Sep 20, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT
Andy Pettitte returned from the disabled list yesterday after missing two months with a groin injury and held the Orioles to one run in six innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out two.
Pettitte’s health is crucial for the Yankees, whose rotation has has plenty of question marks behind CC Sabathia. Phil Hughes went 11-2 with a 3.65 ERA in the first half, but has a 5.37 ERA since the All-Star break and may be wearing down from throwing twice as many innings as last year. A.J. Burnett has a 5.08 ERA and Javier Vazquez has been demoted to the bullpen.
Prior to landing on the shelf Pettitte was as good as ever with an 11-2 record and 2.88 ERA in 18 starts, so if he can avoid a setback the 38-year-old left-hander will almost surely be the Yankees’ second starter in the playoff rotation. Pettitte is the all-time leader in postseason victories, innings, and starts, going 18-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 40 career playoff outings.