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TAMPA, FL - APRIL 04: Pitcher Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees throws against the New York Mets in a spring training game April 4, 2012  at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Pettitte last pitched in 2010. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)


Andy Pettitte’s Gonna Try This Again

That blasted rainstorm that surely ruined your walk from the subway to your apartment after work yesterday knocked out all sorts of baseball yesterday, including both Yankees and Mets games. This is a particular problem for Major League Baseball this year, which has compressed the postseason schedule to fit in the extra wild-card game and essentially can't tolerate any rainouts, or even divisional ties. So it's a good thing it isn't raining today, because the Yankees have to fit in a doubleheader. The first game starts in about two hours, and it marks again the return of Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte will trot out there this afternoon once again to try to make his first start since June 27. Pettitte was a bit of a savior after his surprising return to baseball at the beginning of the year, and he might even be more important now. If he can stay on track and healthy, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see him start multiple postseason games. It's that sort of year.

With the Yankees tied with the Orioles now, it's all hands on deck. The Yankees absolutely do not want to get stuck in that wild-card play-in game — which could end up being in Oakland, of all places — and the Orioles are beginning to have the look of a team that is not to be trifled with. (Fear Lew Ford!) If things turned wrong today with Toronto, the Yankees could be a game and a half back. We know it's silly to stress, but these are trying times.

Some good news: Brett Gardner is returning. The speedster and defensive specialist has missed almost the entire season with his nasty elbow injury, and the assumption is that he wouldn't be back this year. He still can't hit, but he can run and play defense, and those things tend to come in handy this time of year.

But yes: 1 p.m. start today. A tie atop the AL East. This is the fun part.

Photo: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images