“I know the competition and the desire to compete is still there and I don’t feel like I kind of got that itch out from the 70 innings or so that I threw this year,” Pettitte said, via Mark Hale of the New York Post. “I was expecting to do a little bit more work than that.”
He made similar comments upon returning from the disabled list last month, basically saying that he was initially certain this would be his final season but started changing his mind after breaking his ankle.
Performance-wise there’s certainly no reason for Pettitte to call it quits, as he posted a 2.87 ERA and 69/21 K/BB ratio in 75 innings for his best ERA and K/BB ratio since 2005 and his best strikeout rate since 2004.
And now he’s starting Game 2 of the playoffs for the team with the best record in the league.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.