4:30 p.m. update: We have still not had Pettitte's postgame presser.
ROCHESTER -- Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks issued a pregame proclamation declaring it "Andy Petttitte Day" and the Frontier Field and the stands are full for the Yankee veteran's start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Pawtucket. MILB credential restrictions limit a pitch-by-pitch recitation of the outing but we'll have some thoughts here after each inning.
Mid-1st: A disastrous start and a good finish for Pettitte. The first four Pawtucket hitters reached base and two runs scored with men at the corners. Then Pettitte posted two strikeouts and a pickoff to escape the inning only down, 2-0. He threw 30 pitches, 22 for strikes. The radar gun is posting speeds only intermittently and the top one was 89. Pettitte is no flamethrower anyway. Leadoff man Pedro Ciriaco doubled on the 11th pitch in an at-bat that the Yankees flubbed back-to-back foul popups in the tricky wind (first baseman Steve Pearce was charged with an error). Jose Iglesias reached on an infield single that Pettitte couldn't field near third, Ryan Lavarnway added an RBI double and Lars Anderson an RBI single.
Top-2nd: Pettitte takes the mound in a 2-0 hole The folks here say attendance has already surpassed 13,000.
Mid-2nd: Already 52 pitches, 32 for strikes. This is only going to go 4-5 innings at this rate. Another error hurt Pettitte but so did an infield single and two walks, the second on four pitches to Iglesias with the bases loaded. Pettitte got out of the inning thanks to a Ryan Lavarnway 5-4-3 double play. He's down 3-0 through 1 1/2. Has given up three runs (one earned) on five hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. And he's gonna pitch in New York this weekend? Riiiiight.
Mid-3rd: Good hand for Pettitte as he fans Alex Hassan to end his first scoreless inning. Lars Anderson ripped a cutter up the gap in right-center for a leadoff double but Pettitte struck out Mauro Gomez, got Josh Kroeger on a liner to right and then fanned Hassan. He's at 65 pitches through three, 43 strikes.
Mid-4th: Pettitte in a 5-0 hole after a two-run fourth. Single by Che-Hsuan Lin, RbI double by Tony Thomas, a sac fly by Ciriaco, a fly ball by Iglesias and a topper by Lavarnway that Pettitte did a nice job fielding coming off the mound near the third-base side. 76 pitches, 50 strikes, 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Looks like Pettitte will go at least part of the fifth to get his count in the 85-90 range.
Mid-5th: Pettitte with his best inning, a 1-2-3 inning that ends with a standing ovation as he comes off the field and a tip of the cap from the veteran to the crowd. The crowd starts chanting "An-dy Pett-itte" and Pettitte emerges again to doff his cap to more cheers. First curtain I've ever seen for a starter who give up five runs in five innings. FINAL LINE: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 95-62.
Pettitte was unimpressive. But I don't really see what more minor-league work will do. May as well try him in New York, where the rotation is thin, and see what happens. We don't have to wait until after the game to talk to Pettitte. That chat is coming shortly. I'll post some info from it on a separate file.