Andy Pettitte has indeed been dandy for the Yankees this season and continues to defy father time.
The same 24-year-old kid who went 21-8 and finished second in Cy Young voting in 1996 is still dominating here in 2010. The only difference is that he is now 38 years old, in his 16th season, and on the brink of retirement.
Andy has gone 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA this season, making him the best pitcher in the AL through the first two months of the season thus far.
His last two outings have been brilliant. He gave up two runs over eight innings against Minnesota last Wednesday and gave up just one run over seven innings today.
He has also demonstrated his great control over his pitches in his last two starts, striking out nine while walking none.
The secret to his success: relying more on his breaking pitches instead of trying to blow people away with his fastball, which tops out at 91 or 92. He has realized how to pitch like, for lack of a better term, an old man.
Andy's season so far reminds me a lot of his former teammate Mike Mussina's final year back in 2008, when he won 20 games for the first time in his career at age 39—a so-called Renaissance of pitching.
Though Mussina did not win the Cy Young in 2008 and never did in his career, Pettitte this season might be able to win the Cy Young that has so far eluded him over his great career.
If he stays healthy and continues to pitch as well as he has, which are two really big "ifs," he could walk off into the sunset with the Cy Young Award in one hand and hopefully a sixth World Series trophy in the other.