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Andy Pettitte: New York Yankees Pitcher Stellar in First Start Back

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first game of a double header at Yankee Stadium on September 19, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images
Jason Szenes/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 19, 2012

In Andy Pettitte's first start back for the New York Yankees, the 40-year-old picked up right where he left off before his injury on June 27.

Pettitte looked spectacular against the Toronto Blue Jays, going five innings without allowing a run while surrendering four hits. The left-hander struck out three and walked two.

Of his 75 pitches, Pettitte threw 46 of them for strikes, effectively showing that control isn't an issue after the long layoff.

This couldn't have been better news for the Bombers. Pettitte's injury further proved that New York needs major help in its rotation.

Freddy Garcia and David Phelps did a nice job filling in, but both of those starters won't cut it in October.

Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova both have the potential to make serious postseason impacts, but their inconsistency during the 2012 campaign makes them far less certain than Pettitte.

Now, the Yanks will have Pettitte sitting behind their other two top starters, CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Those three will form a formidable playoff rotation come October and, if all goes well, could help lead the Yanks back to the World Series.

But before the Yanks get to the playoffs, they have to secure a playoff spot, and having Pettitte back will certainly help their cause.

It was thought at the beginning of the year that if the Bombers were heavily dependent on Pettitte, they would be in major trouble. Well, here they are in September and the team's season is without a doubt heavily riding on the 40-year-old's success.

However, with the way he's pitched this season, being dependent on Pettitte isn't such a bad position to be in after all.

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