Season No. 6 of the Juice has entered the final weekend! Stop by in the final days of the regular season for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more..
The week of grand exits around baseball could not have ended on a higher note. Andy Pettitte, making his final career start in his hometown, against the only other team he played for, the Houston Astros, tossed his first complete game since 2006 to lead the New York Yankees to a 2-1 victory .
The 41-year-old left-hander wasn't overpowering, but remained in firm command while holding Houston to one run on five hits. He struck out a modest five. The only damage came in the fourth inning when Jose Altuve singled leading off and then moved around to score on Chris Carter's groundout. But the real drama was saved for the ninth inning when manager Joe Girardi had to decide if he was going let Pettitte go the distance.
After Chris Carter singled with two outs, Girardi made his way to the mound to look Pettitte in the eyes and see how much was left in the tank. It's a walk Girardi has made a hundred times as Pettitte's catcher and manager. After a quick conversation, the reassured skipper turned back around and headed to the dugout. There was probably never a doubt in Girardi's mind anyway that Pettitte would continue, but there was definitely no doubt in Pettitte's mind. In fact, when he learned Mariano Rivera wasn't going to pitch this weekend , he almost made it his final mission to go the distance.
From the Associated Press:
''I told Mo I might finish the game off if you're not in the bullpen,'' Pettitte said.
And then he accomplished it, retiring J.D. Martinez on a ground ball to wrap up the win and end his phenomenal career with an absolute gem.
''I was pulling for him, knowing that he was there alone,'' Rivera said. ''This was his game and we just had to cheer for him, and that's what we did - that's what I did.''
With the win, Pettitte finishes with 256 career wins and an 11-11 mark this season. The latter may not seem significant at first look, but according to Elias it makes Pettitte the first pitcher in MLB history to pitch 18 or more seasons without a losing season.
That's an amazing stat that perfectly defines Pettitte's amazing career.
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