Andy Pettitte on his very last start in his hometown
Things could not have worked out better for New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte. From his entire major league career, to the way it will conclude on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
Pettitte, who grew up in Deer Park and played for the Astros from 2004-06, will make his last start of his 18-year major league career on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. against the Astros. His last start at Yankee Stadium was this past Sunday.
“Up until a few weeks ago I was hoping I wouldn’t be pitching here because I would be getting ready for the playoffs, but it’s great the way it worked out,” said the 41-year-old Pettitte. “I was able to throw my last game at home in New York on Sunday and be able to finish up here.
“Obviously the three years I spent here were great. The club we had here was great. It’s an opportunity for all my family and friends to be here (Saturday). Everyone didn’t come up to New York. This is going to be really special for me. My career was perfect the way it worked out.”
The left-hander has a 255-153 record and 3.86 ERA. He’s 218-127 with the Yankees and holds the franchise record with 2,015 strikeouts. His start on Saturday will tie the club record of 438 by Whitey Ford.
Pettitte, whose 19 postseason wins (11 losses) are a major league record, played for the Yankees from 1995-2003, 2007-10, and 2012-13. He returned to his hometown for the 2004 season to pitch for the Astros, who reached the World Series in 2005.
“I believe God moved me down here at a certain time in my life that I needed to be down here,” said Pettitte. “I never thought I would have left New York at that time. Not only was it an awesome time for baseball for me here, but it was an awesome time for me personally to be able to spend time with my family and be around my kids.”
Before Pettitte and Roger Clemens arrived in 2004, the Astros had never won a playoff series. In 2005 the Astros reached their only World Series, where they were swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox.
“The three years I had here, to be able to help this club. Get to a World Series. To be able to help this organization do that, it was a high point in my career to be able to come over here,” said Pettitte. “It was a great run.”
In three years with the Astros, Pettitte was 37-26. For the 2005 National League champions, Pettitte was 17-9 with a career-low 2.39 ERA.
Pettitte, who is 10-11 with a 3.88 ERA this season, retired in 2011 but returned to the Yankees in 2012. Pettitte pretty much knew the 2013 season would be his last.
“I knew coming into the season,” said Pettitte. “I didn’t announce anything but I knew this was going to be it. And nothing happened during the course of the season that changed my mind. I knew it was time. “Like I said before, I loved retirement. One thing, I’m not going blind into this. I was retired in 2011 so I know how it’s going to be.
“But I think I wouldn’t have played this year if I hadn’t had broken my leg last year. I missed three months last year during the middle of the season, so I kind of had the juices flowing and then got hurt. I missed so much time. I still had a serious itch this year to continue to do this.”