Pettitte’s strong start
After Andy Pettitte’s latest start, in which he struck out 8 Angels over 8 innings (0 BB), allowing 1 ER on 6 hits, the grizzled left-hander now has 3 wins, and sports a stellar 1.29 ERA and a 2.51 FIP. The 1.29 ERA signals the best April mark of his long career, while the 2.51 FIP is also the best on record dating back to 2002 (FanGraphs doesn’t have the yearly data beyond that point). Furthermore, Pettitte’s K/9 is a robust 7.07 and his BB/9 is a manageable 2.89. Basically, Pettitte, at 37, is having is having a very strong start to the season.
But, will it last? Well, there is bound to be a regression, as his BABIP is .269 while his career BABIP is .315. Also indicative of some healthy luck is Pettitte’s LOB% (Left On Base Percentage), which is currently an inflated 87.1%. Pettitte’s career LOB% is 71.4% while the 2010 average is 71.6%. After a few more games, his 87.1% mark will level out a bit and his numbers will come down to earth. ZiPS forecasts the downturn, projecting the veteran southpaw to post a 3.94 FIP for the rest of the season. Still, even if a regression to the mean is in order, one cannot help but to enjoy what we’ve seen from the Yankees’ elder statesman, Andy Pettitte, thus far.
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