Andy Pettitte Set For Beantown Showdown With Lackey

Lucas WeickCorrespondent IApril 7, 2010

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04:  Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

One of the most reliable and solid pitchers of his time, Andy Pettitte will take the mound in Fenway for the final game of round one between the Sox and Yanks, as he squares off against John Lackey in his Boston debut.

Andy enters his 16th major league season at the age of 37, coming off a very productive 2009 season in which he won 14 games. He also was, in my mind, the best pitcher for the Yankees in the post season last year.

But his age and extensive use in the playoffs last year is a bit of a concern, not to mention he only had two spring training starts due to rain outs. So the question is, can he still get the job done, if so, will he be ready?

I think only time will tell if he has good enough stuff to grind out another year, with his top velocity being in the 88 to 92 MPH range. I look for him to have a season much like Mike Mussina had in 2008, not 20 wins necessarily, but a renaissance year, where he will reinvent his style of pitching. Since he is clearly not blowing anyone away with declining velocities.

As for tonight, the starts he missed this spring will hurt him a little, especially since he made the comments that he felt gassed after the fifth inning in his second and final start of the spring.

But in Fenway, where every game feels like game seven of the World Series, the adrenaline alone should be enough for the old lefty from Texas to getter done.

PREDICTION: Yankees win another close one 4-3.